Walter A. Cleven

Walter A. Cleven
Former Chelmsford Town Meeting Rep.,
active in the community, WWll Vet; 86

CHELMSFORD -- Walter A. "Walt" Cleven, 86, a longtime resident of Chelmsford, died at home, September 4, 2012, surrounded by his family, after courageously facing his final illness.

He is survived by his loving wife and companion of 63 years, Carol (Chapman) Cleven; their son, Kern, Seattle WA; their son, Jeffrey, his wife Mary, and their son, Stone, Chelmsford MA; his sister, Alice McDowell Bresnahan of LaGrange, IL; Lois Chapman, wife of his late brother-in-law, Frank W. Chapman, of Hilton Head, SC; his sister-in-law, Eileen Buss and her husband, Herbert of Lincoln, NE; Betsy Chapman of Kingwood, Texas, wife of his late brother-in-law, Ned E. Chapman; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his brother, Harvey and his wife, LaVergne, his brother, Robert and his wife, Nanceè, and two brothers-in-law, Robert McDowell and Edward Bresnahan.

Walter was born March 9th, 1926, the son of Peter and Amanda (Lundstrom) Cleven in Chicago, IL, where he attended public schools and graduated from Lane Technical High School. At age 17 in 1944, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, attended Navy Radio Technician Schools and served in the Pacific in 1945-46 on the USS Wasatch, AGC-9, and the USS Blue Ridge, AGC-2. On board the USS Wasatch he participated in the amphibious landing of Australian troops in Balikpapan, Borneo on July 1, 1945, some six weeks before the end of War II.

After the War he attended the University of Illinois, where he and Carol met and were married on June 5th, 1949. He received his BS in 1950 and an MA in1952, and as a Research Assistant pursued graduate work towards a PhD in clinical psychology until 1956. Their first son, Kern, was born in Champaign-Urbana in 1955.

Carol and Walt moved to Santa Monica, CA in 1956 where he joined the RAND Corporation. Their second son, Jeffrey, was born in Los Angeles in 1957. In 1958 the family moved to East Lansing, MI, where he served as an Assistant Registrar at Michigan State University. In 1959, the family relocated to Chelmsford where he began his work with the MITRE Corporation in Bedford, MA. During his 32 year career at MITRE, he worked on a variety of Air Force computer radar, command and control, and communication projects. His work included service as a MITRE Project Leader on the Strategic Air Command Control System and the PAVE PAWS Radar System. He retired from MITRE in 1991.

Walt was a registered Psychologist in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Walt's community service included many years of volunteer work at the Lowell YWCA's Camp Weetamoo in Westford, and as a Trustee of the Lowell YWCA. He served as Treasurer and Trustee of the Central Congregational Church in Chelmsford, and was a long-time member of the League of Women Voters of Chelmsford, serving on its Steering Committee. He was an elected Chelmsford Town Meeting Representative, and served six years as a member of the Chelmsford Council on Aging. His public service also included support of his wife, Carol in her elections to the Chelmsford School Committee and as State Representative, and he shared her work and interest in several charitable organizations, notably The Paul Center in Chelmsford.

He found great joy in his family, service to his country and community, and a wide variety of personal interests. These included tinkering with computers and other electronics, pursuing assorted carpentry and auto repair projects, photography, reading, boating, fishing, and tending to his roses.

The family would also like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff at Lowell General Hospital, and the nurses and staff of the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Lowell for the kindness, care, and attention they provided during Walter's last weeks.

CLEVEN -- Walter A. Visitation will be held at the BLAKE FUNERAL HOME, 24 Worthen Street, CHELMSFORD, on Wednesday from 12 until 1 PM followed by a memorial service at 1 o'clock at the funeral home. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Walt's name to The Paul Center, an organization dedicated to assisting individuals with disabilities in developing their maximum potential and independence, 39 Concord Rd., Chelmsford, MA 01824. Funeral Director, Paul A. Hardy, Jr. For online condolences and directions, visit BLAKEFUNERALHOME.COM.


Published in Lowell Sun on Sept. 9, 2012