Clifford was born the youngest child of Martin and Bolena Paulsen on a farm in Blair, Nebraska, on August 10th, 1920. Upon completion of his schooling and his work on the family farm, he left home to serve his country during World War II in England. He was a medical supply sergeant for 2-1/2 years. Upon his return, he attended Augsburg College in Minneapolis, graduating with a BA degree. He then attended Trinity Seminary, graduating with a Masters of Divinity. From there he entered the seminary.
He was united in marriage to Rigmor (Lank) Petersen of Racine, WI, on June 9th, 1950. Cliff served as a Lutheran minister for congregations in Oakland, CA, Royal, IA, and Emmons, MN, until 1973. While in Emmons, he was especially loved by the youth of the community for his kind and understanding heart, taking his confirmation and Luther League groups on retreats to Mascot Resort in Hackensack, MN, canoeing in the Boundary Waters, and hiking the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. He was often called "The Father of the Bighorns? by local business owners in Buffalo, Wyoming, because of his numerous trips into the mountains and his love for the bighorn sheep he encountered while enjoying the beauty and solitude of God's creation. In 1973 Cliff became the administrator at St. John's Lutheran home in Albert Lea. He served there for 15 years. Rigmor passed away from cancer on August 5, 1990.
Cliff worked as a visiting pastor at Normandale Lutheran Church in Edina, MN, for two years. While there, Cliff married Vivian Henriksen of Park Rapids, MN, on December 16, 1993. Together they enjoyed there retirement years in Edina, Nevis, Pine River, and Nisswa, MN. They also enjoyed winter months in Mesa, AZ, and Rockport, TX. Cliff loved playing cards and a good game of golf. The last few years Cliff and Vivian had the privilege of living at the Goldfinch Estates in Fairmont, MN. They were members of Grace Lutheran Chapel in Fairmont. Reverend Clifford R. Paulsen passed away at home on Sunday, April 26th, 2009, following an illness.
Reverend Clifford Paulsen is survived by his wife, Vivian; son, Mark Paulsen (Melanie) of Indianola, IA; daughters, Diane Huben of Rice, MN, Linda Flewellen (Robert) of San Diego, CA; and Tricia Stensgard (John) of Maple Grove, MN; grandchildren, Bradley and Chelsea Paulsen, Lacy Huben, Nicole, Joshua, and Cory Flewellen, and Christian and Grace Stensgard. Clifford is also survived by Vivian's children, Dennis Henriksen (Jo) of Woodland, MN; Steve Henriksen (Renate) of Longville, MN; Kathryn Blanchard (Jim) of Clear Lake, IA; and daughter-in-law Dee Henriksen of Edina, MN.
Cliff was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Rigmor, son, Timothy, and infant daughter, Sharon. He was also preceded by brothers, Fred, Harold, Clarence, Raymond, and Christian; two sisters, Eda and Dorothy; and Vivian's son, Gary Henriksen.
Memorials preferred to St. John's Lutheran Home, Albert Lea, MN.