Born August 13, 1928, to parents Abraham and Margaretha Klassen, between Russia and Germany, during the Stalin takeover. He was the second of six children. He lived in Dinuba, CA, until coming to Ridgecrest to work construction in 1953.
Died: August 15, 2022, after turning 94, with his loved ones by his side in Ridgecrest.
Pete came to Ridgecrest in 1953 to work construction for Gray Rager for two years before becoming the Bakersfield Californian newspaper distributor. He drove from Ridgecrest to Bakersfield to Kernville and back to Ridgecrest 6 days a week for 13 years, compiling approximately 140 thousand miles a year, rolling 5 pickup trucks, but not letting the rain, snow or flooded highways prevent the paper from getting through.
Tired of driving the roads, Pete got a job in the street department for the City of Ridgecrest, to work on and repair the streets. During his 25 years in the department he worked his way up to become the City’s Street Superintendent.
Pete lived a very athletic life. During his high school years, he and his brothers competed in track meets beating older athletes, surprising many collegiate athletes!
He met Don McKernan and RC Kirkendoll and started team roping and hitting the rodeo circuit. His son Randy got him into riding motorcycles in 1967. He started racing desert in 1968, until he realized motocross was more fun! They were racing 2-4 weekends a month for the last 3 years, until 1990. During the week he would compete, pitching in fastpitch softball leagues.
Another one of his sport enjoyments was officiating high school sports, football, basketball, baseball and softball for the CIF leagues.
Golf became his addiction, mentoring his grandson Ryan, playing daily locally, until he bought a condo in Silver Lakes allowing him to travel down every weekend.
Pete was preceded in death by his parents Abraham and Margaretha Klassen, brothers Abe, John, Jake and Henry. He is survived by his wife of 72 years Georgia Klassen, sister Annie Siemens, former daughter-in-law Cindy Klassen, son Randy Klassen and Deborah Corlett, grandsons Ryan Klassen (Shahna), Toby Klassen, granddaughter Ashley Tibbetts (Ryan), six great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.
Family graveside services in Dinuba, CA will be determined