Julius (Jules) Clavadetscher, a former automotive executive, one-time mayor of Polson, and most importantly a loving husband and devoted father, died Dec. 15 from complications of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and Parkinson's syndrome. Montana has lost a dignified, thoughtful citizen and his family and friends will forever have him as a role model.
Jules was born May 3, 1943, to Herman and Ruth (O'Malley) Clavadetscher in Billings, their third and youngest son. After attending Billings Senior High School, he followed in the footsteps of his oldest brother, Greg, and his middle brother, David, to Georgetown University.
After graduation he attended Columbia University in New York where he received a master's degree in business administration. That might not have been the best preparation for his next life adventure, as an enlisted U.S. Army soldier serving his country in Vietnam. He served valiantly and talked little about his time in Vietnam.
When he returned to the United States he set out to find a job and marry the Billings teacher he had met on an arranged blind date. His union with Ann Murdo lasted more than 50 years. They celebrated their 50th anniversary on Sept. 6 in Polson, where they have lived since 2001.
Jules worked for Ford Motor Co. in New Jersey, where his and Ann's first three children -- Laura, John, and Karen -- were born, and in Michigan, where Mike and James rounded out the family.
In the 1980s Jules moved into executive offices at Nissan American Motor Co. With Nissan, the family moved to Irvine, California, then to the Boston, Massachusetts suburbs, before returning to Nissan's then-headquarters in Southern California. The family lived in Palos Verdes before Jules received an assignment in Northern California (Danville), where he was named a Nissan Vice President. From Danville, Jules and Ann moved to Polson, where they built a home in the Mission Bay subdivision.
Jules believed in building and serving communities. He joined the Polson Rotary Club, and he and Ann volunteered at the local food bank. He was a key member of the Greater Polson Community Foundation.
In 2004 Jules was appointed to the Polson City Council and later became mayor of Polson in 2006- a task he took like a duck to water. One of the most satisfying accomplishments as Mayor was working with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes to reconfigure the pier and parking area at Point Salish Park.
He and Ann cheered on the Griz, the Hoyas, the Wildcats, the Ducks, and numerous sports teams of all colors and stripes.
For the past six years, Jules suffered from Parkinson's disease and related conditions, gradually losing mobility and his voice but never his sense of humor. He participated in a medical trial in San Francisco with the hope of helping to find a cure for future generations. He has donated his brain to medical science in the hope that scientists can better understand the disease and find a cure.
Jules leaves behind his wife, Ann, his children Laura Dravenstott (Rob), John (Carol), Karen, Mike (Pam), and James (Molly) plus grandchildren Aden, William and Daniel Dravenstott of Colorado, Julia, Sean, and Audrey Clavadetscher of Chicago, Michael (Mac), Joey, Tommy, and Mae Clavadetscher of Marshfield, Massachusetts, and Jack, Benjamin, and Connor Clavadetscher of Petaluma, California. Also surviving are his brother, Greg (Martha), brother-in-law Bob (Marlene) Murdo and sisters-in-law Kay Clavadetscher and Pat Murdo. He also leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews and longtime friends from Billings and newer friends from Polson.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, David, and two nephews.
The family would like to thank Partners in Home Health for assistance in the past months.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held this coming summer. Donations may be made to the Polson Loaves and Fish Pantry, to the Greater Polson Community Foundation, to the CurePSP Foundation, or a charity of the donor’s choice.