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Col. Robert Clausen “Bob” Bundgaard, ret. USAF, born in Denver, Colorado, on July 14, 1918, passed away peacefully at 100 years old with family by his side, Nov. 9 in North Branford. Bob was born to Anton Christian and Nielsine Marie (Clausen) Bundgaard and grew up in Denver. He graduated from the University of Denver with a B.S. in mathematics and physics. An accomplished musician, he played the viola with the Denver Symphony Orchestra as a young man. Bob also played the violin for the Queen of Portugal and her consort in Paris during World War II. One of the lighter tunes he played was “Turkey in The Straw” to their great delight.
In 1941 he attended Columbia University where he met his wife Charlotte Henriques and earned a master’s degree in statistics. He was drafted in 1942 and was accepted into the Aviation Cadet program in meteorology at UCLA in Los Angeles.
He was assigned to General Eisenhower’s Air Weather Team, serving as chief-of-staff of the USSTAFE (United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe) Upper Air Forecast Section, where he contributed to the weather forecasting for the D-Day invasion. He was later stationed with the Allied forces in Paris and was there in May 1945 when Victory in Europe was announced. For his scientific efforts during and after the war, the American Institute of Aeronautical Sciences awarded Bob the Losey Award. He was also awarded the Bronze Star.
After 20 years of military service, Bob retired and worked for Kaman Sciences in Windsor Locks, working in meteorological sciences.
Ever the gentleman, Bob was known for his kindness and sense of humor. One of his talents was ad-libbing puns to groans and eye-rolling all around. He loved fishing, hiking, and camping in the mountains and spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In his final days, he didn’t want a priest or a pastor, but wanted to talk with a fellow meteorologist! He was a weatherman to the end.
Bob will be greatly missed by his companion of many years, Alice Castelli, and her family. He was preceded in death by his brother Gordon Bundgaard, wife Charlotte Bundgaard, and granddaughter Jenny Thompson. He is survived by his children R. Michael (and Joyce) Bundgaard, Kristine B. Thompson (and Joe Bachofen), James H. (and Sondra) Bundgaard, Rebecca (and Walter) Williams, and Barbara (Peg) Bundgaard (and Jeff Love); 10 grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and wonderful relatives in Denmark. Bob loved people and made many friends at Evergreen Woods where he and Alice moved in 2013.
A celebration of his life will be held Nov. 24, 2 to 4 p.m., at Evergreen Woods, 88 Notch Hill Rd., North Branford. Another celebration will be held in Colorado on Nov. 24 at 511 W. Linden St., Louisville, Colorado. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Audubon Society, a veteran’s organization, or charity of your choice. With love, never to be forgotten.