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Clara Dentz

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Dec. 24, 1905-March 29, 2008

Clara Dentz, 102, of Mahnomen, died Saturday, March 29, 2008 at MeritCare Pallative Care in Fargo.

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Adelia Clara Laubach was born to Joseph and Rose (Winter) Laubach on Dec. 24, 1905 in Springhill, Minn.; she was the second of 12 children being brought up on a traditional German farm. Clara started school at age seven, when the family was living in Brooten, Minn.

Being brought up in the early 1900s, Clara remembered riding home from church in a horse-drawn buggy, kneading loaves upon loaves of bread with her mom, tending to the animals and helping her dad in the fields. These life experiences she held dear to her heart and was able to tell over again throughout the years.

In 1919, Clara and her family packed into one car and made the long trip to Mahnomen, settling on a small farm south of town. After Clara finished her daily fieldwork, she attended the Jaeger School House, where she had to learn to speak English.

On June 3, 1923, Clara married Albert Dentz at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Mahnomen. Their marriage was blessed with five lovely children, whom over the years kept Clara quite busy. During World War II, she spent a short period of time in Minneapolis working for Munsingware, sewing uniforms for the soldiers. Upon her return she continued to care for her children as well as other family members, and also worked various jobs. A few of those jobs included: candling eggs at Bastyr's Produce, doing childcare, working at the Mahnomen County Treasurer's Office and cleaning the doctor's office in town.

To sum things up, Clara was always eager to learn new things and meet new people. In 2004, she commented, "I have more fun now than I did when I was a girl." She proved this through her many adventures -- even going for her first motorcycle ride, at the spry age of 95 and every year thereafter. Clara loved life and through her many activities and hobbies taught others to love one another. She enjoyed spending time outdoors as a youngster and in later years, kept busy crocheting, cooking and entertaining. Others found comfort in her baked goods, especially the breads she made from scratch. From fresh rolls to kolaches, kneading bread was an art she carried with her from years past and performed with grace.

Clara was also quite the jokester, saying from time to time, "laughter was the spice of life." To that she brought many years of love and laughter to her family and friends. She will be greatly missed by the many whose lives she touched in her 102 years. Clara will forever be remembered as a peacemaker, caregiver and wonderful friend. Simply put... to know her was to love her.

Clara was a lifelong member of St. Michael's Catholic Church, St. Michael's Ladies Aide, Catholic Daughters of the Americas Court St. Justin 2020, National Catholic Society of Foresters Court 342, the Mahnomen VFW Auxiliary and American Legion Auxiliary.

Clara is survived by one son, Gerald (June) Dentz of Minot, N.D.; two daughters, Sister Rosella Dentz and Mary Ann Dentz, both of Mahnomen; eight grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren; as well as two sisters, Rose Bartholomew of Andover, Minn., and Esther Greer of Eagan, Minn.

Preceding Clara in death were her husband, Albert (1980); one daughter, Dolores Nudell; one son, Albert Jr.; a grandson, Mark Dentz; four sisters, Sophie, Philomene, Helen and Marie; and five brothers, William, Stephen, Edmund, Dominic and David.

Visitation will take place from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, April 3 at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Mahnomen, with a prayer service at 6:30 p.m. and a rosary to follow. Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday, April 4, at St. Michael's Catholic Church, with burial to follow in St. Michael's Catholic Cemetery, Mahnomen.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Anderson-Mattson Funeral Home in Mahnomen. An online guest book is available at andersonmattson.com.

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