Cover photo for Clarris A. Hedtke's Obituary
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1934 Clarris 2023

Clarris A. Hedtke

March 14, 1934 — December 5, 2023

Clarris A. Hedtke, age 89, passed away peacefully on December 5, 2023 in Atwater, MN. A memorial service will take place at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Litchfield, MN on Monday, December 11, 2023 at 2:00 PM. A visitation will be held one hour prior.

Clarris Adeline (Fuglem) Hedtke was born at Memorial Hospital, Litchfield, MN on March 14, 1934, to Arnold and Adeline (Gratz) Fuglem. She was baptized the same day. She grew up on the family farm north of Atwater, attended 1st and 8th grade at District #3 Harrison Township. Grades 2nd through 7th she attended St John’s Lutheran School and graduated from Atwater High School in 1952. 

The night before her High School graduation she got engaged and on September 7, 1952, she married the love of her life, Wilbert Hedtke. They moved to the farm north of Grove City where they started a family. Besides raising 5 kids, Clarris was involved in all aspects of the farm. After chores were done, you could find her batting balls down the driveway to the kids, taking them fishing, swimming, camping, and toboggan rides behind the snowmobile in the winter. She could ride a motorcycle and shoot a gun without a miss (not at the same time). She was never afraid to try new things. She took a short course at the U of M and began working for the DHIA in Litchfield starting the DHIA milk sample collection route covering western and southern MN. After the kids were grown and Wilbert started to drive truck, she would go with him on the road. Clarris got her license and was signed on as a driver for Waggoners Trucking of Billings, MT. She started going to auctions and learning all about buying and selling antiques. Her knowledge of the business and the people she met along the way was what led to the success of Sibley Antique in Litchfield, that she managed for seven years. It took her less than a year to fill that store with vendors and antiques. 

After she retired from Antiques, she enjoyed gardening and would say how satisfying it was to grow your own food. She was always happy to give advice to the younger generation when it came to gardening. Her flowerbeds were also a thing of beauty and pride for her. She and Wilbert loved spending winters in Arizona too. 
In 2007 they moved off the farm and into Grove City, later to Litchfield and finally Sunny View in Atwater where she passed away peacefully on December 5, 2023, with family at her side. She will always be remembered for her infectious smile and loving nature. 

Nothing brought her more joy in her final weeks than visits from her family. 
To know her was to love her and that is what so many of us will carry with us when we think of her. 

She is preceded in death by her parents Arnold and Adeline and her husband Wilbert. 

She is survived by her five children, Renee Howell (Brad) of Marvin, SD, Byron Hedtke of Absarokee, MT, Rhonda Martin of Gold Canyon, AZ, Connie Schmit (Jim) of Litchfield, MN and Kim Makal of Maple Grove, MN. 
11 grandchildren 
10 great grandchildren
1 great-great grandchild

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