Clara Victoria (Otteson) Sanford, 91

Published 10:38 am Thursday, April 14, 2011

Clara Victoria (Otteson) Sanford, 91, formerly of Austin, passed away Tuesday, April 5, 2011, at Peaceful Bliss Memory Care Center in Alexandria, Minn., where she had been a resident since October 2009.

Clara Sanford

Clara was born Aug. 4, 1919, in Badger, Iowa, to Charles and Mette Marie (Jensen) Otteson. The family moved when she was a small child to Evan, Minn., and then to Nevis, Minn., where she attended elementary school and graduated from high school in 1936. She completed a two-year teacher preparation program in Park Rapids and taught in Hubbard County rural schools. Clara married Hugh Sanford on June 18, 1940, and the couple moved to Austin. During WWII, daughters, Georgia and Sharon were born. When Hugh entered the Navy, the couple sold their Austin home, and Clara and the girls returned to Nevis to live with the Ottesons while Clara again taught school. After the war, the family returned to Austin and Hugh was re-employed at the Hormel Company. Clara was also employed at Hormel for 10 years where she made many friends. Clara was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She was a 60-year member of the First United Methodist Church of Austin where she kept attendance records and served as secretary-treasurer of her women’s fellowship circle. Clara loved music. She had a lovely voice and played both the piano and violin by ear. She also loved playing cards with her many friends at the Oaks where she moved to in later years.

Survivors include two daughters, Georgia (John) Merchant of Los Alamitos, Calif., Sharon (Larry) Smith of Alexandria; four grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; sister, Elaine Reinartz of Longville; sister-in-law, Teresa Otteson of Staples; 25 nieces and nephews.

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She is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Hugh on Dec. 15, 1979; three brothers.

Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, April 16, 2011, at First United Methodist Church with Rev. Pat Toschak officiating. Friends may call one hour before the service at the church on Saturday. Interment will be in Grandview Cemetery.