Walter A. Klaus, 88, Hays, died Wednesday, July 30, 2014, at Via Christi Village, Hays.

He was born Aug. 18, 1925, in Munjor to Alex and Adeline (Leiker) Klaus. He attended St. Joseph Military Academy.

He married Bernice Ruder on April 21, 1947, in Hays. She preceded him in death Nov. 17, 2007. He was a lifelong contractor, owning and operating Klaus Construction for many years. He was a U.S. Navy veteran, serving from 1944 to 1946. He was a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church and Hays American Legion for 67 years.

He enjoyed boating, fishing at Cedar Bluff and spending time in his cabin that he built on the north shore.

Survivors include a son, Alexander W. Klaus and wife, Dorothy, Hays; two daughters, Theresa Fraley and husband, Kent, Kearney, Neb., and Kayleen Schmidt and husband, Ramon J., Catharine; a brother, Joseph Klaus and wife, Janet, Hays; four sisters, Ruby Binder and husband, Paul, Munjor, Lillian Schlyer and Velma Pfannenstiel, both of Hays, and Violet Mermis and husband, Robert, Salina; six grandchildren, Lee Fraley and wife, Alicia, Omaha, Neb., Kevin Fraley and wife, Kristi, Grand Island, Neb., Christine Burgardt and husband, Lester "Jeff" and Jason Schmidt, all of Catharine, Martin Klaus and wife, Dr. Nichole Klaus, Wichita, and Luke Klaus, Hays; and nine great-grandchildren, Nick and Dani Fraley, Omaha, Kyler Ace Fraley, Grand Island, Gabe, Ellianna and Noah Klaus, all of Wichita, Kade Burgardt and Ascher Burgardt, both of Catharine, and Brayden Schmidt, Hays.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Hays; burial in St. Joseph's Cemetery with military honors by the Hays VFW and the Legion Riders.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday and from 9 to 9:30 a.m. Friday, both at Brock's-Keithley Funeral Chapel, 2509 Vine, Hays, KS 67601.

A vigil/rosary will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

Memorials are suggested to the Hays American Legion or Hays Area Children's Center, in care of the funeral home.

Condolences can be left by guest book at or emailed to