Lila Beth Madsen Clawson, of Firth, Idaho, passed away peacefully in her sleep on the morning of January 3, 2018 at the Gables Assisted Living Center in Shelley, Idaho due to causes incident to old age. She was 87.
She was born to Lyman Lorenzo Madsen and Melvina (Mina) Huffaker Madsen on May 7, 1930, in Shelley, Idaho. She was the ninth and last child to join the family, and she was also the last of her family to be called home to her Father in Heaven.
Beth attended elementary school and high school in Shelley, graduating from that institution in 1948. She participated in many activities in school, including Junior Police, Girls Athletic Association, Glee Club, Pep Club, annual staff, student government, music groups, school plays and dances. She had a keen sense of responsibility to her parents and family. She helped her father build a new home during WWII across the street from the elementary school. When her father became sick with stomach cancer and couldn’t work shortly after the war ended, she began to work after school and on weekends to help support the family and contribute to paying the medical bills. After graduation she began working for the City of Idaho Falls in the clerk’s office.
While she was in high school she met Moroni Oborn (Rone) Clawson. They were married in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple on August 10, 1949. To their union was born two sons: Kirk L and Michael R Clawson. They were married for 62 years at the time of his death in 2012.
Rone and Beth farmed in the Shelley area for the first 12 years of marriage. That effort was interrupted for a time when Rone was drafted into the Korean War and he spent a year fighting in the Army in Korea. Beth followed him to Camp Roberts in California and worked on the base during his training and battle-front deployment. When Beth’s mother became ill in the late 1950's they moved into the basement apartment of the home she had helped to build in her youth, to take care of her mother. After her mother’s death in 1961, Rone and Beth were able to purchase a farm in Lower Presto near Firth.
Beth’s talents of organization were readily apparent as she and Rone turned the derelict farmstead into a showplace and eventually expanded the operation to include neighboring farms. She arose early in the morning with Rone to fix his breakfast before he left to bail hay or turn water. She worked every year cutting and harvesting spuds. She participated in the management of the farm by keeping the books and running for parts while simultaneously keeping an immaculate house. Beth and Rone lived together in their Lower Presto home for more than 51 years until his death, and then she lived alone for more than 5 additional years.
Beth was a meticulous record keeper and journal writer. She wrote daily in her journal recording the day-to-day work on the farm, keeping track of things such as the number of loads of spuds dug during the day, as well as regional, national, and international events.
Beth was active in community affairs and served several years on the Bingham Memorial Hospital Board and as its treasurer for two years. She wrote and directed a play called “Pages from the Past” in celebration of Idaho’s centennial in 1990. She instituted and managed the Firth Community Education Program and served on the Firth Council of the Arts. She organized many school class reunions. She petitioned the Idaho Pubic Utilities Commission to remove the long distance phone barrier between the Blackfoot and Firth telephone exchanges, which eventually led to a unified local calling area for all of Eastern Idaho.
She was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many ward and stake callings. She and Rone served as stake and ward dance directors in their younger years. She was a Primary and Relief Society President, and served as a teacher in Sunday School. She was a very dedicated visiting teacher, and visited every month without fail until her recent illness. She served as an ordinance worker in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple, and she and her husband served five full-time missions and a two-year stake mission.
Beth and Rone traveled extensively to all 50 states, and to far-flung places such as China, India, Europe, South America, Israel, Russia, Scandinavia, the British Isles, Thailand, Taiwan, Egypt, the South Pacific, Jamacia, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Canada, to name a few.
She was preceded in death by her husband; parents; brothers, Lyman Winn, Ross Fuller, Welby R, and Renn D Madsen; and sisters, Grace Salerno, Rea Melvina Warren, Martha Tess Porter, and Nellie Jean Wright.
She is survived by her two sons, Kirk L. (Cherie) of Blackfoot and Michael R. (Connie) of Firth; sisters-in-law Myrtle Lee Allred of Spokane, Margene Clawson of Twin Falls, and Carolyn Clawson of Ucon; 15 grandchildren and 40 great-grandchildren.
Appreciation from Beth's family is extended to the doctors, nurses, and aids at the Bingham Memorial Hospital, Intensive Care Unit, and Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Facility. Appreciation also is extended to the staff of the Gables of Shelley, and to her friends and relatives for their visits, thoughtful actions, and kind words through her illness.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, January 8, at the Presto Ward Chapel, 792 N. 1090 East in Goshen. Friends and family are invited to a viewing from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, January 7, at Nalder Funeral Home, 110 W. Oak St. in Shelley, and from 9:30 a.m. to 10:40 a.m. Monday at Presto Ward Chapel prior to the funeral. Burial will be in Shelley-Hillcrest Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Primary Children's Medical Center or the Huntsman Cancer Foundation.