June 9, 2018 – West Bend, WI – Sylvarius (Sam) R. Claas, 79, of West Bend, completed his life on Monday, 4 June, 2018. Sam was born April 19, 1939 in Kewaskum to Gottfried J. and Irene H. (nee Nennig) Claas. Sam attended Holy Angels School and graduated from the former Salvatorian Seminary in St. Nazianz, WI. Sam earned degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He married Kathleen (Kay) M. Raab on October 27, 1962 at St. Mary Immaculate Conception Church in West Bend. Sam and Kay were partners in every sense of the word, growing a family, building a home, devoting themselves to parish and community life, and surrounding themselves with family and friends.
Sam was a man of many interests and abundant talents. He loved to build things, including (from blueprints to shingles) his beautiful home on a hill outside of town. Like his father, he was an enthusiastic gardener who thought that 35 tomato plants would be just about enough. He was a talented musician who sang for weddings and played guitar in the Tony Berres Orchestra. For many years, he was St. Mary School’s most passionate advocate. During his tenure at St. Mary’s, he served as 6th-grade teacher, 8th-grade teacher, principal, basketball coach, guitar teacher, custodian, music teacher, youth choir director, and bat wrangler. More than anything, Sam loved to do things with and for his family. Out of pieces of hardboard and parts from an old swimming pool, he crafted a seat so Lynda could ride behind him on his bicycle. He took Steve hunting. He tried to teach Chris to play guitar. Family weeks at the cottage or excursions in the pop-up camper that he built alongside his father were among Sam’s happiest times and fondest memories.
Sam is survived by his loving wife, Kay, his adoring children, Christine Marquardt (Keith), Steven (Beth), and Lynda (Jim), grandson Lucas Marquardt (Shelbi), sisters Petronella Simons (Larry) and Barbara Vanderbunt (Ned), brother Allen, and many nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 12:00 noon, Saturday, June 9 at St. Mary Immaculate Conception (1610 Monroe St., West Bend) with Father Nathan Reesman presiding. Visitation will be at the parish on Saturday, from 10:00 am until the service. Visitation and mass will be in the gymnasium. In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Mary’s or Kathy Hospice are appreciated.
Thanks to all the talented and caring medical professionals who guided Sam through cancer treatment, with special gratitude to the staff of Kathy Hospice.
The Schmidt Funeral Home in West Bend is serving the family.