CLAIRE DUANE PRITCHETT was born on March 21, 1934, in Plymouth County, Iowa, to Charles and Elsa (Schmitz) Pritchett. He was baptized on December 18, 1934, at the Lutheran Church in Remsen, Iowa and later confirmed at English Lutheran Church in Lake Benton, Minnesota. He attended country school and later graduated from LeMars, Iowa High School in 1952. He served in the United States Army from 1954-1956, being stationed for a part of that time in Germany. He was honorably discharged in 1956.
On February 14, 1959, he was united in marriage to Romelle Trade at the English Lutheran Church in Lake Benton. They made their home in Lake Benton where Claire began work in construction. One of his first jobs in Lake Benton was working on the 1958/59 addition to the Lake Benton School. Their only daughter, Jolene Elise, was born in 1963. In 1972, they moved to a farm north of Lake Benton where Claire took up farming and continued his construction work, as well. He had a long career in road construction. He worked for many local contractors and also did some work for contractors in the Twin Cities area. In 1983, he became employed at the Minnesota Corn Processing Plant in Marshall where he worked for ten years. He was also employed by a construction company responsible for erecting the platforms for the first phase of the Wind Towers. He retired in 1997 and in 1999, he and Romelle moved back into Lake Benton where they resided until health issues became a problem. In his retirement, Claire remained active. His five-mile daily walks gave him a lot of pleasure, as he always had a chance to visit with those he met on his route. He loved helping his son-in-law on the farm, as well as working for other area farmers, until he retired fully in 2011.
Claire was a member of Grace Lutheran Church (formerly English Lutheran) in Lake Benton, where he served as an usher and also on the Church Council. He was a member of the Henry Sollie American Legion Post 10 in Lake Benton. He was an avid reader, enjoyed his daily walking regimen, and took huge delight in his grandchildren by attending all of their activities and supporting them in whatever way he could. He looked forward to the day when he would become a great, grandfather.
In October of 2015, Claire was diagnosed with dementia and was able to live at home until late September of 2017 when he was eventually transferred to the VA Hospital in Sioux Falls and became under their care. He was transferred to several different VA contracted homes and finally ended up at the Avantara Care and Rehab Facility in Redfield, SD, where Claire passed away on Monday, October 17, 2022, at the age of 88 years, six months, and 27 days.
He will be greatly missed by his wife, Romelle of Brookings, SD; his daughter, Jolene Lund (Kyle Voss) of Brookings, SD; and three grandchildren: Hailey (Logan) Gill of Granite Falls, MN, Dustin Lund (Amber Buhl) of Brookings SD, and Mallory (Terron) Olson) of Brookings, SD. He was granted his wish and he is also survived by six great grandchildren, McCoy Bradley Lund, Ellison Jane Lund, Callaway Elaine Lund, Georgiana Elise "Georgie" Gill, and twins, Carrick John Gill and Margaret Claire "Maggie" Gill. He is survived as well by siblings: Keith (Pearl) Pritchett of Pipestone, JoAnn Rowenhorst of Merrill, IA, and LaVonne (Earl) Edmundson of Ruthton, MN; sister-in-law, Colleen Pritchett of Coon Rapids, MN; and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Elsa Pritchett; his older brother, Fay Charles; oldest sister, Darlene and her husband, Robert Anderson; youngest brother, Kenneth; and former brother-in-law, Clifford Rowenhorst; and former son-in-law, Bradley Lund.
Blessed and Eternal Be His Memory.