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Obituary: Tracy Claus

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Tracy Claus died Sunday evening, Feb. 22, 2004, at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach.

He was surrounded by his wife of 25 years, Jane, his son, Stephen, his future daughter-in-law, Melinda, and a loving family. His passing was peaceful after a painful fight with lung cancer.

Most of his family was able to spend time with him during the last two days of his life. His family said most of his concern continued to be with their welfare, and the time spent with family was warm and loving.

Mr. Claus touched many lives in his 57 years. Friends and family feel very sad and said they will miss his quiet strength.

His family said his influence was felt in his business, Rogers Poultry, where he was a fair and compassionate owner, the Long Beach Symphony where he was on the Board of Directors and served as treasurer and passionate supporter, Idyllwild Arts as chairman of the Planning Committee and The Yosemite Fund of which he was a major supporter.

They said he felt and responded to the need to support his communities as well as the lives of his personal friends and family.

Born in 1946 in Alhambra, Mr. Claus grew up the youngest of four.

He attended San Jose State University, transferred to California State University in Long Beach and graduated in 1969 with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering.

During this time he lived on the peninsula of Alamitos Bay establishing friendships that would last his lifetime.

In the fall of 1969 he joined the Navy. He was stationed in Naples until 1972 where he was a communications officer.

After the service, Mr. Claus used his engineering degree working for Boise Cascade Bendix.

In 1974, he was invited to join his brother and father in the family business, Rogers Poultry, then located in the Farmer’s Market in Los Angeles.

After Roger’s retirement, Tracy took on leadership of the company focusing on the family tradition of producing the best quality product. Under his leadership the business continued to thrive.

His family said his sense of integrity permeated all he did. For those who knew him, his “chicken stories” are legendary.

A memorial celebration was held at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27 at the Long Beach Museum of Art. The Luyben Family Dilday-Mottell Mortuary handled arrangements.

Along with his wife, son and future daughter-in-law, Mr. Claus is survived by a brother, Roger Claus; two sisters, Carol Crawford and Dorothy Beckett; and many beloved nephews and nieces, Scott Beckett, Julie Kalogianis, Renee Villa, Jason Beckett, Terry Butler, Sandy Daze, Diane Nofsinger, Michael and David Hellmers.

His family said he was a great husband, father, friend, mentor to the young, and a very giving and loving man.

They wrote, “We will remember and miss him. Among his last words he said, ‘All you have at the end is love. Love is all that there is.’”

In lieu of flowers the family suggests contributions be made to: Idyllwild Arts, c/o Bill Lowman, P.O. Box 38, Idyllwild, CA 92549; Long Beach Symphony, 110 W. Ocean Blvd., Suite 22, Long Beach, CA 90802; or Yosemite Fund-Memorial Tribute, 155 Montgomery St., #1104, San Francisco, CA 94104.

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