Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Claire Best, 85

UPDATE: Memorial services for Claire Best will be held Saturday, July 8, 2023 at the Cardwell Community Church at 2:30 PM. Cookies and coffee will follow.

Claire Best passed away on January 4, 2023, at the Open Arms Eldercare facility in Belgrade, Montana, where she had lived for the past three years.

Claire Best was born in Whitehall Montana, on June 17, 1937, to J. Peter and Helen (Reel) Jackson. She grew up in Pony, MT, and on the Jackson Ranch in Norris, MT with her siblings Bette (Jackson) Ballbach, Barb (Jackson) Malone, and Steve Jackson. They survive her. She graduated from Harrison Highschool in 1955.

While in Nurses Training at Montana State University, she met and married Bob Best of Butte, MT who was a Serviceman in the U.S. Army.

She is survived by three daughters, Regina (Phillip) Briceno, Belgrade, MT, Heather (Randy) Barnes, Hamilton, Ont., Canada, and Meredith (Rob) Goertz, Strathmore, Alb. Canada. She will also be missed by ten grandchildren, several great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

Claire's life was dedicated to serving others and her various jobs throughout her life reflected her love for people. She was a care attendant at Boulder River School and Hospital for Impaired Children, a cook at Millar Memorial Bible College in Pambrun, Sask. Canada, a summer cook at Indiana University's Geological Field Station in Cardwell MT, a caregiver at Madison Valley Manor in Ennis, MT, a live in Home Care Attendant for seniors in Spokane, WA., and a Senior Companion in Whitehall, MT.

Her greatest joy was being with people whether it was with family, her friends at the Senior Center in Whitehall, or her friends at Church. She loved traveling around the globe and meeting new friends which gave her ample material for her stories and humor. She loved to laugh and make others laugh.

A memorial service is being planned for a later date because of the long distances her friends and loved ones have to travel. For more information, you can contact Gina Best Briceno at

Claire also enjoyed writing encouraging notes to those not able to attend the Cardwell Community Church. Donations in her name can be made to the Cardwell Community Church to continue this ministry. Please send to Cardwell Community Church, 289 McKeown Lane, Cardwell, MT 59721.


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