Milo Dean Clemmensen (1927 - 2017)

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The biggest heart in the world stopped beating on January 24th 2017. Milo Dean Clemmensen passed away at age 89. He was born on July 15th 1927 to Fred and Emelia (Steffensen) Clemmensen. His brothers and sisters included Emaline, Clarice, Marvin, Imo, Gladys, Alma, Delma, Lee, Glen, Darlene, and Nadine. He was baptized and confirmed at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church.  He graduated from Audubon High School with the Class of 1945 and was Class President his Junior and Senior years as well as Homecoming King with Dorothy Groteluschen as Queen. He played football and basketball and enjoyed sports a great deal. Milo worked for John Bruun at the produce and hatchery. It was there that he met the love of his life, Dolores Bruun. They were married in Our Saviour's Lutheran Church on July 15th 1949 with his life-long friend Paul Rogers as Best Man and were married for 64 years. They had four children, Ross (Sun City Ariz.), Rex (Iowa City), Sheri (Iowa City), and Kirk (La Jolla Calif). Milo later worked at the Chamber of Commerce, Audubon State Bank, and Kessler Funeral Home.
Preceding Milo in death were his wife Dolores, his siblings Emaline, Clarice, Marvin, Imo, Gladys, Alma, Delma, Lee, and Glen. Surviving him are Darlene and Nadine as well as his children.
Milo loved his home town of Audubon and Audubon loved him back. He was a member of Our Saviour's Lutheran Church. He volunteered for the fire department and became Fire Chief. He later turned over the Fire Chief duties to his good friend Cliff Petersen. Being a firefighter was one of Milo's proudest accomplishments. In the flood of 1958, Milo was at the Blue Grass Creek and could see residents clinging to trees in the rushing water. He asked his fellow firefighters to tie a rope around him and he jumped in to try to save the people in the trees. After a few seconds, the firefighters pulled him back and asked "why didn't you tell us that you can't swim?" But that was Milo. He always wanted to help others. As he told his kids "what good are you if you can't help your fellow man?" He also established, along with Leo Kessler and Dr. Mercellis, the first ambulance service in Audubon County. It was just a panel van with a few supplies but it was a start. He also made sure that Jimmy Blake had a seat in a fire truck during parades. During his time as a fireman, he was asked to help with security when Khrushchev visited Iowa. Milo recalled that "those Russians sure could drink."  Later in life, Milo had a scanner and a list of people to call every time the whistle blew. He was immensely proud of the Audubon Fire Department and supported them all his life.
Milo was outgoing. People would light up when he approached. He was often carrying a joke to tell. He absolutely loved interacting with people. All his kids needed to do was introduce themselves as Milo and Dolores's kid and people would smile.
Milo had incredible willpower. He quit smoking cold turkey. Dolores said "I have not seen you smoking lately." His response was "Nope, quit." He never smoked again. When he decided that his drinking might be a problem he quit cold turkey for over twenty years.
Milo was an avid Iowa Hawkeye fan and was named Hawk of the Year in 1997. He went to virtually every home football game until his body just couldn't do it anymore. The people sitting around him called him Coach. There was a group of Hawkeye fans accompanying him and that tradition continues to this day. The kids that Milo introduced to Iowa football games still go today as adults. And they still park in the spot Milo reserved so many years ago.
Milo was an avid golfer. He started as a caddy at Audubon Golf and Country Club (for 12 cents a round) and was a member for about 67 years. When he could no longer physically golf, he still went to the course to play cards and he had dreams about golfing with friends virtually every night.
All of these things primarily describe what Milo did but what is more important is the kind of person he was. He was kind, funny, smart, generous, and genuinely interested in others. He had a beautiful singing voice and would often sing Happy Birthday over the phone to friends. He lived his life with decency, integrity, and love. And he loved with all his heart. He is now with Dolores again, and the world is a better place because those two people were here.
Funeral services were conducted by Pastor Doug Opp on Monday morning, Jan. 30, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Audubon. Interment was in the Arlington Heights Cemetery in Audubon. The honorary casket bearers were Paul Rogers, Larry Petersen, Harold Rustvold, Dale Edwards, Dean Kiger, Lawrence Handlos, Alan Smalley, and Jay Dee Mendenhall. The casket bearers were Chip Hansen, Dan Lowe, Cliff Petersen, Charles Kauffman, Clark "Sam" Kauffman, and Steve Stetzel.
Funeral Home
Kessler Funeral Home
515 S Division St
Audubon, IA 50025
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Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Feb. 3 to Feb. 10, 2017
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