Obituary: Claudia Boddy

Claudia Boddy died on Friday, March 4, 2022 at her home in Bozeman, Montana. She was a wife, mother, grandmother, costume designer, teacher, Francophile and lover of art, theater and travel.

Claudia was a stunner. She was passionate, creative and some might even have said that she was bossy at times. She loved to travel and spoke French as if it were her native language. Claudia was born in Long Island, New York to Nadia and Edward R. Duer, Jr., but spent much of her youth abroad, including in Rome, Tangier and London, as well as Texas and Utah. She fell in love with ballet at a young age, but eventually went to the University of Utah to study costume design. While working on her master’s degree, she designed whimsical costumes for several children’s productions by the Pioneer Theater Company in Salt Lake City, including Charlotte’s Web and Peter Pan. When her husband Jim accepted a job transfer to Illinois in 1985, Claudia jumped at the opportunity to become part of the Chicago theater scene. For the next 13 years she worked as a freelance designer, designing costumes for several world premieres including Marvin’s Room, which took her to the Hartford Stage in Connecticut and Playwright’s Horizon in New York. She has worked with great directors, actors and playwrights and all of her experiences led her to a deep love for theatre.

In 1998, Claudia and Jim moved to Bozeman, Montana. Claudia taught French at Chief Joseph Middle School for several years. During this time she started a three-country student trip with the Spanish and German teachers. She believed that travel was very important and loved exposing her students to different cultures and languages. But she missed the theater. She eventually retired from teaching and began designing costumes for Montana Shakespeare in the Parks and later productions at The Ellen throughout the year. She loved what she did, she loved the people she worked with, and she loved Bozeman.

Claudia was strong too. She battled cancer and kept it at bay for over 15 years. She has two grandchildren, Oliver and Eli, who will never forget the fantastic Pennywise and Fantastic Mr. Fox costumes that she made for them. Her daughter Céline will always remember growing up behind the scenes of the theaters and how that experience inspired her to become an artist. Her son Nick will apply her words of wisdom to any endeavor and will never forget that she was his number one fan and at times his fiercest protector. And Jim, her husband of 44 years, will miss her terribly each day but will remember all the amazing adventures they had together.

On August 6, 2022, Claudia’s life will be celebrated in Bozeman, Montana. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, your favorite local arts organization, or cancer research.

The arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. []

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