William ‘Bill’ Otto Klingfus, 74

Published 10:44 am Monday, April 13, 2015

William “Bill” Otto Klingfus, 74, of Austin, died unexpectedly on Saturday, April 11, 2015, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester.



Bill was born in Austin on May 7, 1940, to Otto and Anna (Barnholzer) Klingfus. He attended school and graduated from Austin High School in 1958. He worked for Thompson & Lewison Excavating. Bill continued to work for Lewison when they branched off of Thompson. He then purchased Lewison and renamed the company “Bill’s Excavating” in 1974. He owned and operated his business until 1995. On Dec. 3, 1988, Bill married Katherine Murphy in Las Vegas.

Bill, known as “Wild Bill” or “Digger Bill,” loved operating heavy equipment. He was excellent at his work and had mentored many less experienced excavators. Bill enjoyed taking annual vacations with his family. They would go camping, snowmobiling, boating and fishing. Bill enjoyed motorcycles and loved to garden and feed the birds. Bill was a member of the Austin Eagles, American Legion, VFW and Moose lodges.

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Bill is survived by his wife, Katherine “Kathy” Klingfus of Austin; children: Rhonda (Larry) Burgess of Albert Lea, Craig Klingfus of Austin, Curt (Peggy) Klingfus of Austin, Rachelle Klingfus of Millville, Minnesota; six grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; eight step-children; and a brother, Paul (Ardie) Klingfus of Austin.

Bill is preceded in death by his parents; a granddaughter Jennifer; and a sister Lois.

A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 15, 2015, at St. Augustine Catholic Church with Father Jim Steffes officiating. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14, 2015, at Mayer Funeral Home and again an hour prior to the funeral mass at church. Burial will follow the service at Calvary Cemetery. Online Condolences-www.mayerfh.com.