William Thomas Clute

William Thomas Clute

September 9, 1941 – February 12, 2024

William Thomas Clute was born September 9, 1941, in Fairmont, Minnesota, to Howard and Roene Clute. Joan was his younger sister, and Richard was his younger brother.

Bill graduated from Mounds View High School in Arden Hills, Minnesota, where he played football and track, sang in the choir, and was voted Most Likely to Succeed. He earned three college degrees in sociology as a first-generation college student: a BA from Hamline University, an MA from the University of Maryland, and a PhD from the University of Minnesota.

He met the love of his life, Nancy Louise Berry, while they were in college. While he was a graduate student in College Park, Maryland, Nancy paid him a visit. Bill took her to a jewelry store where she picked out her engagement ring. They were married on June 12, 1965, and remained faithful to each other for 58 years. They had five children: David Anthony, Daniel Jonathan, Deborah Louise, Nathan Thomas, and Nelson Van.

As a sincerely religious man, Bill was active in the Methodist church while growing up. When they moved to Omaha in 1968, he and Nancy left their comfort zone and began a spiritual journey. They both received the Holy Ghost during a charismatic meeting on May 23, 1970, and were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ on November 21, 1971, at Greater Bethlehem Temple. They were devout supporters of GBT for 50 years where Bill served as the Sunday School Superintendent for nearly 40 years.

Bill proved to be a skillful educator with a passion for teaching as a professor of sociology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. During his 40-year career, he taught over 14,000 students. He introduced innovations in gerontology studies and classroom technology for the University. He loved advising students and received awards for field consulting. Bill was one of the first faculty to promote to full professor based solely on his teaching accomplishments, which were more important to him than research or publication. His favorite motto was, “Choose a career that you love, and you will never work a day in your life.”

Upon retirement, Bill continued sharing his love of other cultures, languages, and the arts through his signature Lifelong Learning Classes, which he offered for free at several senior living communities throughout Omaha. When Nancy’s health declined in 2019, he faithfully cared for her at home until she moved to skilled nursing in 2021. He visited her faithfully until she passed in 2023. The highlight of his remaining days was attending New Grace Temple with his son Daniel, daughter Debbie, and their families. Bill left this life to be with the Lord on February 12, 2024.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Nancy; son, Nelson; parents, Howard and Roene Clute; sister, Joan Clute; and sister-in-law, Diane Mruz-Clute. Left to cherish his memory are his four children: David (Priscilla) Clute, Daniel (Dorothea) Clute, Debbie (Scott) Petru, all of Omaha, Nebraska, Nathan (Tracy) Clute of Fort Dodge, Iowa; ten grandchildren; brother, Richard (Jessica) Clute of St. Cloud, Minnesota; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Visitation: Friday, February 23rd from 6-8PM at West Center Chapel. 

Funeral: Saturday, February 24th, 10AM at West Center Chapel. 

Memorials may be sent to the funeral home.



  • BJ Reed Posted February 18, 2024 8:47 am

    Bill was a wonderful colleague and friend. I worked with him most closely on the lifelong learning program. We operated in the college of public affairs and community service. I also appreciated him, inviting me to attend one of the church services, and his family participated in almost every week. A man of faith, a man of grace and a man who cared deeply about his students and his community. He will be missed.

  • Professor Olu Oyinlade Posted February 18, 2024 5:45 pm

    Bill and I were colleagues at the Sociology/Anthropology Department at UNO for ten years. I knew him as a man of deep faith, a strong family man, a very friendly human being, a good colleague, humorous, and a fantastic teacher! He taught with the intent to see his students become successful beyond the walls of the university and to do so with mindfulness for social justice. I am glad to have met him, worked with him, and to have learned from him. Thank you, Bill, for being a passionate educator and for your many contributions to the growth of the Sociology/Anthropology program at UNO for 42 years. Thank you, also, for all the words of wisdom you shared with me in our conversations. I shall miss you, and I am sure your students will also miss you. Thank you for the many jokes and laughter!

    My condolences go to his children, grandchildren, other members of his family, and the members of his beloved church.

    Au revoir mon ami, monsieur le Professeur Bill Clute.

  • ROSE BAKER Posted February 24, 2024 11:48 am


  • T.Lawrence Posted May 7, 2024 1:53 pm

    This news brings me great sadness. Dr. Clute was an amazing teacher and friend. His advice and guidance had a great impact on my life. I am blessed and thankful to have known him.

    Condolences to the family.

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