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Joachim "Jack" Rudolf Clausnitzer

March 6, 1934 June 18, 2018
Joachim "Jack" Rudolf Clausnitzer
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Obituary for Joachim "Jack" Rudolf Clausnitzer

Joachim “Jack” Rudolf Clausnitzer, of Brighton, passed away while in the loving care of his family on June 18, 2018. He was 84 years old.

Joachim (Jack) Rudolf Clausnitzer transitioned on Monday, June 18th surrounded by family. He was many things; a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, entrepreneur, philanthropist and friend. He was known by many names; Joachim, Achim, Jack, Fudda, Dad, Opa. He was a powerful individual, a non-conformist. As a child he saw the effects of war first hand. The perils of war would give him a compassion and empathy that would last his whole life.

Jack was born in 1934 and raised in Germany and Nazi occupied France. He became Brighton’s first High School Exchange Student in 1952. Overwhelmed by the hospitality of this country and in particular the people of Brighton, Michigan, Jack wanted to become a US Citizen, so he joined the US Army to do so. He was stationed in Mannheim, Germany, which was also his hometown.

His friend since childhood, Heidede Georgine Niemann married Jack in 1956. Shortly thereafter, their daughter Susanne was born. Once Jack had served his time in the army, they crossed the Atlantic via ship and arrived in New York City with a VW Bug, some books and little else. Eleven months later, Tim was born and 18 months after that, Thomas arrived. Within a few years, Helen was welcomed into the family.

Jack attended the University of Michigan while working at a machining company and became convinced that Numerically Controlled (NC) machines were the future of manufacturing. Jack decided to start his own business in partnership with close Brighton friends, Dave and Shirley Barton and John and Joyce Ewing. They drained their savings and borrowed $125k to buy an NC American Lathe and placed it in a rented pole barn in Pinckney. In 1965 Brighton NC Machine (BNC) came to fruition, employing hundreds of people over the years. Today BNC is still owned by the Barton and Clausnitzer families.

Jack always brought with him a loaf of bread. Whether he was visiting a sick friend or just stopping in for a visit, the bread was under his arm. To this day, BNC distributes hundreds of loaves every Wednesday to suppliers, customers, employees and friends.

He is survived by his wife, Heide, his four children, and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

“From the moment I met Jack, I took a strong liking to him. He had a very firm handshake, a smile that lit the room, a tenor’s voice, and a gifted mind, one additionally tempered by patience and kindness. Too, he always impressed with his wealth of engineering knowledge and abundant social graces. In short, he was a true American, an ever-declining breed of men when “man” really had substantive meaning behind it.” - Jonathon Aks, MTU America

“Opa taught me that every human matters and deserves respect. He didn’t preach this with his words but with every one of his actions. From big gestures like building a Victory Garden for Livingston County Gleaners or donating an RV to a homeless man he read about in the local paper, to his daily rituals of walking the floor of his business and greeting each employee every morning, to only ever serving himself when everyone else at the table had a full plate.” - Callie Sullivan, Jack's granddaughter

He is survived by his wife, Heide, of 62 years; children, Susanne Clausnitzer, Helen (Mark) Seger Lally, Tim (Norma) Clausnitzer, and Thomas (Cheryl) Clausnitzer; grandchildren, Katelyn (Lindsay Steele) Cooper, Samantha Cooper, Benjamin (Jordan) Rosenau, Jacob (Alex) Rosenau, Steven (Joanna) Clausnitzer, Andrew (Ashley) Clausnitzer, Callie (Ryan) Sullivan, Kyle, Drew, and Scott Clausnitzer, Jaime (James) Randall, Amanda (Aaron) Ambinder, and Lacey Campbell; 10 great-grandchildren and 4 on the way; also many extended family and dear friends.

Visitation will be held at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 600 E. Main St., Brighton, MI 48116 on Friday, June 22, 2018 from 4 - 8pm.

Funeral Service at First Presbyterian Church, 300 E Grand River Ave, Brighton, MI 48116, at 11AM with a gathering to begin an hour prior beginning at 10 AM.

Memorial Contributions can be made to Gleaner’s Food Bank, Arbor Hospice, and LACASA.

For further information phone 810-229-2905.

Previous Events





4:00 PM 6/22/2018 4:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 6/22/2018 8:00:00 PM
Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors - Brighton

600 East Main Street
Brighton, MI 48116

Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors - Brighton
600 East Main Street Brighton 48116 MI
United States





11:00 AM 6/23/2018 11:00:00 AM
First Presbyterian Church of Brighton

300 E Grand River Ave
Brighton, MI 48116

Hour of gathering prior starting at 10 AM.

First Presbyterian Church of Brighton
300 E Grand River Ave Brighton 48116 MI
United States

Memorial Contribution

Arbor Hospice

2366 Oak Valley Drive
Ann Arbor,, MI 48103

Gleaner's Community Food Bank Livingston County

2131 Beaufait
Detroit, , MI 48207


2895 W Grand River Ave.
Howell, MI 48843

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