Maurice L. “Maurie” Claassen, 91, died May 5 at Via Christi St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Wichita. Born Feb. 9, 1921 in Newton, he was the son of Cornelius and Addie (Lander) Claassen. After meeting Ruth McIlrath at the University of Kansas, Maurie and Ruth were married on Nov. 25, 1945 in Great Bend. Ruth died on July 14, 1982. A longtime resident of Great Bend, he worked in the insurance industry initially for McIlrath Insurance Agency and retiring from Thurman Morrison and Associates.
Mr. Claassen was a World War II veteran attaining the rank of captain in the United States Army. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, American Legion Post 180, and Rotary International, all of Great Bend. He was also involved in various other civic, community and city organizations, including serving on the Great Bend City Council. Maurice was an avid KU Jayhawk fan, also enjoying RV travel, camping and golf.
Survivors include a daughter, Catherine Salcito and husband Donald of Denver, Colo.; a daughter-in-law, Rosemary Claassen of Denver, Colo.; a brother, Walter Claassen of Newton; long-time close friend and companion, Geneva Wendler of Great Bend; four grandchildren, Nicholas D. Claassen, Jordan C. Salcito, Kendyl R. Salcito and Anne-Marie Salcito. He was preceded in death by his son, Terry L. Claassen and a grandson, Benjamin, who died in a plane crash in October 1996; a brother, Lander Claassen; and a sister, Barbara Smucker.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. today at Bryant Funeral Home with the Rev. Dr. Scott Solether officiating. Entombment will be at the Great Bend Cemetery Mausoleum with Fort Riley Honor Guard providing military honors. The family will receive friends from 12:30 p.m. to service time today at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers memorials are suggested to D.A.V. or Golden Belt Humane Society in care of Bryant Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent and notice viewed at www.bryantfh.net.
Funeral arrangements provided by
Bryant Funeral Home*
1425 Patton Road
Great Bend, KS 67530
Great Bend (Kan) Tribune, May 8, 2012