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Robert Clawson Sr.

| June 16, 2006 12:00 AM

Robert T. Clawson Sr., 86, died at his home on Tuesday June 13, 2006, after a lengthy illness.

He was born Sept. 11, 1919, in Rockvale. He was a lifelong Montana resident.

In 1941 he began his career as a lineman for Big Horn County Electric in Lodge Grass. In 1965 he went to work for Pacific Power and Light in Libby, where he retired after 34 years of service in 1985.

He was an active citizen and community member. He was a rescuer for "power lost" folk, stranded kittens in trees. To his co-workers and friends he was referred to as "the Singing Lineman" and to the children, as the "lollipop" man.

He served as a field wire chief in World War II in the Pacific Theater for 10 months. He supervised 56 enlisted linemen and other personnel directing the construction of telegraph, and teletypewriter communication systems in Japan. He was among one of the first troops to arrive in occupied Japan after Hiroshima. He was a decorated veteran and received the Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, Victory Medals, Good Conduct Medal, Meritorious Unit Award and Army of Occupation Medal.

He was an avid sportsman, gardener, mentor, loving father and husband. He and his wife Margot were married for 66 years.

He is survived by his wife Margot and seven children, Bob Clawson Jr. of Whitefish, Kay Lewis of Spokane, Wash., Donna Zinn of Missoula, Linda Clawson of Sandpoint, Idaho, Debbie Messick of Libby, Jack Clawson of Seattle, Wash., and Darcy May of Libby. He has 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 1 to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 16. Services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 17, at Nelson & Vial Funeral Home in Libby with internment in Rockvale.

Memorials may be given to the Bighorn County Historical Society in Hardin or to St. John's Hospice in Libby.