Clara Isabelle Davis Harris

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Clara Isabelle Davis Harris, age 65, of Billings formerly of Winnett, passed away Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019 in Billings. Clara was born to James “Jim” Davis and Maryanna (Hamilton) Davis on Aug. 3, 1953, and was the fourth of five children. Her parents ranched in the Breaks northeast of Winnett, raising cattle and operating a cattle and hay trucking business. Clara graduated from Winnett High School in 1971, and married Bill Harris of Grass Range that same summer. Bill and Clara had both been working for Bub Nunn, and stayed on for a year or so after they were married. Their first home as a couple, was the cabin at Carl’s Camp.

Their first daughter, Addie Rae, was born in October of 1974. Bill and Clara moved to the Walker place north of Teigen in 1975. Heidi and Destry were born while they were there (in 1976 and 1978). Clara threw herself fully into that place, turning the old Walker ranch house into a home with handmade decorations and a garden. Besides helping with ranch work, she put in long days perfecting her bread recipe, sewing dresses for her girls, decorating wedding cakes for a little spending money, and keeping her family well photographed.

The family moved into Winnett and Cori was born in 1985. When Bill started outfitting hunters in 1987, Clara was the hunting camp cook, cooking three meals a day for up to 15 hunters and guides. After leaving Walkers’ they leased a couple of ranches around Winnett, and ended up running some cows at Flatwillow Christian Community the spring of 1989. On Aug. 2, 1989, the day before her 36th birthday, Clara was involved in a car accident that injured her spinal cord and left her paralyzed from the shoulders down. In the days to come, the Body of Believers at Flatwillow regularly gathered in her hospital room to sing hymns and pray with her. These times brought such encouragement to her, and truly brought her faith in God to the forefront of her life.

Though Clara’s independence was gone, her dependence on the Lord and her faith in Him became her strength. Those closest to her saw her frustration with her handicap, but for the most part she maintained a positive attitude and a beautiful smile. She found creative ways to get things done from her wheelchair, from modifying a hitch so she could pull the lawn mower behind her chair to using sticks in her wrist splints so she could play a keyboard and sing. In 1997, her first grandchild was born, and so was a new passion. She drug her caregivers all over the country to be there when each one was born, then to watch their ball games, Christmas programs, school plays, and livestock shows.

Clara had a sweet spirit, a sense of humor and strength of character that made her truly special. She had a cute way of telling a story that made her a kick to visit with. She had an amazing ability to comfort people who were suffering, somehow knowing just what to say. She loved the Lord, believed His promises, and did not fear death, even when she was faced with it.

Should friends desire, memorials may be made to Joni and Friends.

Funeral services will be held Sunday, Feb. 10, at the Winnett School Gymnasium at 1 p.m. A reception will follow at the school. Private interment will be at the Winnett Cemetery. Arrangements are under the care of Creel Funeral Home. Clara’s family and friends can share memories and condolences at www.creelfuneralhome.com.

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