Klassa, Harold R. "Harry'
Former Popular Berlin Mayor Dies
Harold R. "Harry" Klassa, 91, Berlin, passed away peacefully with his family by his side, on Monday, March 3, 2014, at the Juliette Manor Nursing Home of Berlin.
He was born on April 5, 1922, in Milwaukee, the son of John and Rose (Straholski) Klassa.
After his graduation from the Berlin High School with the class of 1941, he enlisted in the U.S. Army
Air Corps during WWII
., serving 3 ½ years as an airplane mechanic.
Returning home on leave he married his one and only love, Doris Markowski (the daughter of Rose and Charles Markowski) on July 7, 1945, at Saint Michael's Catholic Church of Berlin. Together they shared 54 wonderful years together until Doris passed away on May 17, 1999.
After being honorably discharged from the service he went on to become a licensed Meat Cutter.
He worked as a Meat Cutter and Sausage Maker in Berlin, at Hibickis Grocery for 11 years, then went on to work for Weirs Food Store, Mike Stoddard's Food Store and Art's Park- N- Shop in Green Lake.
Retiring from the meat cutting business after many years he then worked at the Berlin Foundry for six years in the shipping and receiving department as manager.
He loved music, sang in the church choir for many years and also sang for weddings and anniversaries; he also served on the church council and was an Usher of the Parish for many years.
His true passion was politics. His first start in politics was when he became a member of the Berlin School Board serving eight years and was also elected School Board President. From there he decided to try out City Hall and became Alderman in the fifth Ward serving from 1963 to 2005. In between that time he was elected Mayor serving two terms from 1977 to 1985 and 1993 to 1997, where he became known as "Give'em Hell Harry"!
He always told it like it was agree or disagree he was a peoples Alderman and Mayor and always considered the best interest of the citizens of Berlin his number one priority.
The honor he received and cherished the most was at a City Council meeting when they took action and named a new street in the North Industrial Park called "Klassa Way".
He received a proclamation on June 11, 2005, as "Harry Klassa Day" to recognize his 42 years of service to the community, which he was proud to receive from the first woman Mayor of Berlin, Bobbie Erdman.
Harry was a lifetime member of the Berlin Conservation Club, Charter member of the Bugle Mouth Bass Association, Berlin Street Cruzer's, and a faithful member of the All Saints Catholic Parish of Berlin.
He is survived by his children, Robert Klassa (friend, Sandee), William (Muggs) (Cindy) Klassa, Nancy (Oscar) Cardenas, Rosalie (Robert) Kallas, Gordon (Cindy) Klassa, Gloria (Barry) Rodensal, 14 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews other relatives and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Arden, Sister, Leone, his beloved wife, Doris and his daughter, Mary.
Funeral services with the Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, March 8, 2014, at 11 a.m. at the All Saints Catholic Church of Berlin, with the Rev. Jerome Maksvytis officiating and burial will follow in the Oakwood Cemetery of Berlin.
Relatives and friends may visit with the family and pay their respects to Harry on Saturday only from 8 to 10:30 a.m. at the Wiecki-Skipchak Funeral Home of downtown Berlin.
A memorial has been established to the Berlin Community Scholarship Foundation in his memory.
The family would like to thank the entire staff of the Juliette Manor Nursing Home for all of their kindness and care given to our Dad throughout his stay there.
Immediately following the services at the cemetery all are invited to a luncheon and fellowship and sharing of memories of Harry at the City Inn of Berlin.
116 S. ADAMS AVE.
BERLIN, WIS. 54923