Richard (Rick) Dale Clair

February 12, 1954 - May 4, 2019
Thursday, August 1, 2019
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Richard (Rick) Dale Clair passed away on May 4, at his home in Big Timber, following a long battle with COPD. He was 65 years old. Rick was born February 12, 1954, in Paradise, California to Robert Dale Clair and Betty Ruth (Berg) Clair. He was the third of their four children. Rick grew up in San Francisco and San Rafael, California.

In 1971 he joined the U.S. Navy stationed in Corpus Christi, Texas. Upon his honorable discharge from the US Navy he returned to California where he worked at Standard Oil Refinery. In the early 1980s‚ he moved his family from California to Alaska where he worked in construction, starting his own company Northland Construction. Upon his return to the lower 48 he moved to California with his second wife, eventually entering into the ministry. Their work took them to Montana and Wyoming. Rick continued his work in Colorado and Wyoming as a United Methodist Minister until his move to Montana to help care for his father until he passed.

He attended San Rafael High School, received his associates of arts degree from West Valley College in Saratoga, California and attended Illif School of Theology in Denver, Colorado and St. Paul’s School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri, continuing his education in theology while serving as a United Methodist Minister.

After the passing of his father he remained in Montana helping his mother as needed, while also making numerous trips to Washington to spend time with his children and grandchildren living there. Rick was a member of The American Legion, Sweet Grass Post 19.

Rick was a devoted son, brother, father, grandfather and uncle who will be greatly missed by those whose lives he touched. Rick is survived by his mother Betty Clair, daughter Heather Clair, son Ryan Clair, Kathleen Welch, sisters Holley (Larry) Yarberry, Starla Nelson, grandchildren Steven (Sarah) Simas, Justin Simas, Haley Welch, Tyler Welch, Tabitha Clair, Riley Clair and Olivia Clair, six great-grandchildren along with numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father Robert Dale Clair.

Interment will be at 10 a.m., Saturday, August 3, at Mountain View Cemetery with military honors by the American Legion, Post 19, followed by a celebration of his life and reception at the American Legion in Big Timber. To leave condolences for the family, please visit