Clayton Ronald Houff

September 10, 1945 ~ May 29, 2019 (age 73)

Clayton Houff, of Dawson, died Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at the Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar at the age of 73.

Memorial services will be held Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 11:00 AM at Borgund Lutheran Church in rural Madison with Rev. Kathleen Soldwisch officiating.

Visitation will be held Monday, June 3, 2019 from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM at Hanson & Dahl Funeral Home in Dawson with a prayer service starting at 7:00 PM.  Visitation will continue one hour prior to services at the church on Tuesday.

Clayton Ronald Houff was born September 10, 1945 in Austin, Minnesota to Ronald Joseph and Ruth Marie (Griese) Houff. He died May 29, 2019 at the age of 73. He graduated from Austin High School in 1963 and was united in marriage to Mary Louk in 1965. To this union two children were born. He attended Augsburg College and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Sociology in 1969, in 1986 he earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Human Services from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio and attained an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in 2006. He was training to become a clinical hypnosis therapist through the Minnesota Society of Clinical Hypnosis. He was a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Master Addiction Counselor.   He was an Adjunct Program Instructor at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Graduate School. He recently was instrumental in getting a license requirement changed for the South Dakota Board for Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists.

He developed and managed adolescent treatment programs in Waseca, MN, Winnebago, MN, Cleveland, OH, Sisseton, SD, Bemidji, MN and Marshall, MN, and supervised adolescent treatment centers in Wernsville, PA, Sioux City, IA, and Johnston, IA. He was the owner and CEO for chemical dependency programs in Marshalltown, IA, and Marshall, MN and was a Corrections Program Director at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Faribault, MN. He came out of retirement four times to provide administrative and clinical consultation and mental health services for the Minnesota Department of Human Services in Willmar, began a private practice as a therapist in his home and as a Psychotherapist for Woodland Centers in Ortonville, MN.

He was a proud member of AA and was in recovery for 41 years. He mentored many people in their recovery with addiction. He had an eye for style and was always well dressed. Clayton’s strong faith helped him through difficulties and losses he endured. He fought a courageous battle with cancer and died surrounded by his family. He was a dedicated husband, father and grandfather and above all he valued time spent with his family, especially his grandchildren and would always be their biggest fan. He was known for his “Clayton isms” such as pulling quarters from his grandchildren’s ears, making ice cream floats, quacking like a duck to the youngest children, telling jokes and singing silly jingles to them. He enjoyed telling stories and jokes, golfing, target shooting, hunting, traveling, time spent on the farm with his dogs, the Minnesota Gophers and watching various sporting events.

In 1999 Clayton married Karen (Smestad) Prestholdt. Preceding him in death was his son, Clayton Ronald Houff, Jr. in 2012 and his parents, Ronald and Ruth Houff. He is survived by his wife, Karen, daughter Sarah (Ben) Hoese, Minneapolis, grandson, Theo Gilbertson, Minneapolis, sister, Kathryn (Bob) Houff Anderson, Austin, stepchildren Kris Prestholdt (Paul) Johnshoy, Dawson, Brian (Shelly) Prestholdt, Woodbury, MN and Robb (Becky) Prestholdt, Maple Grove, and step grandchildren Kaitlin Johnshoy, Braden, Garett, Brielle, Allie, Adelyn, Calvin, Talia Prestholdt and many friends and family.

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