Greta Mary Clausen, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and formerly of Williston, North Dakota, passed away on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at the age of 47 in Palo Alto, California.
Greta was born in Williston on February 12, 1972 to Nels and Tracy Anderson (Hoffman). She was adopted by Charles Clausen after he married Tracy, and she was delighted to have this new family. She spent her youth pursuing athletics and music. Notable activities included: swim team where she excelled at the butterfly stroke, participation in high school & college dance troupe, playing clarinet, and cello with the Williston Strings. Greta graduated from Williston High School in 1990. She attended universities in New Mexico, California, and North Carolina, before obtaining her degree in culinary management from Baltimore International College, which included the opportunity to do an externship in the kitchen of the historic Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs.
Greta had a lifelong interest in government & politics. She was passionate about a number of social causes, and was a relentless optimist in support of them. When she was 18, she was elected delegate to the state Democratic convention, which was a rare accomplishment for someone so young.
This was followed by a nomination to attend West Point Military Academy, and an internship in Washington, D.C. with U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan.
Greta gained her appreciation for fine food from her father Charles. Growing up in a house full of delicious flavors and savory smells led her to working in the restaurant world for 20 years. Over that time, she became a chef, a “cheese whiz” (Fromagier) and the manager of several fine dining restaurants.
Greta loved to travel, and spent time in Costa Rica, Germany, Italy & Sweden. She also lived in 6 states, eventually calling Colorado home. She took tremendous joy in being an aunt and diligently followed the details of the lives of her nieces and nephews, never forgetting a birthday or holiday. Her walls were covered with photos of her younger relatives, showing they were never far from her mind.
A connoisseur of true crime, Greta could speak in great detail about the more infamous people of our time, and surely knew how to successfully hide a body!
Greta met her soulmate, Bruce, at age 7 when he dared her to eat dirt while playing in the neighborhood.
They graduated high school together and went their separate ways, until they reconnected at their 20-year class reunion. They spent the next 10 years laughing, traveling and just enjoying each other’s company and were united in marriage on September 15th 2018. Bruce and Greta shared a wicked sense of humor and he will dearly miss Greta, whom he affectionately referred to as “sandwich maker.” Bruce will also miss Greta’s daily lunch notes.
Greta was a fighter. After battling two rare and progressive diseases for ten years, she was approved for a triple organ transplant at Stanford University. She spent her final months in the care of professionals who were inspired and motivated by her bravery, strength and positivity in face of such overwhelming challenges. She was bolstered by the kindness and dedication of the staff at Stanford as well as the nurses at the University of Colorado Hospital, aka “the Clausen crew.” Greta spent her last weeks in the company of her dear friend Rob Roth, who visited her daily.
Greta was preceded in death by her father Charles. She is survived by her husband Bruce, her mother Tracy, her brothers Luke (Mylinda), Matthew, Paul & Weston (Megan), her sister Elsa (Max), and Nels Anderson. Also surviving her are Bruce’s mother Luann Ward, father OB Gunderson, sisters Lori Gunderson & Lisa Slotsve (Steve), as well as a memorable number of aunts, uncles, cousins, great-nieces and a great-nephew. Her surviving nieces and nephews are Reese (Miranda), Paige, Kai, Natasha, Zane, Ashton, Grace, Addison, Abigail, Emerson and Charles. She left an indelible mark on all the lives she touched, and will be dearly missed by all who knew her.
A memorial service for Greta will be held at the Hillside Community Center in Colorado Springs on Saturday, October 19th at 1:00pm. Lunch will be served.