Joseph LeRoy "Joe" Klaus

Joseph LeRoy “Joe” Klaus, 86, Hays, died Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, at Hays Medical Center.

He was born April 14, 1934, in rural Ellis County to Alex W. and Adeline (Leiker) Klaus. He was a 1951 graduate of St. Joseph Military Academy.

He married Janet Urban on May 28, 1960, in Hays, and they celebrated 60 years of marriage. He was a systems technician for Southwestern Bell for 32 years, retired from AT&T in 1987, and owned and operated Joe’s Telephone Service for 15 years. He was a U.S. Army veteran in Korea from 1953 to 1955.

He was a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, St. Mary’s Third Degree Knights of Columbus Council No. 6984, Hays Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 9076 where he was past Post Commander, and a longtime member of the VFW Honor Guard.

He enjoyed his bowling league, tending to his yard and garden, watching western movies, his coffee group, and volunteering at the VFW. Most of all, he enjoyed his grandchildren.

Survivors include his wife, of the home in Hays; two sons, Bill Klaus and wife, Brenda and Bob Klaus and wife, Tammy, all of Hays; three daughters, Karen Cederberg and husband, Jim and Sharon Basinger, all of Centennial, Colo., and Debbie Nunnelee and husband, Cal, Highlands Ranch, Colo.; two sisters, Lillian Schlyer, Hays and Violet Mermis, Salina; 18 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his father and mother-in-law, Ed and Ella Urban; a daughter, Mary Grizzle; a granddaughter, Samantha Mader; a brother, Walter Klaus; and two sisters, Ruby Binder and Velma Pfannenstiel.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Monday at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church; burial in St. Joseph Cemetery with military honors by the Hays VFW Post No. 9076 Honor Guard.

Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday and from 9 to 9:45 a.m. Monday, both at Hays Memorial Chapel Funeral Home, 1906 Pine, Hays, KS 67601.

A Daughters of Isabella rosary will be at 5:30 p.m, Sunday, a vigil will be at 6:30 pm, followed by a Knights of Columbus rosary, all at the funeral home.

Memorials are suggested to Diocese of Salina Retired Priest Fund or Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in care of the funeral home.

Condolences can be sent to the family at

Posted online on October 17, 2020