The Clausen Family

Bitten Clausen 1912-2016

Bitten Clausen passed away on 7. March 2016; she lived to turn 103.

We are deeply touched by the loss of our mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, Bitten Clausen. My brothers and sisters and I have lost our mother who, up until her last moments, was the center of attention in our family.

Our mother was a great person; not by stature, but by her humanity and her tranquil, humble conduct. She had a long and good life, disseminating joy and thankfulness wherever she was. She possessed feminine grace, vigor and commitment within the issues which were her passion throughout her life.

To those who, out of reverence and respect, addressed her as “Mrs. Clausen”, she always responded by saying “My name is Bitten”. She preferred to be at eye level with others and she interacted with others out of honest curiosity, no matter where she was in the world. This meant that she stayed in contact with many people right to the end.

During our childhood, our mother acted in firm support of our father in the early years of Danfoss. She managed to balance her role as a mother and our father’s partner in important decision-making processes. When our father passed away in 1966, Bitten took over as Chairman of the Danfoss A/S Board and had faith that the people with whom she had a close relationship would do everything in their power to manage the company in the best way possible. She kept this faith throughout the years.

Bitten was one of the few people who knew how to make a decision after first having listened to the arguments. Throughout her life, she always remembered to put people first. Therefore, she acted decisively in issues concerning the well-being of the company’s employees.

Already during the Second World War, our mother showed initiative in supporting people in need. In her own modest way, and through her commitment, people became very respectful towards her. The humanity she showed, her straightforwardness and natural dignity in terms of the business, characterized Danfoss for many years. Long before it became an established concept in companies worldwide, Bitten Clausen exercised social responsibility at Danfoss and showed responsibility and care towards the company’s employees and people in the local communities where Danfoss operates. Over the years, this work became institutionalized in the form of a number of Danfoss foundations.

Bitten was honored and encouraged to continue her care towards others when she became a Knight of the Order of Dannebrog in 1975, a Knight of First Degree in 1990, and a Knight of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav Order.

Throughout her life, our mother exuded care and human warmth in all of her doings, personally and in terms of Danfoss. She sought harmony and she had the courage to make a difference wherever she was in the world. Our mother never declined to perform a task, and never considered her work a duty.

We are thankful that mother lived a long and eventful life, and managed to stay active right to the end. I would like to thank all of current and former Danfoss employees for their loyalty and support for our mother throughout the years.

Let us respect her memory.

On behalf of the family
Jørgen M. Clausen