Berdeen (Smith) Claussen
Our mother, Berdeen Claussen, 90, made it safely home to God and her Savior on Dec. 30, 2020. Berdeen was born in Litchfield, Nebraska to Hulda (Smith) Lakemaker and George Smith. Her step father was Walter Lakemaker. Berdeen met the love of her life, Gene A. Claussen from Holdrege, Nebraska. They married on Sept. 3, 1950. Our mother loved that Dad graduated with a civil engineering degree from the University of Nebraska. That made them Cornhuskers through and through. Mom was always supportive of the moves they made because of Dad's positions with Witco Bear Oil and Portland Cement Association. These transfers to Billings, Pocatello, Helena and back to Billings gave her the opportunity to design and decorate a new home for their growing family which included: Gary, Denise, Sherry and Cory. Mom always said that her children were her greatest accomplishment.
The last move to Billings, Montana in 1971 started many volunteer opportunities that involved organizations to support adults and children with respiratory illnesses. Berdeen was instrumental in starting a support group for others who had respiratory disease and served on the Montana Lung Association Board. This led to involvement of the beginning of Camp Huff and Puff. She volunteered for the Deaconess Auxiliary for volunteers and the Red Cross. Our mother loved fashion and design which she pursued by working at Hennessy's and later as a jewelry buyer for the Yellowstone Medical Building Loose Ends and Gift Corner shops. These experiences led to lasting friendships she made along the way. Our mom discovered golf 30 years ago and enjoyed many hours playing with her friends. Mom was a very reflective thinker who was always working on herself to develop her spiritual side. The family attended the Presbyterian Church but was interested in other churches because this led to deeper understanding of God's word. Our mom wrote poetry to express her beliefs and thoughts throughout her life. In her final decade of life, Mom enjoyed the company of a little white Westie named Emy Lou who gave her great joy and comfort.
Mom loved trips with Dad and the family to Nebraska, engineering conferences, boating and hunting when she could stay in the 5th wheel. She loved meeting the ranchers that allowed them hunting access on their land. The most fun they had in later years was traveling to baseball games for their grandsons Jason, Matthew and Andrew.
Mom told us she felt she was born with many puzzle pieces in her mind and it was her challenge to put them into place over her lifetime. Mom was loving, caring and working to put that last puzzle piece together. We feel she completed her life's puzzle and that it is a beautiful piece of art. We know that her legacy extends beyond this lifetime and her legacy will be with us always. You were an amazing mother and we will miss you every much.
Berdeen is preceded in death by her husband, Gene Claussen, mother Hulda Lakemaker, father George Smith and step-dad Walter Lakemaker, brother Vern Smith, sister in-law and brother in-law Jewel Knudson and Gary Jon Claussen. She is survived by four children, Gary Claussen, Denise (Kevin) Anders, Sherry (Mick) Pertile, and Cory (Ginger) Claussen; Vickie Claussen, like a daughter, her grandchildren, Jason (Holly) Claussen, Nicole Claussen, Matthew and Andrew Claussen, four great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Rez Dogs of Montana, 218 Mountain View Blvd, Billings, MT 59101 or an organization of your choice.
A special thanks to all of the wonderful caregivers and staff at Highgate Senior Living.
A private gathering of immediate family will be arranged at a later date.