William H. (Bill) Klassen, 83, of Hutchinson, went to his eternal reward, losing his battle with cancer, in Hutchinson, Kansas at the Hospice House of Reno County, October 2, 2018. He was born on December 8, 1934, the second of three sons of Albert D. and Agatha Hiebert Klassen, in Newton, Kansas.

William H. (Bill) Klassen
William H. (Bill) Klassen, 83, of Hutchinson, went to his eternal reward, losing his battle with cancer, in Hutchinson, Kansas at the Hospice House of Reno County, October 2, 2018. He was born on December 8, 1934, the second of three sons of Albert D. and Agatha Hiebert Klassen, in Newton, Kansas.
He attended Newton public schools and was baptized into the Bethel College Mennonite Church in 1947, remaining a faithful and active Mennonite until his passing.
In August 1953 Bill accepted a two-year assignment in Germany with PAX (Latin for peace) service, a program under Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), an alternative service to military service for young conscientious objectors, to build housing for post WWII East German Mennonite refugees.
Under unique circumstances during those two years brought Bill together with his future wife, Thea I. Janz, a secretary with MCC there in Frankfurt. After Thea's emigration to Canada in 1954, Bill completed his two years of service, returning home to Kansas and resumed the long distance (1000 miles) courtship.
Bill and Thea married on December 31, 1955, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. In love, they spent 62 years together. Thea survives.
Late in 1962, Bill and Thea returned to Germany, where Bill was employed by a German engineer and land surveyor for 2.5 years. During this period they traveled around central Europe soaking up as much culture as possible.
Returning to Kansas in 1965, Bill worked in Hutchinson as an engineering technician until he was licensed as a professional land surveyor in 1969. He served two terms as president of the Kansas Chapter of the American Society of Certified Engineering Technicians and one as president of the Kansas Society of Land Surveyors.
For eight years, Bill was partner in the land surveying firm Sickmon-Klassen until 1982 when, due to the economy, he began employment with an Oklahoma City survey firm and became licensed in Oklahoma, until the economy collapse in 1995. Moving to New Jersey in 1986, he was employed with a surveying firm obtaining his New Jersey license in 1989.
Returning to Oklahoma after the 1988 stock market crash, Bill was employed with a surveying firm until retiring at the end of 1999. Having found and chartering in a new Mennonite church in Oklahoma City, the involvement there led to two years as president elect, and two years as president of the Oklahoma Convention of General Conference Mennonite Churches. Those four years were some the most memorable and rewarding years of Bill's life.
In 2001, after retiring, Bill returned to Hutchinson with Thea, where they both returned to the First Mennonite Church, and Bill became immersed in the church he loved deeply until the present.
Survivors include: his loving and faithful wife, Thea; one brother, David (Deidre) Klassen of Hannibal, Missouri; and a number nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Albert, and an infant sister, Ruth Ann.
A celebration of life service will be held Saturday, October 20, 2018, at First Mennonite Church, 52 Rambler Road, Hutchinson, Kansas, at 11 a.m. with Pastors Tonya Ramer Wenger and Nathan Koontz presiding. Inurnment in the church columbarium will follow the celebration.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the First Mennonite Church or Mennonite Central Committee and left in care of the funeral home.
Old Mission " Heritage Funeral Home, Hutchinson, Kansas is in charge of arrangements.