Martin Klaus

Return to Class of 1966

Martin Klaus08/28/2014
Marty Lee Klaus of Camdenton, MO, (formerly of West Des Moines, IA, and Knoxville, IA) lost his battle with ALS on August 28, 2014. He died at home with his loving wife, Peg, by his side. Marty was born in Chicago, IL on March 8, 1948, to Walter (Pat) and Jayne (Alpaugh) Klaus and spent most of his youth in Knoxville, IA where he graduated from Knoxville High School in 1966. He attended the American Institute of Business in Des Moines before joining the U.S. Navy.

Marty and his wife, Peg, were married on Easter Sunday, April 23, 2000, at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Lake Ozark where they are members.

Marty lived an interesting life that was full of love, joy, and adventure. Always the optimist, he looked at the positive side of every situation and had a “glass half full” attitude. Marty was blessed with a warm, engaging personality and quick wit which made him many friends throughout his life. He loved being around people and his wife affectionately referred to him as “the social director” as he was always arranging for groups of friends to meet for dinner at area restaurants. What started out as a quiet dinner with another couple, turned into a group of 10 or 12, depending on who he ran into during the day.

Marty was an entrepreneur, owning several businesses during his life. His career in sales began as a small boy working in his parent’s Ben Franklin dime store in Knoxville, Iowa. His first job was to test strings of Christmas lights and sell the customer new bulbs to replace those that were burned out. He worked at the store throughout high school, took a hiatus while attending college and serving in the US Navy (including a year in Viet Nam)then returned again until the store was sold in the mid-1970 at which time he began a career in real estate sales, first in the Knoxville area and then later in Des Moines. In the early 1980’s Marty left the real estate business to follow his passion – working with Corvettes. He formed Nostalgic Enterprises and located his business in the Historic Valley Junction area of West Des Moines, where he bought, sold, and restored Corvettes – mostly those built-in 1967 and earlier. He built a thriving business, buying and selling Corvettes all over the country. In 1999 Marty sold Nostalgic Enterprises and moved to the Lake of the Ozarks where he once again started a business, this time in Sunrise Beach, MO (Klaus Classics) selling classic cars. He sold this business in 2010 after being diagnosed with ALS.

Marty had many interests and hobbies. He loved to fly and was an instrument-rated private pilot. He owned several airplanes during his life, but his favorite was his V-Tail Bonanza. He was a member of the Missouri Pilot’s Association and once served as president of the Lake of the Ozarks chapter of this organization. He was introduced to ham radio by his older brother Bill when growing up and eventually attained the highest licensed level available for amateur radio operators and enjoyed talking to people all over the world from his “ham shack”. He was a member of the Lake of the Ozarks Amateur Radio Club holding the office of president at one time. Marty was one of the founding members of the Lake of the Ozarks Corvette Club in 2000. The Corvette Club was a big part of Marty and Peg’s life at the Lake of the Ozarks and they truly enjoyed the camaraderie and all of the activities that allowed them to drive and show their 1965 Corvette. He was also a member of the Central Iowa Corvette Club when living in Des Moines, serving as president at one Martin Klaustime. Marty collected American Flyer trains throughout his life, beginning when he was a small boy and had a collection to rival the best. When a young man, he enjoyed SCUBA diving, racing Corvettes, and go-carts, and was a sprint car enthusiast. He loved Daisy, his little dog, who enjoyed riding and sleeping on Marty’s lap in his wheelchair. They made quite an impression riding around the neighborhood.

Marty was preceded in death by his parents and his step-son Brian Danford. He is survived by his wife, Peg, and one brother, Bill (Phyllis) Klaus who resides in Melrose, Iowa. He is also survived by nephews Jeff Klaus of Sunrise Beach, MO who was like a son to Marty, Bob Klaus (Anquenette) of Cincinnati, IA, and Katie Klaus Kelly (Colm) of Charlotte, NC.

Marty was thoughtful, kind, and fun and he loved and was loved by many. He faced his illness with strength and grace and was an inspiration to many. We celebrate his life and accomplishments and will treasure the many wonderful memories he has created for his family and many friends.