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Obituaries: Hitt; Clausen

James Edward Hitt

James Edward Hitt: 1968 – 2023

James Edward Hitt, affectionately known as Ed, was born on Sept. 6, 1968, in Battle Mountain, Nevada. He was the beloved son of Dan and Jeanette Hitt, and a brother to his sister Jodie. Ed’s journey through life was filled with adventure, love, and a deep passion for the things he held dear.

His devotion to family was unwavering, and he was a loving father to his son, Corey Hitt, and his daughters, Kaila Frye and Dani Hitt. Ed’s pride and joy were his grandchildren: Zailey, Madi, Braylynn, Riot, Kaid, and Kyvin, who brought immense joy and laughter into his life.

Ed possessed an incredible talent for mechanics. Known for his ability to fix cars with an expertise that was truly remarkable, his hands seem to possess a magic touch. He could diagnose and repair just about any automotive problem with ease, but more importantly, Ed was known as a mechanic you could trust. Friends and family often turned to him for assistance, knowing that he could work wonders under the hood of a vehicle.

Ed loved the great outdoors. When friends and family remember Ed, they likely think of countless times spent together camping or on a boat at Keyhole. Ed’s love for Keyhole and the Pine Haven area was so great that he and his family built a cabin for all to gather. Ed ultimately made the cabin his permanent home for the last seven years. He also enjoyed ATVing in his side-by-side in South Dakota, annual trips with the crew to “hunting” camp,  and spending the day at the beach.

Ed had a passion for cooking, particularly when it came to smoking meat and experimenting with new recipes. His particular style was culinarily adventurous: he never met a food he wouldn’t put on the smoker, and he was likely to throw an extra ingredient or two in there. His recipes were never quite the same twice. His fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants approach naturally resulted in a few mishaps, but most of the time, it was damn good. His gatherings were always filled with laughter, delicious flavors, and cherished memories.

Ed’s warm smile and welcoming presence made him a true friend to all who knew him. He was hardworking, generous, forgiving, and caring. His kind heart and willingness to lend a helping hand endeared him to many, leaving a lasting impact on their lives.

Ed left this world on Oct. 8, 2023, after his MDS progressed to acute myeloid leukemia, leaving behind a void that can never be filled. His memory will be forever cherished by his family, friends, and all those who had the privilege of sharing in his adventures and the warmth of his love.

A celebration of Ed’s life will be held at the Community Rooms at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery from noon-3 p.m. Oct. 14, 2023. Please join us in honoring his memory, sharing stories, and of course, eating some delicious food.

The family requests that you honor Ed’s love of Aloha shirts by wearing Hawaiian style clothing. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations be made to Huntsman Cancer Foundation.


Barbara Lee Clausen

Barbara Lee Clausen: 1941 – 2023

Barbara Lee Clausen, 82, of Sturgis, South Dakota, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023, in Gillette. Mom was born June 14, 1941, in Wetonka, South Dakota, to Lawrence and Helen (Hazel) Miller.

She is survived by her two children: Staci (Michael) Hammond of Portsmouth, Ohio, and Lance (Sommerlyn) Clausen of Wright, Wyoming; five sisters: Linda (Roger) Rohwedder of Wetonka, South Dakota, Gloria Rudolph of Aberdeen, South Dakota, Jackie (Dennis) Anderson of Aberdeen, South Dakota, Judy Hammrich of Ipswich, South Dakota, and Cathy Miller of Lancaster, Texas; one brother: Jim (Norma) Miller of Wetonka, South Dakota.

Grandma Barb leaves behind six grandchildren: Kody McCamly, Savannah Hammond, Heather Hammond, Zach (Bree) Clausen, Kaden Clausen and Korey Clausen.    

Mom is preceded in death by her parents, Lawrence and Helen; three sisters: Marie, Darliss and Sharon; one brother: Lawrence; four nieces: Belinda, Penny, Janet and Jana; one great-nephew: Austin and one grandson: Coby David.   

Per Mom’s wishes she will be cremated and no service will be held. Friends and family will gather at a later time. Memorials and condolences may be sent in care of Gillette Memorial Chapel, 210 W. 5th St., Gillette, Wyoming 82716.

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