Paul David Cleven

Paul Cleven

MADISON – Paul David Cleven, age 61, of Fitchburg, passed away on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. He was born on March 5, 1961, in Madison, the son of Donald Cleven and Maxine (Schuchmann) Cleven.

Paul graduated from La Follette High School with the class of 1979. He was a proud 1983 Luther College graduate where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics and Education, with a minor in Mathematics. He was never seen without his Luther class ring.

Paul started his career as a high school teacher in South Dakota teaching physical science and math classes. The majority of his career focused on applied physics, working on the technician side of a variety of manufacturing and scientific companies.

Paul will be best remembered for his deep voice and heartful laugh, along with his genuine and large hugs. His love of choral music started in high school and he kept in touch with his high school choral director throughout his life. Paul continued singing in college as part of Luther College Nordic Choir, after college and throughout his life in Madison. He loved photography, even developing his own film, working on and repairing cars, and was a life-long ham radio operator. Paul liked birds, both caring for them as pets, and placing wild songbird feeders and hummingbird feeders outside his home, caring as he could for any he might see in trouble. More than anything, he was deeply devoted to his son, who he loved fiercely.

Paul is survived by his son, Phillip Cleven; daughter-in-law, Lisa Stippich; father, Donald Cleven; and two sisters, Gina (Jerrold) Olson and Ruth (Earl) Sias. He was preceded in death by his mother, Maxine Cleven.

A memorial service will be held at GUNDERSON FITCHBURG FUNERAL AND CREMATION CARE, 2950 Chapel Valley Road, Fitchburg, at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, with the Rev. Peter Beeson presiding. Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service on Saturday.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be gifted in Paul’s name to Luther College (, Madison Audubon Society ( or National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) ( Online condolences may be made at

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