Clayton Allen Hovda Major General Retired

Major General Clayton Allen Hovda (Minnesota Army National Guard retired) was born March 5, 1935, in Montevideo, Minnesota, and died on June 19, 2021 at North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale.

Clayton grew up on a farm in Maynard, Minnesota. He received his BS from Luther College, his MS from the University of Minnesota, and his PhD from the University of Iowa. He began teaching choral music in St. James and at Duluth Central High School. His career turned to school administration, and he served the communities of Cosmos, Pine Island, Alexandria, Red Wing and Lake City as superintendent of schools, retiring in 1997.

Clayton joined the Minnesota Army National Guard in 1957. He served in both the artillery and infantry over his career and was ultimately promoted to Major General, serving as the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division Commander from 1992 until he retired in 1995. Among his many awards, he received the Army Distinguished Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and Army Commendation Medal.

Clayton married Judith Anne Erickson in St. James on August 6, 1960. They met when he was her teacher at St. James High School, but of course they did not date until he looked her up after her sophomore year at Oberlin College, when he was in graduate school.

He was beloved by his family. Clayton was kind, gentle and funny and had a great laugh. He made the best chocolate chip cookies, often with his grandchildren from the time they were little. He loved to walk for exercise, especially around little Lake Camelot near his home in Plymouth, and most days made his goal of 4-5 miles.

Clayton and Judy traveled the world, driving around Europe cruising the rivers of France and Germany, cruising the Mediterranean and Caribbean, visiting China and Japan, and for almost 20 years, returning to Hawaii, Clayton’s favorite place outside of home. For many years, they enjoyed their season tickets to the Minnesota Orchestra, the Guthrie Theater, and the Minnesota Opera, driving to concerts and plays from wherever they lived in outstate Minnesota. We will miss him beyond words.

Clayton was preceded in death by his parents, Olaf and Gladys Hovda; his sister, Roma Solberg. He is survived by his wife of more than 60 years, Judy; his children, David (Tracy) Hovda and Kari (Scott) Schlachter; grandchildren, Alison (John) Anthony, Scott and Matthew Hovda, Sam, Sydney and Dylan (Lizzie) Schlachter; brother, David (Ann) Hovda.

Memorial service 1 PM, Monday, July 12 at St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church, 17205 Cty. Rd. 6, Plymouth. A livestream of Clayton’s service will be available at Private interment Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Visitation 2-4 PM, Sunday, July 11 at Gearty-Delmore Funeral Chapel of Plymouth, 15800 37th Ave. N., Plymouth and one hour prior to the service at the church.

Memorials are preferred to the Minnesota Orchestra, Trillium Woods Scholarship fund or to the donor’s preference.

Gearty-Delmore 763-553-1411             

Related Topics: OBITS