Dale Bethane Clutter, age 91, passed away peacefully at Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruces on November 26, 2013. Dale was born in Bird City, Kansas on April 29th, 1922 and grew up in Western Kansas and Missouri. Dale enlisted in the US Army on September 1, 1943 serving in World War II until her honorable discharge as Private First Class on December 10th, 1945. Dale graduated from Southern Methodist University with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1950. Dale was married to Mark Hughes Clutter on June 4th, 1955 in Wichita, Kansas. Dale and Mark had no children together, but Dale assisted in the raising of Mark's children from his previous marriage, Joanna Kruckenberg and Marka Bianchi. Dale and Mark moved to Long Beach, CA in the early 1960s where Mark was a journalist for the newspaper and Dale was a Librarian for the State of California. Dale graduated from California State College at Long Beach with a Master of Arts in 1968. Dale and Mark moved to Las Cruces and bought a home here to retire in 1982. Mark passed away in 1985, and Dale began teaching US Citizenship classes at El Paso Community College. In subsequent years, Dale traveled to the Fiji Islands in a Librarian Mentorship program with the Fiji Islands government in conjunction with the Peace Corp. Dale also became active in prison ministry writing, veteran's political causes, and numerous charitable organizations, Dale was very happy and proud to participate in a recent Las Cruces Veterans sponsored "Honor Flight" to see the World War II Veterans Memorial. Mostly, Dale just enjoyed spending time with her good friends here in Las Cruces. Dale is preceded in death by her father Jesse Steel, mother Ruth (Culter) Steel, husband Mark, and sister Ardath (Steele) Luke. Dale is survived by her step daughters Joanna (Clutter) Kruckenberg and Marka (Clutter) Bianchi, 5 grandchildren: Teresa (Kruckenberg) McDonald, Martin Kruckenberg, Anne (Kruckenberg) Fatur, Kami (Kruckenberg) Sidman, and Dominicue Bianchi , numerous great-grandchildren, brother-in-law Walter L. Luke, nephews David Luke and Chris Luke, and cousin Jane Dirmeyer. Dale was a member of St Andrews Episcopal Church in Las Cruces for many years. In recent years, Dale was a parishioner at Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral in Las Cruces, which will host Dale's memorial mass this Friday December 6th at 10 am, followed by military honors, internment of ashes, and a reception to honor and celebrate the life of Dale Bethane Clutter. All are invited to attend.
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Dec. 5, 2013