Clair Alden Watne, 85, founder of Watne Realty, Minot, died on Monday, July 30, 2012, at his home surrounded by his loving family.
Clair was born on Jan. 22, 1927, at Hannaford, to Carl and Amelia (Eastvold) Watne. He was reared in Griggs County and graduated from Cooperstown High School. He entered the Army at the age of 17 and was placed in the ASTP program, a specialized training program. He honorably served his country during World War II, receiving many awards for excellent marksmanship. When the war ended he was serving in communications in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.
Following his honorable discharge from the Army, Clair attended the University of Minnesota and graduated with degrees in Economics and Agriculture. He came to Minot in 1951 and established Watne Realtors. At the time North Dakota did not have realtor licensing, continuing education or multiple listing service. Clair was instrumental locally and statewide in developing these programs.
He was united in marriage to Darlene Widdel on March 25, 1954. They were the proud parents of four children: Carmen (Daniel) Boggs, of Everett, Wash., Steven (Karine) Watne, of Edina, Minn., Nancy (Duffy) Mitchell, of Seattle, Wash., and Matthew Watne, of Minot; grandchildren, Michael and Matthew Hadreas; John, Patrick and Duffy Mitchell; Claire, Emily, Khloe, Kamille and Mitchell Watne; three nephews and one niece.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Carmen Watne; and two brothers, Earl Watne and Leo Watne.
Clair received many honors and held numerous community and statewide offices including: Past President, Realtor of the Year, and Lifetime Member of the North Dakota Association of Realtors and Minot Board of Realtors, President of the Minot Area Development Corporation, Chamber of Commerce President, Minot Lions Club President, Exalted Ruler and District Deputy Elks, Red Cross Board of Directors, Minot Library Board and member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Eagles.
Darlene and Clair loved living at the lake and they traveled extensively internationally and through most of the states in the U.S.A. He also enjoyed woodworking, carving, and fishing. One of his favorite things was to go to the lake with his buddies to deer camp, where they allegedly went hunting, also. Clair and Dar loved nature and sitting on the deck at the cabin watching the birds at their many feeders and in his perennial sunflower garden.
A Celebration of the Life of Clair Watne: Will be on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. in First Presbyterian Church, Minot.
Interment: Will be at Rosehill Memorial Park, Minot.
Visitation: Will be on Sunday, Aug. 5, from noon to 5 p.m., in Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.
Memorials: Are preferred to the Minot Area Community Foundation, Mid-Dakota Chapter of the American Red Cross, or the Salvation Army.
Those wishing to sign the online memorial register or share memories are invited to use the expressions of sympathy section at (www.thomasfamilyfuneralhome.com).