Walter John Claeys

Born: Sun., Aug. 9, 1931
Died: Sun., Sep. 14, 2014


9:30 AM to 11:00 AM, Wed., Sep. 17, 2014
Location: Hillcrest Baptist Church

Funeral Service

11:00 AM Wed., Sep. 17, 2014
Location: Hillcrest Baptist Church

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Walter John Claeys

August 9, 1931 - September 14, 2014


Walter John Claeys, 83, passed into the Lord's presence on Sunday, September 14, 2014, at 9 p.m. He was a lifelong area resident, graduating from Mishawaka High School and Grace College & Theological Seminary. He was an ordained Baptist minister, and he pastored several churches in northern Indiana, finding his true passion in the teaching and exposition of the Word of God. He spent several years researching and subsequently writing a published comparative analysis entitled "The Shocking Differences Between the Koran and the Bible."

Walt was very instrumental in helping the establishment of Hillcrest Baptist Church. Along with the original members of Hillcrest, Walt was given the responsibility of teaching the first Adult Bible Study Class during the Sunday School hour. His thorough approach to teaching the Bible became a foundational trait of the church. A verse by verse approach to Bible study was his trademark and passion. The church loved and appreciated his efforts to exalt the Lord and the Church. Moreover, the Hillcrest family loved Walt and thanked God for him!

On June 17, 2004, Walt married the former Barbara Mikesell, who survives. They faithfully attended Hillcrest Baptist Church until the decline of their health. Barbara, his ever-loving wife, will dearly miss him.
He was preceded in death by his parents, five siblings and a son, John Mark. Walt leaves behind his children: Pamela (Rich) Mendenhall of Elkhart, Cheryl (Ben) Smith of Mishawaka, Mark (Kristy) Claeys of Mishawaka, and Christy (Tim) Hanlon of Osceola. He was blessed with 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Service will be held at Hillcrest Baptist Church, 59220 Bremen Hwy. in Mishawaka on Wednesday, September 17th. Friends and family will be received beginning at 9:30 a.m. with services beginning at 11:00 a.m. Walt will be laid to rest at Riverview Cemetery. 

Family and friends may leave e-mail condolences at


Charitable donations may be made in Walter 's memory to the following organization:

Hillcrest Baptist Church
59220 Bremen Hwy., Mishawaka, IN, 46545

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Harrison & Mercy Kuria
   Posted Tue September 16, 2014
In His presence forever. That is where we long to be. We thank God for Walt's life and his ministry at Hillcrest. He was a great example and inspiration to us. We miss him but we know that He is where he longed to be. WITH HIS MASTER. Amen.