Former legislator Walter Klaus dies at 100

A former Dakota County legislator, former Republican Party chairman, teacher and former Christian school principal, died Nov. 16 at 100 years old.
Walter Kloepping Klaus, Empire Township, passed away at a nursing home in Hastings, said Geri Klaus, wife of Walter’s second cousin Robert Klaus.

Walter, the youngest of three siblings and born April 19,1912 at his grandfather’s home in Empire Township, went to school to become a teacher but worked on the family farm until 1956 when was elected to represent all of Dakota County in the Legislature.

During alternating non-legislative session years, Walter worked as a bank teller and high school teacher.

He was the first principal of Christian Heritage Academy, a K-8 private school, first in Burnsville but now located in the Valley Christian Church building at Cedar Avenue and Dodd Boulevard.

Walter was the Republican Party chairman in 1948, and remained politically active the rest of his life; he was an avid reader and rarely watched television or listened to the radio unless it was to get election results, Geri said.

He cast an absentee ballot for the Nov. 6 election, she said.

“He knew every single name on that ballot,’ Geri said. “He was exceedingly determined. Of course, he wasn’t too happy with the results.”

Preceding Klaus in death is his wife Virginia (nee Taylor) and second cousin Robert. He is survived by daughter Caroline Koepp, Burnsville and two granddaughters.

Funeral service will be held 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, at Faith United Methodist Church, 710 Eighth St., Farmington. Visitation is 6-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23 at White Funeral Home, 901 3rd St., Farmington and 1 hour prior to service. Private interment. In lieu of flowers memorials preferred to Faith United Methodist Church.