Claudia Boddy passed away Friday, March 4, 2022, at her home in Bozeman, Montana. She was a wife, mother, grandmother, costume designer, teacher, Francophile, and lover of the arts, theatre, and travel.
Claudia was a force. She was passionate, creative, and some might have even said she was opinionated at times. She loved to travel, and she spoke French like it was her first language. Claudia was born in Long Island, New York to Nadia and Edward R Duer, Jr., but spent much of her youth living abroad, including in Rome, Tangier, and London as well as Texas and Utah. At a young age, she fell in love with ballet 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 at the Pioneer Theater Company in Salt Lake City, including Charlotte’s Web and Peter Pan. When her husband, Jim, accepted a work transfer to Illinois in 1985, Claudia jumped at the opportunity to become part of the Chicago theater scene. She spent the next 13 years working as a freelance designer, designing costumes for several world premiere productions, including Marvin’s Room, which took her to the Hartford Stage in Connecticut and Playwrights Horizon in New York. She worked with amazing directors, actors, and playwrights, and all her experiences led her to a deep love of theater.
In 1998 Claudia and Jim moved to Bozeman, Montana. Claudia spent several years teaching French at Chief Joseph Middle School. During that 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 started designing costumes year-round for Montana Shakespeare in the Parks and, later, productions at The Ellen. She loved what she did, she loved the people she worked with, and she loved Bozeman.
Claudia was also strong. She fought cancer and kept it at bay for over 15 years. She has two grandsons, Oliver and Eli, who will never forget the amazing Pennywise and Fantastic Mr. Fox costumes she made for them. Her daughter Céline will always remember growing up in the backstage of theaters and how that experience inspired her to become an artist. Her son Nick will always apply her words of wisdom to every endeavor and never forget that she was his biggest fan and sometimes his fiercest protector. And Jim, her husband of 44 years, will miss her terribly every day, but will remember all the amazing adventures they had together.
There will be a celebration of Claudia’s life in Bozeman, Montana on August 6, 2022. In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to either Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, your favorite local arts organization or cancer research.
Arrangments are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com [dokkennelson.com]