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October 7, 1929 – July 21, 2020

Douglas, Wyoming

A Celebration of Life service will be held for Clayton Cooper Claus, 90, at 1:00 P.M. Thursday, August 6, 2020 at the Gorman Funeral Homes – Converse Chapel in Douglas, Wyoming with Pastor Frank Wiederrecht of The Gathering officiating. Military honors will be accorded by the Samuel Mares American Legion Post #8 and Wyoming Army National Guard Military Funeral Honors.

Clayton Claus died Tuesday, July 21, 2020 at his home in Douglas surrounded by his loving family.

Clayton was born Monday, October 7, 1929 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota the son of Herman William and Ruth Lillian (Cooper) Claus. Clayton was raised and educated in Sioux Falls and graduated from Washington High School in 1947.

Clayton’s father passed away when he was 16 and he started spending summers in Colorado with his sister Margaret Eckel and her husband Frank on their farm. He fell in love with the state and later with a nearby farmer’s daughter, Lois Graham. While dating Lois he received a degree in Animal Husbandry at Colorado State University in 1951. He and Lois married on December 27, 1951 in Mead, Colorado at the United Methodist Church. After their wedding he served in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict as a teletype operator in Okinawa, Japan. Following his discharge from the Army he returned to Mead where he built their home and farmed and ranched. They raised their four children on that farm where they taught them the value of hard work and family. He raised a variety of cash crops, cattle, and was a Top Ten Great Western Sugar Beet Grower. He was also President of the Highland Ditch Company for many years and had a valuable knowledge of the water laws in Colorado. He retired in 1996 and moved to Douglas.

While growing up in South Dakota, Clayton developed a passion for hunting birds. He bagged many pheasants while “studying” at SDSU with his childhood friends. When he moved to Colorado, he continued his love of hunting birds and became a devoted goose and duck hunter. He and his friend Stanley Odenbaugh fancied themselves to be among the top ten goose hunters in Colorado. He passed his love of fishing and hunting to his sons and grandchildren. Clayton was a social man who loved doing things with friends old and new. He enjoyed flying into Canada with “Doc”, Charles and Eddie to fish for Northern Pike, and he was always a true walleye fisherman. He loved playing games and gambling, taking a bet whenever he could. It was a family tradition to play games and eat popcorn on Sunday evenings in the Claus household. Perhaps most of all, he loved the game of golf. Sometimes he would walk 45 holes in one day and had the distinction of making three different holes in one in his lifetime.

After 50 years of marriage, Lois passed away in 2002. A few years later, Clayton was fortunate enough to meet Maxine Louella (Sintek) Cox, who shared his interests and love of life. They were married on August 25, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada and spent 13 years together in the Douglas community. He found a renewed enthusiasm for doing the things he loved with Max. They enjoyed golf, travel, and socializing with numerous friends and family. As competitive golfers, they enjoyed making bets on each hole that they played. Clayton and Max continued his tradition of becoming “snowbirds” every winter traveling to Brownsville, Texas for more golf and partying with their beloved “Texas family”.

He is survived by his wife, Max Cox Claus, of Douglas; children, William H. (Lindy) Claus of Westminster, Colorado; David C. (Francie) Claus of Douglas, Cheryl (Jerry) Barcelona of Berthoud, Colorado;, and Sandra M. “Sandy” Claus (Bill Hopson) of Gillette, Wyoming; step-sons, Ted Cox and Chris Cox both of Douglas; grandchildren Erik Buderus, Lyndsey Burderus, Sarah Claus, Nick Hopson, Rosemary Hopson, Heather Anderson, Brian Hopson, Joanna Crawley, Roxanne Sharland, Ryan Sharif, Ben Cox, and Courtney Heil; great grandchildren, Manon Buderus, Gavin Buderus, Jade Anderson, Tyler Anderson, Sophie Crawley, James Crawley, Elodie Sharland, Ava Sharland, Keagen Cox, Trace Heil, Colt Heil, and Hally Heil; nephew, Bill Allord; and niece, Pat Eckel.

Clayton was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Lois, on September 15, 2002; sisters, Dorothy Allord and Margaret Eckel; grandson, Clay Claus, on February 3, 2015; and nephews, Richard Allord and Mike Eckel.

A memorial to the Samuel Mares American Legion Post #8, P.O. Box 1, Douglas, Wyoming 82633 would be appreciated by the family.

The Gorman Funeral Homes – Converse Chapel of Douglas, Wyoming is in charge of the arrangements.

Condolences may be sent to the family at