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Claussen: Passionate, professional

Sean Ryan
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Cherie Claussen, who died this month at age 55, is remembered by her colleagues as a consummate professional.

Claussen, principal at HGA Architects and Engineers, Milwaukee, died of cancer on Aug. 7, four years after being diagnosed. Claussen refused to let the disease stop her from continuing her life, said Cynthia Mueller, who worked for Claussen as an intern and designer at HGA in the early 1990s.

“There’s two kinds of people in the world, and she’s the kind of person who is like, ‘Well, I’m going to make the most of it,’ ” said Mueller, an architect at M+W Zander in Chicago.

Mueller said Claussen taught her to be professional and helped forge the path for female architects to become managers.

“I think the big thing is just being a professional at every moment and teaching other people to do that as well,” Mueller said.

Cliff Mayer, who worked with Claussen when they were both starting as architects in the late 1970s, said she was passionate about her work.

“The community is missing a very good person,” said Mayer, principal at Mayer- Helminiak Architects LLC, Mequon.

Claussen is survived by her husband, Art Chadek, a daughter, Lea, and a son, Dana. A memorial service will be at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday at St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wauwatosa.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any cancer research and prevention organization, the Girl Scouts of the USA or the STAR Fund of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning.

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