Obit: Claire Engelhardt

Staff Writer
Devils Lake Journal

Claire Engelhardt, 90, of Grand Forks, N.D., formerly of Minnewaukan, N.D.,  died Saturday, August 3, 2013, at Valley Elder Care in Grand Forks.  

Memorial Mass will be Thursday, August 8 at 2 p.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church in Grand Forks with Fr. Reese Weber, celebrant.   There will be a prayer service on Friday, August 9 at 1 the Nelson Funeral Home in Minnewaukan with Fr. Charles Leute, O.P. officiating. Music will be from Claudette Carlson and Fay Huffman. Burial will follow in St. James Catholic Cemetery at Minnewaukan.

Aldyth Claire Ward Engelhardt was born March 15, 1923 in Bismarck, N.D. to Emma Jane (Stevens) and Ralph David Ward and raised in Minnewaukan, N.D.  Claire attended St. James Catholic church and as a child went to Sunday school at the Presbyterian Church in Minnewaukan, when a Priest was not available to say Mass.  She was before her time in Ecumenicalism.  Claire graduated from Minnewaukan High School in 1941 and received her Pharmacy degree from NDSU in 1945 where she was a member of Kappa Delta and Kappa Epsilon.  She began her career at her Uncle Burt Finney’s Drug Store in Bismarck and also worked in Seattle, Wash., Ketchikan, AK, and Hawaii. She took a world trip with three friends in 1948.  She married Anthony Engelhardt in Minnewaukan on November 17, 1952.  They lived in Poplar, Mont. and Bismarck before moving to the Ward 101 Ranch on Graham’s Island near Minnewaukan.  There they raised their family of five and Hereford cattle.  Claire continued to work as a pharmacist in the area.  After Tony’s death in 1991, Claire moved to Minnewaukan.

She shared an apartment in Bismarck with her sister, Imogene, from 2006 to 2011.  After her sister’s death in 2011, she moved to Grand Forks.  Following hip surgery in 2012, she resided at Valley Eldercare where she died on August 3, 2013.

Claire enjoyed visiting, hosting tea parties, and playing games with her family and many friends.  She was an avid reader, serving a term on the Minnewaukan Library Board.  Favorite activities included walking, especially on Graham’s Island and later along the shores of Devils Lake in Minnewaukan, swimming and water aerobics, bird watching, and gardening.  She traveled with family and friends all over the world.  For many years she was active in the Timely Topics Club and the Saint James Altar Society, and volunteered at the Minnewaukan School as a reading tutor.

Claire is survived by her children, Toni (Wayne) Vonasek, East Grand Forks, Minn. and their children, Michael Vonasek, East Grand Forks and Teresa (Jason) McComb, Glade, Kan; Beth Engelhardt, Yakima, Wash.; Jean Engelhardt and her children Leah and Molly, Sumner, Wash.; Steve (Paula) Engelhardt, Green Bay, Wisc.; and Bruce Engelhardt, Mandan, N.D.; and many nieces, nephews and dear friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Anthony,; her parents; sister, Imogene Christensen; and brother, Steve Ward.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made to the Minnewaukan Library, PO Box 261, Minnewaukan, ND, 58351

Online condolences may be left at:

 The Nelson Funeral Home of Minnewaukan is in charge of the arrangements.