Robert “Bob” Dean Cleary, DVM, died peacefully at home with family by his side Tuesday, April 2, 2019.
Bob was born Feb. 10, 1940, in Omaha, Neb., to Martha Clara (Kaup) and Clement Matthew Cleary. He grew up in Atkinson, Neb., and moved with his family to Sleepy Eye, Minn., graduating from St. Mary’s High School in 1958. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1964, the University of Minnesota.
Bob served as Captain in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps from 1964 to 1966, based at Fort Dix, N.J. Following his military service, Bob practiced veterinary medicine in Eden, Wis., then moved to Menomonie, where he established the Hoof and Paw Clinic. During his three decades working in veterinary medicine, Bob was an active member of the American Veterinary Medicine Assn., the Wisconsin Veterinary Medicine Assn., and the Bovine Practitioners Assn. He served as president of the Northwestern Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Assn.
Bob retired from veterinary practice in 1999, but he continued to volunteer his professional expertise. In 2000, he served in the U.S. Peace Corps, as an animal production specialist in Cajabamba, Ecuador. Between 2001 and 2002, he worked as an agent of the USDA, with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, to combat a foot-and-mouth outbreak in England, a USDA agent in California, to combat an avian flu outbreak. And he worked with the AVMA providing veterinary services to farmers in rural Nicaragua.
He volunteered with the UCC in Chiapas, Mexico, and in Guatemala for Farmer-to-Farmer. He also work with the American Red Cross in Texas, in 2005, following Hurricane Katrina and in Florida, in 2004, following hurricanes Charlie, Ivan and Frances.In addition, he volunteered with AARP in tax preparation, with Literacy Volunteers as Literacy math tutor, and as a member of Menomonie’s Veteran’s Honor Guard. He also acted as a Spanish interpreter for dairy farmers across Dunn County. He served on the boards of the Dunn County Electric Cooperative, Stepping Stones of Dunn County, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the Menomonie Chamber of Commerce. He was a Deacon at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Menomonie and as a Thursday’s Table volunteer.
Bob is survived by his wife of 54 years, Kitz (Catherine) Nierengarten Cleary; children, Michele and Matt; grandchildren, Dolan, Lauren and ParkerJane; siblings, Donna (Vern Krysl), Michael (Beverly), James (Trish), Jeanne (John Zupfer) and Timothy (Carrie); along with numerous nephews and nieces.
A celebration of his vibrant life will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, May 10, at Menomonie United Church of Christ, with visitation one hour prior to the service and a gathering following in the church’s Fellowship Hall.
The family wishes to convey their deep gratitude to the Mayo Clinic Health System Hospice for their compassionate and responsive care. And a thank you to Riehl Funeral Home in Menomonie, for final arrangements.
Finally, the family asks that Bob’s work be continued through memorials to the Farmer-to-Farmer program, the Dunn County Humane Society, Stepping Stones of Dunn County, or the First Congregational Church in Menomonie.