MISSOULA ~ Mitzie Marie (Kinney) Clouse passed away due to natural causes on June 29, 2021; the 66th anniversary of her marriage to late husband, Harvey Clouse. They are together once again.
Mitzie was born April 16, 1935, in Missoula, Montana the youngest child and only daughter of Clarence and Mattie Kinney. Growing up on an apple orchard, she learned cooking, sewing, and gardening. She baked her first apple pie at age six and continued baking pies throughout her life. She was renowned for keeping the annual antelope hunt well stocked with pies as well as her generous portions. The words “small slice” weren’t in her vocabulary. She was a lifelong seamstress, and produced countless costumes for Halloween, 4-H plays, and school projects. Additionally, she planted and tended many large gardens throughout the years. She was also known for her beautiful pink flowers decorating her fence every summer.
Mitzie attended Hellgate Elementary when it was a two-room school, and for her first few years, she rode her horse to school. As she recalled, she usually needed to stop at the neighbor’s to have the saddle cinched because it would be sliding and threatening to tip her off. She attended Hellgate High School and graduated in 1953. After high school, she worked at Missoula Mercantile and attended the University of Montana.
When she was in 8th grade, Mitzie met Harvey Clouse at a 4-H dance. She asked him to dance, and he promptly jumped out the window. He did later tell a friend that he would “marry that girl.” That vow became reality when they married in 1955. They remained inseparable through nearly 62 years of marriage until Harvey’s death in 2017. They both devoted their life to family, and they welcomed every new member of the family as one of their own. Their union produced 3 children, 9 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren.
Mitzie volunteered as a Sunday School teacher at First Christian Church for 17 years. She was a Meals on Wheels driver and coordinator for 13 years. She was also a leader of the Hellgate Busy Beavers 4-H club for 13 years. Among other duties, she was the cooking director, where she was known to stress her most important rule, “always wash your hands before you cook!”
The UM Homecoming parade was always a special event, especially if a grandchild was performing, and Harvey and Mitzie never missed it. They were also fans of Grizzly athletics and were long-time season ticket holders to the men’s basketball team.
We will miss Mitzie’s sense of humor: things like short sheeting the beds on April Fool’s Day, hiring a belly dancer to perform on Harvey’s birthday during bowling night, and developing fun meals like Idaho Tacos (that’s a baked potato with taco fixings for the uninitiated). Birthdays at Grandma’s were always a special event with Mitzie planning the celebration with a theme and games. She was a marvelous cake decorator, baking and decorating countless wedding, birthday, and Snoopy graduation cakes.
Mitzie kept in touch “the old-fashioned way.” She never wrote an e-mail and only grudgingly got a cell phone in her later years (which she never used!), but she regularly corresponded with distant friends and family by letter. In particular, she and her friend Marlene would write letters every other week, along with a (landline) phone call every Friday. They never ran out of things to discuss. She told fantastic stories that got bigger and better with every retelling.
She did more for others in her 86 years than we can fit into this space. She was happiest helping family and friends, always putting them first.
Mitzie was preceded in death by her parents, her older brothers Clifton, Lorraine, Russell, and Louis, her beloved husband Harvey and great-grandson Tommy.
Survivors include daughter Kristi (Ralph) Jackson, son Dale Clouse, daughter Kimberly (Tom) McGuire, foster son Paul Nichols, nephew Don (Ann) Kinney and her dearest lifelong friend Marlene Marshall.
She is also survived by grandchildren Brian (Elizabeth) Jackson, Brad (Mariela) Jackson, Shawn Jackson, Elizabeth (Brady) Michels, Hannah Clouse, Jeff (Kristen) McGuire, Kayla (Chris) Munoz, Kristen McGuire, and Kaitlyn McGuire. Additionally, she is survived by her great grandchildren: Joshua, Joseph, Abigail, Isaac, and Oliver Jackson; Payton, Averie, and Livia Michels; Leah and Brody McGuire; River, Ripley, and Geordi Munoz; and Jessa Jackson.
The family wishes to thank Partners in Home Care and the staff at St. Patrick’s Hospital for excellent care in her final days. Special thanks to Shawn, Hannah, Elizabeth, Payton, Luisa, and Josie. Also, thanks to the friends who called and visited her: Hal Edwards, Dan Geer, Marlene Marshall and Robert Patterson.
One of her favorite gifts to give were socks, because, as she said, “they don’t take batteries.” If you are able, please bring a pair of socks to the service and we will donate them to the Povarello Center.
Memorials are suggested to Shriners Hospital, Watson’s Children’s Shelter or the donor’s choice.
A celebration of her life will be held July 10th, 2021 at 11:00 am at Sunset Memorial Gardens. We ask any unvaccinated individuals please wear a mask.
The service will also be streaming online at sunsetfuneralhomecemetery.com.