Clinton was honored by the Boy Scouts for saving a life in 1932. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. He met Myrtle Brewer while he was attending Gustavus and she was serving a nursing residency in St. Peter. They were married on October 18, 1941 in Lincoln, Nebraska, where Clinton was attending graduate school at the University of Nebraska. During World War II, he joined the army and worked on the top secret Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, New Mexico, helping to build the atomic bomb. He completed his doctorate in Mathematics after being discharged from the army, and taught at Nebraska Wesleyan University until 1954, when he took a position at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where he taught until his retirement in 1986, serving as Chair of the Mathematics Department from 1960 to 1984. In 1972 he and Myrtle led DePauw's first Winter Term in Mission, erecting a church hall on the island of Anguilla while Myrtle volunteered as a nurse at the island hospital. Clinton led Winter Term in Mission projects in Central America and the Caribbean for the following four years. In 1968 and 1969 he directed and taught in National Science Foundation supported Summer Institutes for teachers held in Munich, Germany, and during the years 1972 - 1994 he lectured in Challenge, a Department of Defense supported summer program, in Germany, Italy, Spain and England. He has also been an active in the Masons, Shriners, Rotary Club, Gobin Methodist Church, Boy Scouts and many other organizations in the Greencastle community, and has spent much of his "retired" time building and repairing clocks.
Myrtle Evelyn Brewer was born on September 27, 1919 in a log cabin near Pitt, Minnesota, close to the Canadian border, and grew up in Duluth, Minnesota. Her parents were Harry Clifford Brewer (1888 - 1944) and Hazel Blossom (1892 - 1991), who settled in Northern Minnesota after growing up in Kansas. Her siblings included her brother, Bill (1911 - 1969), and her two sisters, Margaret "Peggy" (1920 - 1971) and Hazel Geneva (1916 - 1997). Mytle's paternal grandparents were John Willard Brewer (b. 1857 in Covington, Indiana; d. 1908 in Americus, Kansas) and Lauretta Jane Ingram (b. 1863 in Morgan, Ohio; d. 1945 in Americus, Kansas). Her maternal grandparents were William Blossom, Jr. (b. 1858 in Somerville, Ohio; d. 1940 in Dunlap, Kansas) and Clara May Stubbs (b. 1860 in Elk Creek, Ohio; d. 1930 in Dunlap, Kansas). Her great-grandparents were Bryant Brewer & Jane Hibbs, William John Ingraham & Maryanne Silvey, Elijah Stubbs & Beulah Taylor, and Nancy Johnson Blossom, daughter of Harriet Blossom.
Myrtle graduated at the top of her nursing class at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth and worked as the supervisor of the nursery at St. Luke's and at Lincoln General Hospital in Nebraska. While Clinton was at Los Alamos, Myrtle lived in Albuquerque until the war was over, when she moved to Santa Fe. She continued to work as a nurse in Greencastle, Indiana, and helped to establish the Putnam County Health Clinic, where she served as the first nurse and worked for many years as a volunteer. She also performed an enormous amount of volunteer work for Gobin Methodist Church, Eastern Star, the Mental Health Association, the Asbury Towers Board of Directors, and many other organizations.
Myrtle Brewer Gass passed away on November 26, 1999.
Clinton and Myrtle have three sons and 6 grandchildren:
Dr. Frederick Stuart Gass, b. 1943 in Lincoln, Nebraska, was married to Dr. Margery Stoops Gass in 1966; they have a daughter, Molly (b. 1970; married to Dylan Haskins in October 1999) and a son, David (b. 1984).
Dr. Kenneth Brewer Gass, b. 1946 in Lincoln, Nebraska, was married to Frances Vaughan Gass in 1977; they have a daughter, Katie (b. 1980) and a son, Bobby (b. 1988).
Dr. Glenn Clinton Gass, b. 1956 in Greencastle, Indiana, was married to Julie Anderson Gass in 1991; they have two sons, Mathew (b. 1994) and Julian Clinton Gass (b. 1997).