CLAYTON H. REITAN | 1926 - 2013 | Obituary

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Born: October 10, 1926
Died: March 25, 2013

U.S. Veteran

Clayton Harold Reitan, 86, of DeKalb, Illinois, died Monday, March 25, 2013, at Kishwaukee Community Hospital, DeKalb.

Born October 10, 1926, at home in Grove City, Minnesota, the second son of his beloved parents, Ernest A. and Caren Helene (Jensen) Reitan, Clayton attended public schools in Bay City, Wisconsin, Alberta, Minnesota, and Regent, North Dakota, where he graduated high school as valedictorian in 1944.

He enlisted in the US Navy and served from 1944-1946. He attended Iowa State in Ames, where he received his Bachelor of Science in physics. From there, he went to graduate school at the University of Chicago, where he received his Science Master degree in meteorology in 1953. Mr. Reitan was employed as a research meteorologist with the Cloud Physics Project at the University of Chicago and then with the Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the University of Arizona.

While in Arizona, Clayton married Jean Elaine Weidephul of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. In 1967, he returned to school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received a PhD in meteorology in 1971. In that same year, he joined the faculty of the Department of Geography at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, where Dr. Reitan taught in that department’s Meteorology Emphasis until his retirement in 1991.

He is survived by his wife, Jean; daughter, Karen Reitan of Chicago; two sons, Christopher Reitan of Bloomington and Timothy Reitan of DeKalb; granddaughters, Elaine Reitan and Claire Reitan; brothers, Earl Reitan and Phillip Reitan; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister.

Cremation has taken place at Anderson Funeral Home Crematory. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 4, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 830 North Annie Glidden Road, DeKalb, with the Rev. Blake Richter officiating and full military honors. A reception will follow the service. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Clayton H. Reitan Memorial Fund, sent in care of Anderson Funeral Home, P.O. Box 605, 2011 South Fourth Street, DeKalb, IL 60115.

For information, visit or call 815-756-1022.

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