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William McClaren

September 28, 1928 ~ March 13, 2018 (age 89)


Bill McClaren, 89, died March 13, 2018, in Kalispell.

He was born in Pringle, South Dakota, on Sept. 28, 1928, to Mildred and Wylie McClaren. Bill lived, attended school and graduated from high school in Custer, South Dakota.

He married Lois Morrison on Sept. 15, 1948, in Hot Springs, South Dakota. He attended college at School of Mines in South Dakota and transferred to the University of Northern Colorado and graduated in 1951. He taught high school in Wyoming and Colorado before moving to Kalispell in 1955, teaching and counseling at Flathead High School. In 1960 he attended Columbia University in New York and graduated with his master’s.

While at Flathead High School, he became one of the founders of Flathead Valley Community College and was the first Dean of Students in 1967. He was at the college until retiring in 1981.

Bill loved gardening and started the Montana Dahlia Society, sharing his love of dahlias with many in the community.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, son David, son-in-law Marc Moriva, brothers Bob, Joe and Glenn, and sister Donna.

He is survived by his wife, Lois; children, Steve, Bonsal of California, Marla McClaren and husband Barry Finkle of Sacramento, California, Mary and husband Mike McFarland of Kalispell, and Marjory McClaren and Fred Longhart of Kalispell. Grandchildren include Jacy (Matt) Rothschiller of Bozeman, Mandi (John) Cole of Kalispell, Dylan (Allie) McFarland of Missoula, and Jesse McFarland of Kalispell. Great-grandchildren include Greta, Thomas and Vaida Cole, Zachary and Ania Rothschiller, Drew and Devin McFarland, and Will and Addy McFarland. Also surviving him is sister-in-law, Ferol McClaren, of Custer; and several nieces and nephews.

If desired, donations may be made to Flathead Valley Community College Foundation Program, 777 Grandview Drive, Kalispell, MT; the Immanuel Lutheran Scholarship Fund, 40 Claremont St., Kalispell, MT; or the charity of choice.

At Bill’s request, no funeral services will be held. The family will hold a celebration of life at a later date.

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