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Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home

Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home
101 Gerkin
Gregory, SD 57533
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Claris Claus was born on August 19, 1931 to Wilhelm (Bill) and Bessie (Totton) Claus. Claris grew up on the family farm north of Lucas, SD and attended East Gray School near his home.

Claris entered the Army in September of 1952 and served in the Korean War as a Private First Class. He received the following medals for his service: two Bronze Service Stars, United Nations Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Good Conduct Medal, and Republic of Korea Presidential Citation. He was honorably discharged on August 5, 1954.

He married Alberta Smith on May 26, 1957 in Forestburg, SD. They did not have any children.

Claris worked as a farm hand for several farmers in the area. He also worked at the Dallas Elevator and on road construction. In later years Claris was a handyman for several farmers.

He was an avid gardener and liked to watch his produce grow. He also enjoyed raising chickens. Claris had a love for baseball and spent many nights volunteering at the field with the Lions Club. He also enjoyed walking down to the Hipp theater and watching a good movie.

The VFW in Burke and the American Legion in Dallas were a big part of his life. Claris was the Commander in Burke for several years. He enjoyed calling numbers on Bingo night at the VFW.

Claris a lifelong resident of Gregory County passed away on June 2, 2015 at Avera Gregory Hospital at the age of 83.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Alberta, his parents, brothers Harold and Carl, and sisters Almeta Jacobsen and Violet Wooner.

Claris is survived by several nieces and nephews. His special caregivers were nephew Terry Jacobsen and his wife Christina.

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A funeral service for Claris Claus was held Saturday June 6, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at St. John Lutheran Church in Gregory with Pastor Jared Nies officiating.

Music was provided by Melanie Hannahs, organist. Congregational Hymns were "How Great Thou Art," "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," and "When Peace Like a River."

Kailey Jacobsen was in charge of registration.

Casket Bearers were the Burke VFW and the Dallas American Legion.

Honorary Casket Bearers were the Lions Club.

Interment with Military Honors was in the Hillview Cemetery, Dallas, SD.