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Martha Ann Johnston May Klaus, 1932 – 2021



Martha Ann Johnston May Klaus (Courtesy of Glenwood Funeral Home)

Martha Ann Johnston May Klaus passed away August 25, 2021, at her home.

Martha Ann was born in Rochester, Minnesota on January 31, 1932, and grew up in Vicksburg and was a graduate of Carr Central High School. She graduated from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri and studied at the University of Alabama where she was active in Delta Delta Delta sorority. She majored in elementary education and taught second grade.

She loved the Lord with all her heart. She was an active and involved church member of First Baptist Church where she taught 5-year-old Sunday School for 48 years, participated in the A Club ministering to children in the community, and in her later years addressed member’s birthday cards. She was also active in WMU and the Homebound Ministry.

Her family was her pride and joy. She looked forward to weekly dinners and attending church with her family. She was the hostess of many sleepovers for her grandson and his friends that enjoyed late night swims in her pool and big breakfasts the following morning. She enjoyed the outdoors especially working in her yard, Alabama football, trips to Disneyworld, and riding to the farm to look at crops. One of her favorite things to do was cook, especially homemade desserts. She was well known for her family recipes. All who knew her always mentioned her kindness, generosity, and grace. She strived to always share her faith to bring others to the Lord.

She was actively involved in community and civic organizations, the Girl Scouts of America, a past-president of the Magnolia Garden Club, past-president of the Vicksburg chapter of the Needlework Guild of America, a member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary, and served as Treasurer of Republican Women’s Club of Mississippi.

Martha Ann was a strong supporter of higher education and has been honored for her contribution to the University of Alabama School for Cancer Research. She also received the Award of Excellence from Mississippi College in recognition of her outstanding leadership, contributions and involvement in community and educational philanthropies, and in grateful appreciation of her Christian commitment, support, and service to her community, church and to the college. She also established the David L. May Endowed Scholarship through the Hinds Community College Foundation.

She is preceded in death by her parents Dr. Hugh H. Johnston, Sr. and Hazel Pond Johnston, her husband of 42 years David Lanier May, and her husband of eight years Max K. Klaus.

Martha Ann is survived by her daughter, Martha Debra Strickland, her son David Johnston May, and grandson Michael David Strickland (Laura Beth). She has two great grandchildren, May and Michael Strickland and expecting two more later this year. Martha Ann is also survived by her three stepchildren Meta Klaus, Ken Klaus (Diane), and Marsha Klaus; and her four step-grandchildren Gareth Gilliland Lampkin (Randy), Hunt Gilliland (Lindsey), Keith Klaus (Sara), and Kyle Klaus (Lindsey); and her eight step great-grandchildren Riley Lampkin, Lachlan Lampkin, Gray Lampkin, William Gilliland, Sam Gilliland, Max Klaus, Miles Klaus, and Maren Klaus. She also leaves her beloved dog, Gracie, as well as a brother, nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends.

The funeral service will be Wednesday, September 1 at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Vicksburg with Dr. Matt Buckles officiating. Glenwood Funeral Home is in charge of funeral arrangements. Burial will follow at Vicksburg Cedar Hill Cemetery. There will be no visitation due to the family’s wishes to follow safety protocols.

Pall bearers are Harold May, Syd Johnston, Scott Johnston, Ronnie Andrews, Bobby Bailess, and Starr Williams. Honorary pall bearers are Doug and Rebecca Campagna, Gene and Sara Jane Ball, Dr. and Mrs. Robert Bourge, Gene and Peggy Allen, Raymond May, Dr. Walter Johnston, Joe Johnston, Dinnie Johnston, Henry Johnston, Bess Graham, Sharon Andrews, Betty Hoofman, Elizabeth Newsome, Christine Jackson, Ethel Yarington, Ken Hicks, Michelle Daisi, Camille Atwood, Dee Hyland, and Betty Bexley.

The family would like to thank special caregivers Susan Grissom, Joan Muirhead, Gloria Martin, Rena Washington, Kelly Washington, and Mary O’Neal; the nurses at Ivory’s Healthcare Services: Annie Murray, Tracy Howard, Tiffine Croom, LaTanya Reed, and Kyla Ivory; Dr. Walter Johnston and the staff at Compassus Hospice.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Baptist Children’s Village or the charity of your choice.

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