Jane Wagner Clark died Thursday, April 28th of metastatic breast cancer. She was born Jane Estelle Wagner, September 28, 1936, in McClusky, North Dakota to Henry Wagner and Clara Reimche Wagner. After completing her first two and one-half years of school in McClusky the family moved to Harvey, ND, where she finished her schooling, graduating third in her high school class in 1954.
After earning an academic scholarship, she attended Minot State for two years and taught for a semester in Sawyer, ND. She began her teaching career in Billings in the fall of 1956, at Broadwater Elementary. While Jane spent 32 successful and happy years in education, she thoroughly enjoyed teaching her last dozen years with the highly professional and talented educators at Arrowhead Elementary in Billings.
She met Ted in the fall of 1956 and had their first official date New Year’s Eve. They became engaged that spring, and married August 25, 1957. Jane and Ted planned to celebrate 58 years of marriage this summer.
They began a family in 1961. Jane stayed home with their children Paul, Heather, and Neil until the kids entered school. She cherished being a mother and doting grandmother to her six grandchildren, and longed to see her first great-grandson.
Professionally, Jane was a lifelong member of NEA, MEA, BEA, and Montana Reading Council. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Montanan College (MSUB) in 1960, and her Masters from the same institution in 1976. She also had taken many advanced classes in the teaching of reading and mathematics.
Jane was well liked by her colleagues, held in high esteem by her students and was a joy to all who knew her. She was eternally optimistic and greeted all with a cheerful smile and radiant eyes.
Jane enjoyed baking, reading, knitting, cards, and played a mean game of scrabble with anyone brave enough to play. Jane had a passion for travel, and was thoroughly pleased to visit 29 different countries with Ted.
Even though raising a family and teaching was her primary focus, she also made a substantial contribution for the benefit of the community. She donated over five gallons of blood, stopping only when her cancer treatment prevented further donations. Jane served on her church council and enjoyed her ladies Bible Study Circle. In retirement, she found great satisfaction in serving her community by volunteering at The Billings Clinic.
Jane is survived by her husband Ted, her sister Delilah Bauer, daughter Heather Lott, (Ron), their two children Hannah Lott-Havey, (Nick), and Emily Lott; son Neil (Julie), and their children Amanda, Alexis, Samuel, and Joshua. She welcomed her great-grandson, Oliver Lott-Havey into this world one day before she died. She is preceded in death by her parents, Henry and Clara Wagner, Jane’s brother Donald, her sister-in-law Darlene Kovar Wagner, her brother-in-law Emanuel Bauer, and Jane and Ted’s son Paul.
A memorial service will be at King of Glory Lutheran Church, 4125 Grand Ave. Billings MT 59105, on Saturday, May 7th at 11 am, with lunch to follow. Burial will be at the Big Timber Cemetery about 3:30 pm Saturday.
Memorials may be given to King of Glory Lutheran Church, Christikon, Broadview Community Center, Broadview MT, or charity of one’s choice.