Written by Darla Downs
Joseph Orton Klasna, 93, of Sidney, died Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Billings.
He was born Aug. 20, 1920, to Joe and Helen (Goss) Klasna on the family homestead northeast of Richey. He attended schools in rural Richland County and Poplar — wherever there were relatives to live with during the school year — and graduated from Sidney High School in 1938. He attended Montana College in Bozeman on a plowing scholarship.
He played for many local dances, either the accordion or on the drums, and it was at one of these dances that he met a dark-haired, dark-eyed beauty playing the piano. They played many dances together before starting their own "band" when he married Leanora Petrik June 1, 1944. They made beautiful music for 52 years until her death in 2006.
While in school, he was involved in 4-H and FFA. For a number of years, he drove school bus for the Lambert School and, at the time, had the longest route in Montana. He held positions on the MidRivers Telephone board and Pella Lutheran Church council.
He moved to Laurel Health and Rehabilitation Center in July 2013.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Leanora; and twin brothers, Richard and Roger.
He is survived by his sons, Jonathan Klasna of Laurel and Timothy Klasna of the family farm; a brother, Kenneth Klasna of Miles City; five grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held Friday, Feb. 14, at Pella Lutheran Church. Interment was at Sidney Cemetery.