Cleva Wallace, 96

Britton, SD: The memorial service for Cleva Wallace will be 1:00 p.m. Saturday, June 1, 2024 at the Britton Event Center. There will be a time for sharing and refreshments. Inurnment will take place following the service at the Britton Cemetery.


Cleva Katherine (Mettler) Wallace died January 30, 2024 at Bethany Homes on 42nd in Fargo, ND with her daughter Nancy by her side.  Cleva was 96 years old.


Cleva was born in Menno, SD on March 3, 1927.  She moved with her family to Britton, SD in 1944 where she attended and graduated from Britton High School in 1945.  During her senior year of high school, she worked at the Britton Journal to pay for her room and board in Britton so she could finish high school.  Cleva was determined to graduate from high school.  She did, and was honored as the homecoming queen in 1944.


Cleva worked for the Britton School District from 1962 until 2002. For 40 years Cleva was the Secretary and Business Manager in the office of the school Superintendent. She watched hundreds and hundreds of Britton students grow and graduate, seeing them each day as they filed through the lunch line, passed through the halls and attended extra-curricular events.  Prior to her years of service at the school, Cleva clerked the weekly sales at the Britton Livestock Auction.


While working full time she raised five children and saw them all off to college and receive degrees. She was determined to see that all her children attended college. She believed the foundation for future success of not only her children, but all that passed through the halls of Britton High School was education. Her life was defined by her children and “the school”.


Cleva was also active in the community. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and served as Worthy Matron in 1968 and 1969.  She served as a 4-H leader and after she retired, she volunteered delivering meals on wheels.


Cleva had a love of greeting cards. She loved to receive (and save) them and she faithfully sent birthday cards to her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, siblings and their spouses, and her friends.  Her grand-children eagerly awaited their birthday cards.  The cards were always accompanied with a two-dollar bill and a stick of gum.  She upped the ante for the great-grandchildren, they received a dollar for each year! She signed them “Cleva” with “Mom” in parenthesis for her children, “G’ma Cleva” for the grandchildren and “GG’ma Cleva” for her great-grandchildren”.  The nickname stuck.  Many of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren still refer to Cleva as G’ma or GG’ma.


Cleva enjoyed a good game of whist and was a master of Scrabble. She liked getting together with her friends and was known to enjoy a little Black Jack and Black Velvet with them, on occasion.  She loved sports.  If there was a football, baseball, or basketball game on TV she had it on. She also loved to watch the major tennis matches.  She attended the Britton high school games and always kept her own scorecard at basketball games. After retirement, she and her friends from school meet for coffee every month. Cleva was a charter member of the OSB Club.


Cleva’s extended family was an important part of her life. She enjoyed spending time with her siblings and their families.  They enjoyed a good visit and a spread of good food. Debates are still on-going on the relative merits of various potato salad recipes. Cleva and her sisters were also known to do a little shopping!  She traveled with family members after she retired, including a trip to the Rose Parade, a cruise, and many visits to her children’s homes for holidays, special events and just for fun.


She is proceeded in death by her grandson Joshua Kyle Wallace, her great-granddaughter Liv Marie Dodson, her mother and father Ida and Albert Mettler, sisters Leatrice Aman and Bernice Planteen and brother Allen Metter. She is survived by her children Jane (John) Fowler, Kenneth (Sally) Wallace, Connie (Walt) Rusch, Nancy (Greg) Hodur and John (Terri) Wallace.  Grandchildren Kierstin Bittle, Meegan Dodson, Eric (Laura) Wallace, Brian Wallace, Sara (Bryan) Walls, Matthew (Tony Lanagar) Lind, Nathan Rusch, Elizabeth (Paul) Nysse, Alyssa (Chris) Chambers, Kasey Wallace, and Ryan Wallace. Great-grandchildren Blair Dodson, Drew Bittel, Bret Bittel, Jackson Walls, Reese Walls, Madeline Walls, Britton Nysee, Lawson Nysse, Levi Rusch, Miles Rusch, Carver Chambers and Levi Chambers.  Siblings Marianne Kilker, Robert (Myrna) Mettler, Jim Metter and Karen (Robert) Ditmanson.  She is survived by and was the beloved aunt to many many nieces and nephews!


Cleva was married to Norman Kenneth Wallace.  They later divorced. Norman died in 1984.


Condolences may be directed c/o Nancy Hodur, 2915 40th Ave. S. Unit A, Fargo, ND.


Memoria will be used to support college scholarships for graduates of Britton Hecla School.