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. www.beaconfh.com