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Bruce Buckler Claflin

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Memories & Candles

“With you all in spirit ! ”
1 of 4 | Posted by: Dragana

“We will always cherish the many joyful memories that three generations of our families have had with Bruce and our hearts are with you. ”
2 of 4 | Posted by: Raymond Claflin III - Leominster, MA

“Jean, Chip, Lynne and Ginger i am sorry for your loss. He will truly be missed. ”
3 of 4 | Posted by: Charles Dubois - North Berwick, ME

“Aunt Jean, Lynne, Ginger and Chip I send my condolences and I'm sorry for your loss. ”
4 of 4 | Posted by: Kandice Dubois - North Berwick, ME


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Bruce Buckler Claflin of Needham Massachusetts died peacefully on November 17, 2017, surrounded by his family, after an extended illness. He was 86 years old. Bruce is survived by his wife of 60 years, Jean Claflin, his children, Lynne Claflin, Ginger Nordal, and Bruce Claflin, Jr., as well as six grandchildren.
Bruce was born at his home in Lebanon, NH, to Raymond and Etta Claflin. He was raised in Keene, NH and moved to Danbury, CT for Elementary School. He graduated from Danbury High School in 1949, and earned a Baccalaureate of Arts in Physics from Harvard University in 1953. He served in the U.S. Army in White Sands, NM from 1953-1956. Under the G. I. Bill, following his military service, Bruce earned a Master of Science degree in Electronics and Communications from Northeastern University in 1958.
Bruce served as an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Northeastern University for 32 years. Teaching was his passion and he was well loved by his students. After his retirement from Northeastern University in 1990, Bruce remained active in the local community, serving as a camera operator for the local cable station, The Needham Channel, where he also prepared and presented a series of lectures on mathematics. He mentored students in the robotics program at the John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics & Science in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Bruce also combined his passions for teaching and music by giving free piano lessons to any and all comers, many of them from the Needham Senior Center. Bruce and Jean could often be seen walking together and were known all over Needham for their pug dog.
Bruce was a true Renaissance man. He loved problem solving, sailing, astronomy, rock hounding, woodworking, gardening, and the environment. Bruce loved to work with his hands; he even made a violin for his daughter Ginger, using only a small book that he found in the library as a guide. He also built his own sailboat for use while spending summers in Maine. Bruce loved the library, was an avid reader and had numerous ideas for his own stories. He sang in a number of groups including the local SPEBSQSA Barbershop Chorus and was an accomplished artist; his favorite subject matter was tall sailing ships. Bruce was passionate about politics and frustrated that politicians never listened to his ideas.
A Funeral service will be held on Tuesday, November 21st at 2:00 pm. Visitation will be held from 1:00 – 2:00 pm, prior to the service. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Bruce's life. A separate memorial celebration will be held at a later date in 2018 for those unable to attend. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Center at the Heights (formerly Needham Senior Center), the American Heart Association, or the American Diabetes Association.
If you would like to share stories about Bruce, your interactions, and/or photos, please send them to BruceBClaflin.legacy@gmail.com