Susan C. Clerf-Hjelm

June 2, 1952 ~ January 2, 2023 (age 70) 70 Years Old


Susan Carol Clerf-Hjelm, 70, of Ellensburg, passed away unexpectedly in her sleep on Monday, January 2, 2023.  The family will host a graveside service in her honor at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 2, 2023 at Holy Cross Cemetery in Ellensburg.  A reception will follow the graveside at the home of Pat & Linda Clerf.

Susan was born on June 2, 1952 in Ellensburg, Washington to Francis “Bud” & Jeanne Marie Clerf.  She graduated from Ellensburg High School in 1970 and later attended Pacific Coast Equestrian Research Farm for the training and riding of horses.  Her first love was horses and she began riding at age three.

Susan was married to Lawrence “Buz” Hjelm for 27 years before he passed away.  For many seasons, they trained racehorses together in the southwest, but always returned to the Kittitas Valley where she lived most of her 70 years, working for various local businesses and farming.  She was very well known and respected by generations of locals.

Susan is survived by her stepdaughters Jeannie Hjelm Peterson and Janet Hjelm Rogers and their extended families.  She is also survived by her siblings James (Ethel) Clerf, Adrianne (Rodney) Mace, Patrick (Linda) Clerf, Michael (Cheryl) Clerf and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.  She was preceded in death by her husband Buz Hjelm, her parents, and her youngest brother, Walter Louis Clerf.

Susan will be greatly missed by her playmates Cayson and Ella Quinn, her furry bed partner, Fearless, and her very special Tav lunch ladies.  Save her a seat, she will be there in spirit.

“Sleep tight, Susan.”

Memorial contributions in Susan’s honor are suggested to the Spirit Therapeutic Riding Center, PO Box 953, Ellensburg, WA 98926 or online at

Arrangements have been entrusted to Johnston & Williams Funeral Home and Crematory of Ellensburg.  Online condolences may be left at


Graveside Service
June 2, 2023

11:00 AM
Holy Cross Cemetery
Dry Creek Road
Ellensburg, WA 98926


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