In Memory

Denny Kaus

Denny Kaus

Dennis Kaus 030813-O.jpg

Dennis C. Kaus

— Dennis C. Kaus, age 64, of Mankato, formerly of St. James, died Wednesday, March 6, 2013, at the Hutchinson Regional Medical Center. Memorial services will be 11:00 a.m. Monday, March 11, 2013, at Belgrade Avenue Methodist Church in North Mankato. Visitation will be from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m, Sunday at the church. Woodland Hills Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.

Dennis was born March 3, 1949, in Mankato to Charles E. "Cy" and Darlene F. (Thompson) Kaus. He was a 1967 graduate of Mankato High School and a 1971 graduate of Mankato State University. Dennis married Sally Cooper June 12, 1971, in Willmar. He started his career in sales with S.T. Industries in St. James until 2003 when he went to work at P.C.A., Professional Credit Analysts. After retirement he worked as a driver for Lagers and Mankato Motors. Dennis was a big sports fan including football, baseball, basketball and golf, but especially loved watching his 3 sons in their sports. He was a Coach for St. James Youth Basketball and was a long time sports announcer for St. James High School, over 30 years. He also enjoyed reading and singing.

Dennis is survived by his wife Sally; 3 sons, Justin Kaus (Delight Simpson) of North Mankato, Coby (Martie) Kaus of North Mankato and Tyler Kaus (Shayne Mackie) of St. Peter; 5 grandchildren, Taylor Rae Kaus, Alexis, Madison, Mason, and Austin Kaus; father Charles "Cy" Kaus of North Mankato; sister, Wendi (Lee) Masters of Mankato; brother, Neil (Barb) Kaus of Mankato; mother in-law, Shirley Cooper of Willmar; sisters in-law, Connie (Dan) Wisdorf of Spokane, WA and Vickie (Richard) Nordmeyer of Fargo, ND; brother in-law, Dr. Scott Cooper (Scott Pratt) of Indianapolis, IN.

He was preceded in death by his mother Darlene and father in-law, George Cooper.


April 7, 2013

St. James High School gym to bear big name

Longtime sports booster Denny Kaus died in March

For decades, Denny Kaus gave of himself to youth sports in St. James.

On Sunday the community gave back to him by naming the high school gym in his honor and memory.

“He’s got the best seat in the house, and he’s looking down on us today,” said Leora Ask, president of St. James District 840 School Foundation.

Gym naming rights are sold annually at the 11-year-old Cash for Kids benefit auction at the school, and Kaus’ name will reign for the 2013-2014 school year.

Normally, naming rights generate $500 or so at the auction. But this year the total came in at $4,400. Half that amount was donated by the community at large, with the other half coming from Ask, a longtime school booster and Kaus friend.

The banner bearing his name will go up at the gym entrance in June.

Kaus, who died in March of a heart attack at 64, was a Mankato High School graduate who worked and lived in St. James until 2003, when he moved back to Mankato.

What did he do for St. James sports? The better question is, what didn’t he do?

Longtime St. James teacher and coach Les Zellmann said he asked Kaus in the 1970s if he would help out with a youth basketball program. Kaus ran with it and then some.

He was still coaching youth basketball teams even after his own kids had long left the program, and over the years he was a volunteer fixture at a variety of athletic events, handling everything from announcing to scorekeeping to keeping statistics.

And his efforts didn’t stop with organized sports. In late summer he’d show up Sunday afternoons at a ballfield and be “all-time” pitcher for kids who’d show up for pickup games in “Denny’s League.”

“The kids just came. He’d pitch to them for two or three hours,” Zellmann said.

The Cash for Kids auction annually raises about $25,000, with all proceeds going to the school foundation.

“It helps pay for all the little educational things — iPads, smart boards, field trips — things a small school system can’t afford,” Ask said.

Auction items Sunday ranged from autographed pro sports gear to vacation trips to concert tickets


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03/17/13 09:37 AM #1    

Phil Meyer

Words cannot express how sad we were to hear about Denny's death. My initial response was, "Not Denny." His funeral was heartwarming and his spirit was captured well by the minister and family. I loved (as much as a 10 year old can) him in fifth grade and all the years since. He was quite a guy!

Elaine Tosch Meyer

09/17/17 08:49 AM #2    

Calvin Roff

I sat next to Denny in homeroom and worked the deli counter next to his dad's butcher counter at Madsens. Denny was just a great nice All-American kid. Except when he came into homeroom the day after grabbing a skunk by the tail and getting sprayed. What he used to remove the hideous odor did not work. But he was all smiles and still the great Denny Kaus.

09/18/17 10:44 AM #3    

Richard Rohloff (Teacher)

I rmember Denny with his quick smile/laugh, also his quickness as a dedicated athlete with a great attitude. I'm very sorry to learn of his passing.    Coach Dick Rohloff

09/18/17 02:08 PM #4    

Robert Ekstam

Denny was part of the N. Kato baseball crowd. We'd play at 9:00, 1:00 and 7:00 five days a week, with Denny usually getting everyone organized. All that playing turned him into one of the best baseball players of our era. He treated everyone as his best friend and I never heard him say a bad word about anyone. He was always upbeat and energetic and had a genuine smile for everyone. All who knew him are saddened by his loss, but we are all better for remembering Denny as a friend.

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