Cover photo for Clara Maxine Fischer Reed's Obituary
Clara Maxine Fischer Reed Profile Photo
1925 Clara 2024

Clara Maxine Fischer Reed

December 25, 1925 — June 2, 2024

Clara Maxine Fischer Reed, has a long history of service to the Harlowton community, but it all began back in Illinois, She was born on Christmas Day, 1925 in Arcola, Illinois. Clara Cox always dreamed of becoming a "Cowboy's Sweetheart" and when the song came out in 1935, this little girl would sit on the corral fence and sing, and it became one of her favorite songs. 

World War II was upon the country and many young ladies joined the USO (United Services Organization), which supplied members of the armed forces with supplies, recreation, spiritual aid and several other services. Clara Cox was a USO gal and was at a dance, when she met her "Cowboy Sweetheart," an Airman from Montana, named Victor Fischer. It was love at first sight and they were married in 1945. Vic always teased her about taking her out of the cornfields of Illinois, putting shoes on her and bringing her to Montana.

Clara and Victor arrived in Melville, MT to start their family and their business. Victor was born and raised on a ranch just northeast of Melville, so he knew the people and the land. They started their family with a boy named Ronald and he was followed by 4 sisters: Maxine, Marlene, Mary and Madonna.

Vic had an electrical and plumbing business, called "Fischer's Service". Vic was a Master Electrician and a Master Plumber and they later moved the family and the business to Harlowton. Clara could be found helping Vic with several of his jobs around the country. She loved visiting and meeting people,

 Clara and Vic built and owned the Corral Motel for over 20 years before selling it. Clara loved all the people who stayed at the motel and the family always thought she should write a book about some of the unusual happenings of a motel owner. There was never a stranger while they owned the motel. Clara shared the motel and meals, much as she did her home, with people who became stranded by snowstorms or maybe just down on their luck. 

Their 5 children all graduated from Harlowton High School and were involved in several activities and Clara and Vic supported everything they were in. Clara was a Rainbow Mother Advisor, Girl Scout Leader, Cub Scout Mother, and Sunday school teacher. She cooked many a prom dinner and helped with Smorgasbords to help raise money for band uniforms and new instruments, youth groups, and general aid.

 One of Clara's proudest moments was when she was honored by the American Legion Auxiliary for being a member since 1957. Clara was a proud American and it all started back when she volunteered at the USO.

 Clara has never stood still; she has always been actively involved in the community. She was a member of Eastern Star, Women's Club, the American Fork Club, the Federated Church and the Harlowton Kiwanis Club. Traveling was her passion and her many photo albums prove it!

When Vic and Clara sold the Corral Motel, they decided that Harlowton needed a museum, and they donated the Times Building and founded the Upper Musselshell Historical Society. Vic never got to see the museum completed, but Clara dug in and she completed their dream and the museum opened in 1984, after many fundraising events.  

In 1990, Clara married Jean Reed, a WWII Veteran. They spent 14 years together traveling between Harlowton, MT and Powell, WY (his home) and enjoyed the winters in Arizona.  

Clara, at 98 years young, arrived in Heaven on June 2, 2024. Her family and her faith were the most important things in her life. She enjoyed visiting with people, sewing and crafts, trips to the mountains, (especially at Christmas time to get her tree), birds and of course, "watching the deer and the antelope play"!  Clara you were definitely a "COWBOY'S SWEETHEART", and you definitely made a difference in this community, so Thank You for choosing Harlowton as your HOME!  

She is preceded in death by her parents, Ralph & Goldie Cox, her husband-Victor Fischer, husband-Jean Reed, and brothers: Bill, Clifford, Vernon Leroy, Ralph Junior. Sisters: Betty, Annetta and Jeanetta. She is survived by her children: Ronald & Esther Fischer, Maxine (Fischer) & Lee  Koss, Marlene (Fischer) & Tom Robertson, Mary (Fischer) & Sam Walter, and Madonna (Fischer)  & Scott Bishop. She has 13 Grandchildren: Derek, Dallas, Ellee, Alleena, Sebrina, Karena, Krystal, Kelsey, Terry, Tony, Cathy, Gretchen, and Victoria, several Nieces, Nephews and Great-Grandchildren. Also survived by Jean Reed's two daughters Gail Schenck (Jeb) and Leesa   Kuhlmann (Kurt), their children and grandchildren.

Services will be held on June 8th at 11 AM at the Harlowton Cemetery followed by a  Celebration of Life at the Kiwanis Youth Center  

In lieu of flowers, we ask that you make a donation to the Harlowton Kiwanis Club, P.O. Box 705, Harlowton, MT 59036, or a charity of your choice.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Perkins Funeral Home. Condolences for the family may be posted online at
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Clara Maxine Fischer Reed, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Harlowton City Cemetery

Airport Road, Harlowton, MT 59036

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Saturday, June 8, 2024

Starts at 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

Please join the family for a reception following the service.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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