Mary Ann (Eschenbaum) Clodt, long-time Inyokern resident, passed away on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, in Grand Junction CO. She was 92. Mary Ann was born on September 1, 1929, to Henry Harry and Lena Mae (Engelmann) Eschenbaum on the family farm near Miller, South Dakota. She was next to the youngest of six children.
Mary Ann grew up on the family farm 11 miles south and 2 miles west of Miller SD. She attended a one-room country school named “White School” and walked to school every day. She was an excellent speller and won the Spelling Bee. While living in-town (Miller) during her high school years, she attended Miller High School graduating in 1947, and worked part-time for the local and county veterinary Dr. Herb and Nola Meriweather. She always reminisced about the Friday and Saturday night dances held at Justa Club and Pleasant Valley dance halls, and dancing to the music of Max Hargens’ Band.
On October 5, 1947, Mary Ann Eschenbaum married Robert Eugene “Bud” Clodt in Miller SD, and they started farming and raising a family. Together they had four daughters (Patsy, Marilyn, Judy and Cathy). After their first child was born, Bud and Mary Ann assumed the responsibility and raised Bud’s younger brother Ronald Clodt.
On September 1, 1952 Bud and Mary Ann settled in Randsburg CA for one week, and then moved to Inyokern CA where a house was found closer to Ridgecrest and China Lake. This house was a train boxcar with a lean-to built on, kitty corner from Inyokern Park, and still exists today. In the Spring of 1959, the family relocated to their 160-acre ranch north and east of Inyokern, at the end of Clodt Road.
During the 1950’s and 1960’s, she and Bud owned a heavy equipment/asphalt construction company. While Mary Ann’s four daughters were growing up, she belonged to the Inyokern PTA, actively participated in the Inyokern School Halloween Carnivals, was a Brownie and Girl Scout Leader, supervised the Inyokern Park Wading Pool during the summer months, taught Sunday School at Grace Lutheran Church, and never missed one of her girl’s school activities or games.
Being strong in her faith, Mary Ann was raised Lutheran attending Trinity Lutheran Church in Miller SD. In Ridgecrest, she started attending Grace Lutheran Church while they were initially holding their services in the VFW building on Alvord Street.
Mary Ann was the “Cashier” for the Ridgecrest Community Hospital/ Ridgecrest Regional Hospital for 25 years. In 1988 she received a “Meritorious Award” for exceptional work and special value to the organization. In addition to her working a 40-hour week and bowling one night a week, every Sunday after attending church and on many special shooting event weekends Mary Ann cooked at the Indian Well Valley Skeet and Trap Club. She “Aunt Mary” was known for making the “Best Cheeseburgers in the Valley.” She loved playing Bingo at the Inyokern Seniors Center and would occasionally take in a lemon cake for the players to enjoy, which was always a big hit! She enjoyed playing Bunco twice a month with her friends, having a monthly brunch with lady-friends at Lugo’s, and volunteering as a greeter at the China Lake Museum twice a month. Keeping her yard clean was a passion of Mary Ann’s, and clean it was!
Mary Ann is survived by her sister JoDean Joy (Vernon) and sister-in-law Bobby Eschenbaum of Miller SD; her in-laws Rich and Geri Clodt and Ron and Sam Clodt of Inyokern CA, Dennis and Connie Clodt and Marion “Boz” Hunsaker of Ridgecrest CA; her daughters Patricia Ann Doucette (Wayne) of Ridgecrest CA, Marilyn Rae Jett (Ron) of San Antonio TX, Judith Kay Seeley (Ron) of Montrose CO, Catherine Annette Foraker of Grand Junction CO, former son-in-law and friend Edward Price (Tammy) of Clifton CO; her grandchildren Syndi Phillips (Jerry), Rhonda Faust (Brian), Sheri Jett, Brian Price, Misty Kay Harlan, Ashley Jett, Justin Price (Jessica), Travis Price, Michael Harlan; her eight great-grandchildren Layne Faust, Jillian Phillips, Averie Phillips, Novalee Perez, Olivia Soto, Asa Jett, Jaycee Jett; and Tucker; 52 nieces and nephews, countless friends, and her Grace Lutheran Church family.
She is preceded in death by her parents Henry and Lena Eschenbaum, former husband and friend Robert E “Bud” Clodt, brothers Harold Eschenbaum (Vonnie), Robert Eschenbaum (Donna) and Duane Eschenbaum, sister Ruth Harrell (Ole), son-in law Michael Foraker, grandson Joseph Jett, and great-granddaughter Piper Faust.
Funeral services: Grace Lutheran Church, August 8, 2022 (Monday), 10:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers please donate in memory of Mary Ann Clodt to Grace Lutheran Church, 502 N Norma St, Ridgecrest, or online by visiting the website www.GraceLutheran.org/give.