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Clasen, Professor Robert E. "Bob"

MADISON—Bob Clasen, born Feb 27, 1934, left his time on earth March 17, 2018. He was born to Albert and Ruth Clasen in South Milwaukee. He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Joy (Chuck); a brother, Albert; and his brothers-in-law, David and Les. He is survived by his loving wife, Donna Rae; and devoted son, Douglas. He will be remembered by his brothers, Lee (Nancy) and Don (Susan); his sisters, Rae and Mary Ruth; his sister-in-law, Jean; along with family and friends from the University, the neighborhood and extensive world travel.

He attained his Ph.D. from UW-Madison and started his professional life teaching in the Milwaukee schools. He later joined the Ford Foundation where he worked in Venezuela and Spain, serving as a consultant and framer of curriculum.

Bob was a visionary. He introduced Head Start Schools to Madison, believing in the impact they might have preparing children of more limited resources for future schooling. One of his beloved projects was College For Kids providing students early introductions to professors and college opportunities. Working with Professor Philip Lambert, they developed a program existing for over 25 years. With the help of a group of Dane County teachers and educators, Bob also helped create the Dane County Haiku Project to introduce fourth graders to Haiku poetry.

Bob was a musician, writer of music and poetry. As he liked to say, “I kept my country free with my French Horn in the Army band in Tokyo, Japan.” When asked if he would develop a youth choir for camp youth, his reaction was, “No, no. I’ve never even been in a choir.” The choir was a winner, and on a flatbed truck the group helped all celebrate holidays, and special events.

Bob impacted many students, colleagues and friends. He leaves a void that will affect all who knew and loved him.

A visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, March 23, 2018, at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison. A Funeral Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at BETHEL LUTHERAN CHURCH, 312 Wisconsin Ave., Madison, with Pastor John Swanson presiding. A visitation will also be held from 10 a.m. until the time of service at church on Saturday. Burial will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery.

Please share your memories at

Cress Funeral and Cremation Service

3610 Speedway Road, Madison

(608) 238-3434

Cress Funeral and Cremation Service

3610 Speedway Road, Madison

(608) 238-3434

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