Cover photo for Howard Clerf's Obituary
Howard Clerf Profile Photo
1928 Howard 2018

Howard Clerf

August 21, 1928 — October 31, 2018

Howard Frank Clerf, 90, lifetime resident of Kittitas, passed away peacefully at his home on October 31, 2018. A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date.

Howard was born on August 21, 1928 in Ellensburg, the youngest of three children born to John G. & Ella (Richardson) Clerf. He grew up in Kittitas and attended school there, graduating from Kittitas High School in 1946. He attended Washington State College (now Washington State University) in Pullman. Howard married Vivian (Hansen) Alder in 1958 and became a father to Vivian's two sons, Stephen and Timothy, and he and Vivian had a third son together, Howard John. Howard's main passion in life was flying and after returning to Kittitas from Pullman, he purchased Chambers Aviation and renamed it Midstate Aviation. He sold Midstate Aviation to Vern and Opal Mitchell in 1961 and founded Clerf Equipment in downtown Kittitas. In 1998, after selling the dealership to his son Howard John, he retired from the farm equipment business and went on to do some part-time farming and heavy equipment operating. He and Vivian spent time traveling around the world, bringing back many souvenirs. He was also a very social person and thoroughly enjoyed the time he spent with his family and friends.

Howard is survived by his sons, Stephen (Yvonne) Alder, Timothy (Charlene) Alder and Howard John (Leyni) Clerf; grandchildren Megan (Travis) Wilson, Daniel Alder, Jamie (DJ) Thomas, Kevin (Amy) Alder, Nathan (Abby) Alder, Sharron Alder-Bart, Tyler Clerf and Taryn Clerf as well as great-grandchildren Madison, Payton, Treyden, Kaden, Jenner, Taylor, Allison, Annie and Joey; and great-great grandfather to Corbin. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Vivian, his brother John, and sister Helen. Memorial contributions in Howard's honor are suggested to Hospice Friends, 302 S. Main Street, Ellensburg. Steward & Williams Funeral Home and Crematory has been entrusted with caring for Howard's family. Online condolences may be left at

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