Robert M. Claflin
1921 - 2018
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Robert M. Claflin

Indianapolis - Nov. 11, 1921 - April 27, 2018

Robert M. Claflin, 96, a longtime professor of veterinary medicine who played a key role in the founding of Purdue University's College of Veterinary Medicine, died April 27, 2018 in Indianapolis.

Claflin served in various roles at Purdue from 1952 to 1988, including head of the Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Pathology and Public Health as well as well as Associate Dean of the school. He helped select the first class in 1959 at what was then called Purdue's School of Veterinary Science and Medicine.

Claflin arrived at Purdue after graduating from Michigan State University's College of Veterinary Medicine in 1952, eventually joining a small group of academic leaders tasked with getting a veterinary school up and running in Indiana.

Born Nov. 11, 1921, Claflin's interest in veterinary medicine was rooted in his work on his family's farm in Montrose, Michigan, which he helped run in his teens after his father's sudden death. He left to serve in the Navy in World War II. Upon returning, he attended Michigan State on the G.I. Bill.

In West Lafayette, Robert and his wife Barbara were active in the Feast of the Hunter's Moon, the historic re-enactment of life in the 18th Century at Fort Ouiatenon. Upon retirement, they moved to Ludington in western Michigan where they restored one of the oldest homes in the city. Robert ultimately moved to Indianapolis after suffering health challenges in 2013.

Robert was preceded in death by his wife in 1997. He is survived by three children, Deborah (married to Eric Marshall) of Bangor, Maine; Blair (married to Beth Richardson) of Indianapolis and Kate, of Grand Rapids, Michigan; his brother Douglas, of Greenville, Michigan, and six grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held in Ludington at 11 a.m. May 26 at Community Church, 109 N. Harrison. Beacon Cremation and Funeral Service is handling arrangements. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Ludington Rotary Club's STRIVE mentoring and scholarship program, P.O. Box 149, Ludington, Michigan 49431.

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Published in Journal & Courier on May 13, 2018.
Memorial service
11:00 AM
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Beacon Cremation & Funeral Service - White Lake Chapel
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4 entries
May 25, 2018
Kay Boyd
May 16, 2018
My condolences and love to Deborah, Blair and Kate. I talked with Bob a few years ago and he was as energetic as ever and still recognized my name. I had many good times with your Mom and Dad at Purdue and always enjoyed their company. So sorry for your loss.
Mary Olander
May 13, 2018
I'm sad to hear of Dr. Claflin's passing. I knew him at Purdue for many years, and then had the opportunity to stop by on a sailboat and visit him in Ludington a couple of times. He was a good friend.
Christine Hanika Holland
DVM 1973, PhD 1984, Purdue Vet Med
Christine Hanika Holland
May 10, 2018
To the Family of Mr. Robert M. Claflin,

The membership of American Legion Post #234 in Hart, Michigan, would like to share our deepest sympathy with your family on your loss. Mr. Claflins service to our country during World War II in what has come to be known as The Greatest Generation makes him a hero as far as were concerned and certainly youre very proud of him, too. We want you to know that his brothers and sisters in arms now share in your grief.

Warmest Regards and God bless you all.

Mark R. Parrish, Commander
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