Born in Dighton, Kansas on September 25, 1928, Cleta was a child of the depression. Though her father worked for the railroad, the family was quite poor. She went through public schools in Dighton and joined the sisterhood, receiving her education degree at Marymount College while a nun. After 12 years, she left the order and joined the DoDDS schools in 1966, being assigned to Okinawa, Japan.
Cleta remained in Okinawa for several years before being transferred to Ansbach Elementary School in Germany. During her years there she enjoyed traveling in Europe. Upon leaving DoDDS she taught on the Zuni Reservation in New Mexico, eventually becoming vice principal. Cleta then moved to Albuquerque and worked for the Social Security Administration until her retirement in 1999.
Cleta fought a seven year battle with cancer and passed away June 9, 2000.
Prepared by Tina Calo