John Claussen

Obituary of John Henry Claussen

April 29, 1930 - Alfstedt, Germany

June 29, 2024 - Calgary, Alberta


Our hearts are heavy as we share the news of the passing of John Claussen, age 94, who left us on Saturday, June 29, 2024, after a brave fight with dementia.


John was born on April 29, 1930, in Alfstedt, Germany to Anna and Carl Claussen. He spent his youth playing outside, getting into typical boyhood mischief that had his parents chasing after him, and being a blacksmith apprentice. He was the second of four children: Herman, his older brother (predeceased in 1995 at age 67), and his two younger sisters, Gerda and Christa who still reside in Germany. In school, he enjoyed playing soccer and continued playing it recreationally for many years into adulthood.


His interest in cars and mechanics started at a young age as well, and once finished with school, John moved to New York in 1957, took some night school classes, and got a job as a mechanic for Queensboro Volkswagen. He soon worked his way up to Service Manager.


While in New York, his Aunt Tina “fixed him up” with her friend’s niece, Wilma, who had recently come from Germany. She turned out to be the love of his life and they were married in 1959. Together they had three children: daughter Kathy in 1960, son Edward in 1963, and daughter Caroline in 1974.


One of John’s former bosses had moved to Calgary, AB and opened up South Centre Fine Cars and shortly after invited John, his family, and close family friend Marie LeFrang to come out and join him. In 1976, John accepted and the family moved to Calgary where John kept up his love of cars and people at South Centre Fine Cars as Service Manager.


In 1981, John moved on to work at Lone Star Mercedes-Benz in Calgary, where he stayed for twenty years. He began his career there as Service Manager, then moved into various senior positions over the years, until retiring in 2001. He was deeply appreciated and respected by coworkers and customers alike, creating long-lasting connections with countless people.


John was a wonderful grandfather, affectionately called Opa, to six grandchildren, Kimberly and Stephen (1987), Katie (1989), Jillian (1991), Sophie (2005), and Ella (2007). He was also fortunate to have two great-grandchildren, Brenton and Sterling.


Post-retirement, John had a small second career as a blacksmith at Heritage Park, reliving his youth as an apprentice back in Germany, as well as being part of the Maintenance Crew there. He absolutely loved talking to people and especially making rings and horseshoes for all the kids who came through the park. He was the ultimate volunteer, enjoying time talking with patients at the Rockyview Hospital, making sandwiches on Saturday mornings at the Mustard Seed, singing in the church choir, and doing whatever else was needed to support his and Wilma’s church community.


John was an incredible family man. Many family dinners were hosted by John and Wilma, where he cooked on the BBQ, and in later years, relaxing while telling stories or making jokes, enjoying a good beer or a glass of good wine with the family (and never losing that mischievous spirit).


He is survived by his wife, Wilma, his three children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, as well as his two sisters and a host of extended family back in Germany.


He was a great man, who was funny, generous, and who lived a long, and full life surrounded with so much love. John will be remembered for his warmth, quirky humour, unabashed singing, and love of cars and people. We will miss him deeply and dearly, but we are comforted by the countless wonderful memories we have of him.


We also would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to the staff at Intercare Chinook for their excellent care and support of John. Not only were they friendly and compassionate, but they loved to hear John’s singing and would often call out “Hey, Johnny!” in greeting. We can’t thank you all enough.


Funeral Services will be held at Lutheran Church of Our Saviour (8831 Fairmount Drive S.E., Calgary, AB) on Monday, July 8, 2024, at 2:00 p.m.


If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Mustard Seed Street Ministry, 102 – 11 Avenue S.E., Calgary, AB T2G 0X5 Telephone: (403) 269-1319,


Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed with John’s family here.


In living memory of John Claussen, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Fish Creek, 14441 Bannister Road SE, Calgary, Ab t2x 3j3, Telephone: 403-256-9575.


Funeral Services

2:00 pm
Monday, July 8, 2024
Lutheran Church of Our Saviour
8831 Fairmount Dr SE
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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