Cover photo for Corliss Klaassen's Obituary
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1939 Corliss 2023

Corliss Klaassen

April 11, 1939 — October 30, 2023

West Des Moines

Corliss Klaassen, 84, of West Des Moines, formerly of Chariton, Iowa, passed away on Monday, October 30, 2023, after a long and brave battle with Multiple Myeloma. He will be remembered well by all who knew him. 

Services will be held on Monday, November 6, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Chariton. Family will receive friends on Sunday, November 5, 2023, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Pierschbacher Funeral Home in Chariton. Memorials may be contributed to the First United Methodist Church in Chariton, IA, the Chariton High School Booster Club, and the Wesley Life Hospice in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Corliss grew up on a farm near Pomeroy in northwest Iowa, along with his three brothers. Corliss received his Bachelor of Science degree from Wartburg College in 1961 and a Pharmacy Degree from Drake University in 1964. He then worked in Rockford, Illinois as a pharmacist for 4 years. He moved to Chariton in 1968 where he owned and operated his pharmacy for 33 years.

Known for his integrity and humbleness, Corliss was a very dedicated community servant, and he served in various capacities in community-based organizations. He was a Charter member of the Chariton Chamber & Development Corporation, a board member of the Rathbun Area Health Services, a member of the Board of Trustees for the Lucas County Health Center, and an active member of the First United Methodist Church.

Corliss, along with his wife, Jeanne, enjoyed the many friendships and relationships that they made in Rotary. He joined the Rotary Club of Chariton in 1976 and in 2005-2006, he served as District Governor for District 6000. He also served as District Rotary Foundation Chair and Annual Fund Chair. He was recognized on numerous occasions with many awards for his service. Corliss and Jeanne made many international trips with Rotary as well. They were part of endeavors to aid in the eradication of polio in Nigeria and India. Corliss took to heart and lived the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self”.

Over the years, Corliss always had a group of friends to have coffee with each morning. He never wanted to miss a chance to catch up with their lives and share in a good debate. 

Corliss was an avid sports fan. He enjoyed watching all levels of different sports. He and his son loved watching the Packers. If he wasn’t traveling to watch his kids and grandkids participate in events, then he was catching up on scores and games and having in-depth conversations about anything sports-related. In his younger years, Corliss became quite a pitcher for fast-pitch softball. He played on teams throughout his summers and always loved the thrill of competition. 

Corliss cared deeply about his family and faith. He and Jeanne spent time with their five children and 11 grandchildren. He and his brothers also had quite a bond. Bringing the family together was a high priority, especially at Easter at his brother’s home. Education was very important to Corliss throughout his life.  He and Jeanne supported their children and then their grandchildren in pursuing further education. It was a sense of pride for Corliss to be a part of the future endeavors of his family.

Corliss and Jeanne moved to Edgewater Independent Living in West Des Moines in June of 2022. They have enjoyed their life as they have met new friends and become part of a new welcoming community.   

Corliss is survived by his wife, Jeanne Klaassen of West Des Moines, Iowa; son, Spencer (Angie) Klaassen of St. Joseph, MO; daughter, Vicki (Michael) Chew of Woodinville, WA; daughter, Jodi (John) Define of Lenexa, KS; son, Mike (Misti) Johnson of Polo, MO; daughter, Deborah Fajardo of Glenwood, IA; 11 grandchildren: Hannah (Trystan) Wiedow, Henry Klaassen, Connor Chew, Julia Chew, Alexandria Define, Aila Define, Gabriella Define, Alex Johnson, Erik Johnson, Emily Fajardo, Sophie Fajardo; brothers, Curtis (Cherry) Klaassen of Leawood, KS and Gary (Cyndi) Klaassen of Pocahontas, IA; sister-in-law, Nancy Klaassen of West Des Moines, IA; brother-in-law, Dick Hines of Weldon, Iowa; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Connie and Tom Pyron of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; sister-in-law, Jan Spurgeon of Centerville, Iowa; along with many nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.

Corliss was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and LuWene Klaassen, and his brother, Cletus Klaassen.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Timothy 4: 7-8

To send flowers to the family in memory of Corliss Klaassen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, November 5, 2023

2:00 - 4:00pm (Central time)

Pierschbacher Funeral Homes - Chariton

914 Roland Ave., Chariton, IA 50049

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Funeral Service

Monday, November 6, 2023

Starts at 10:30am (Central time)

First United Methodist Church

923 Roland Ave, Chariton, IA 50049

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