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Services Set for Dr. Larry Claussen, Former WSC Professor

Published: 11-19-2010 4:30 pm

Dr. Larry Claussen, former professor of applied sciences at Wayne State College, died Nov. 18, 2010, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, after a 3 1/2 year battle with multiple myeloma. He was born Aug. 12, 1944, in Luverne, Minnesota. He was 66.

Dr. Claussen earned his bachelor of science degree in industrial arts education in 1966 from Southern State Teachers College in South Dakota, master's degree in industrial technology in 1982 from University of Northern Colorado, and his Ph.D. in education in 1991 from University of Wyoming.

Dr. Claussen, who retired in 2006, began his career at Wayne State in 1995 as an assistant professor of applied science. He served as an associate professor of industrial technology at the University of Nebraska-Kearney from 1984 to 1995 and taught in public schools in South Dakota and Minnesota from 1966 to 1984.

After retiring from Wayne State, Dr. Claussen fulfilled his dream of working as a professional scout when he served as the facilities director at the Florida Sea Base, a high adventure Boy Scouts of America camp in the Florida Keys. He was a longtime scout, earning the Wood Badge, District Award of Merit, and Silver Beaver.

Wayne State colleagues remember Dr. Claussen as an expert craftsman and dedicated professional who had a special interest in working with state and national organizations on behalf of the Industrial Technology Teacher Education programs.
"He was instrumental in getting our students to attend regional and national conferences where they would compete with other college students in activities, such as quiz bowls and problem solving events,
" said Dr. John Renzelman, professor of industrial education at WSC.

"He always demonstrated a high degree of professionalism in his work in the photography, graphics and woodworking/cabinetmaking areas," Renzelman said. “It was Larry that sent me an e-mail link on how to build a recumbent bicycle that has led me to investigate and research human-powered vehicles. This is still an area of active research interest for me today. I am sorry to learn that Larry's retirement years were cut far too short and my condolences to his family."

"I first met Larry when he was teaching at Kearney and he took me and my WSC -ITE students under his wing and guided us into the professional organization for Industrial Technology Education, the Technology Education Collegiate Association (TECA), a division of our International Technology Education Association (ITEA). Larry was a great friend and colleague," said Greg Vander Weil, assistant professor of industrial education at WSC.

"He provided us housing and guidance and set us up for success," Vander Weil continued. "When Larry joined us here at WSC he brought the same giving disposition and expert knowledge to all our majors in ITE and other students who benefited from his knowledge and love of photography and graphic arts. Larry served as the national advisor for TECA and was a leader and active member of ITEA.  An expert cabinet maker, Larry provided lots of custom cabinets, guidance and top quality finish work for hundreds of pieces of furniture that will be part of his great legacy as an educator, craftsman, friend and one of the best family men I have had the pleasure to know and work with during my career. His friends, colleagues and former students thank his family for sharing such a wonderful guy with us and our thoughts and prayers are with them as Larry meets the greatest carpenter of all times."

"Larry was a great teacher, loved working with students and had a passion for wood working," said Don Buryanek, assistant professor of industrial education at WSC. "He was a true woodworking craftsman and spent much of his free time making heirlooms from pieces of lumber. He also had a strong sense of family and community. He was always updating you on his kids, grandkids and the family pets. His service and support to the local and state Boy Scouts should also be noted. His job upon retirement was with the Boy Scouts at Sea Base in the Florida Keys."

Dr. Claussen was preceded in death by his parents, Lorenz and Lucille Claussen. He is survived by his wife, Eileen; two children, Cathy and Jim; three grandchildren, Wyatt, Peyton and Keira; two siblings, Lowell and Lyle; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21, at George Boom Funeral Home, 3408 East 10th Street, Sioux Falls. A celebration of life will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Grace Lutheran Church, 3300 East 18th Street, Sioux Falls.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Boy Scouts of America or the Gift of Life Transplant House, Rochester, Minn.


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