Samuel Klaus, known to his children and grandchildren as “Bogs” or “Bahgie”, passed away unexpectedly but peacefully on May 27, 2021.
The only child of Morris Klaus and Esther Shapiro, “Little Sammy” was born in June 1943 and raised in Brooklyn, New York. After his mother passed away from cancer when he was only 11, Sam was raised by his father, two maternal aunts and a grandmother. He grew up surrounded by extended family in a vibrant Jewish community.
A precocious student, Sam skipped 8th grade as a result of high academic achievement. After high school, he attended Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and received his BS in Mechanical Engineering. He worked at Standard Pressed Steel where he received a patent for a design before moving on to the Missile and Space Division at General Electric. His moral compass compelled him to leave GE because he was uncomfortable designing weapons of mass destruction.
Sam took time off to travel through Europe, eventually relocating from Philadelphia to Colorado in 1970. There he transitioned from engineering to carpentry and homebuilding. He remained in the homebuilding industry for the rest of his career, with a long-standing focus on passive solar energy.
While raising his children in Evergreen, Sam contributed his time and talents as a Boy Scout troop leader, and as a leader of the Beth Evergreen Jewish Community, where he taught Bar/Bat-Mitzvah classes for many years. He led hikes for the Mosaic Outdoor Mountain Club, taught climbing and outdoor skills for the Colorado Mountain Club, and taught rock climbing at the Buchanan Recreation Center.
Sam loved the outdoors and enjoyed mountaineering, camping, hiking, backpacking, rock-climbing, and ice-climbing in his spare time. It was during a rock-climbing outing along North Turkey Creek in 2001 that Sam suffered a traumatic brain injury. He was saved by the Alpine Rescue Team and the emergency medical team at Swedish Hospital.
After recovering from the TBI, Sam continued working until his retirement in 2013. A voracious reader, he devoted himself in recent years to learning about the wide range of topics that captured his curiosity, such as guitars, poetry, Jewish history, martial arts, knives, and motorcycles. He also loved to listen to music, practice knot-tying, and fix and repair things.
Sam was friendly, funny, inquisitive, good-natured, and a consummate life-long learner. He is survived by his daughter, Moker (Esther) Klaus-Quinlan and her husband Todd Quinlan, his son Joshua Klaus and daughter-in-law Margaret Hoffmann, and granddaughters Ava Quinlan, Lilah Quinlan, and Liesl Hoffmann Klaus.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Sam’s honor to the Colorado Mountain Club (www.cmc.org) or the Alpine Rescue Team (alpinerescueteam.org).