Clara Marie Eshleman, 80, went to be with her Lord and Savior after a short struggle with esophageal cancer on May 24, 2021. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother.
Clara was born October 17, 1940 at home in Garryowen, MT. Her parents were Alex and Marie (Nedens) Uffelman. In the spring of 1941, the family moved to the Big Horn Valley. Clara attended the St. Xavier Public School grades 1-8 and graduated from Hardin High School in 1959. Clara was #7 of the 16 siblings who grew up on the farm. It was always a contest to see who could name all 16 kids and in the right order at family reunions. Life on the farm was filled with working hard and having fun.
Clara met William Eshleman and was married on August 16, 1959. She made it very clear that there would be no milk cows in their married life. She had plenty of that growing up on her parent’s farm.
Bill and Clara spent their first year of marriage in Bamberg, Germany where Bill was stationed in the U.S. Army. She purchased her first sewing machine in Germany and was still sewing on it when the cancer came. After Bill’s discharge, they made their home in Hardin, MT. Clara was mostly a stay at home mom raising three children. She worked for ten years for the Big Horn County Library mainly riding the book mobile and a few years as a teacher’s aide at the Community School.
She was an active member of the Christ E & R Church where she served in many roles as a Sunday School teacher, Superintendent of the Sunday School, choir and Women’s Guild. Clara was involved in the activities of their three children which included being a leader of 4-H, scouting and campfire girls.
Clara was an exceptional seamstress and made most of her children’s clothing plus Bill’s suits. She was an avid quilter making quilts for family, friends and many charities. She spread her love of quilting to many others through teaching classes. She was a member of the Big Horn Undercover Gals Quilt Guild and the Friday Finishers. Her quilts won numerous awards. Bill loved to garden and Clara canned and froze all the food from the garden each year. The couple also traveled together through the U.S., Europe and on many cruises. Their favorite was the Steamboat Cruise down the Mississippi River.
Clara is preceded in death by her parents, Alex and Marie Uffelman, an infant sister, son Lyle James Eshleman, brother Alex Uffelman, twin great granddaughters Amelia Marie and Adelyn Irene Jensen.
Survivors include her husband of almost 62 years, Bill Eshleman; her children Lorrie (Jerry) Siebrecht, Paul (Danielle) Eshleman; grandchildren Kristina (Jeremy) Jensen, Katie Siebrecht, Jarrad and Billy Eshleman; great grandchild Keegan Jensen; siblings Henry, Bill (Helen) Uffelman, Esther (Bill) Jacques, Dorothy (Bill) Stenerson, Betty Seder, Leroy (Verna) Uffelman, Louise (Jim) Kelly, Kathryn (Sam) DeSantis, David (Sandy) Uffelman, Helen (Jerry) Rupert, Vic (Denise) Uffelman, Ed (Jill), Bob (Kay) Uffelman and Carol (Pat) Cavanaugh, many nephews and nieces. Memorials may be given to the Christ E & R Church Memorial Fund or a charity of one’s choice.
Funeral services will be held May 28, 2021 at 11:00 at the E & R Church in Hardin. Interment will follow in the Fairview Cemetery.