Frederick P. Klaus, a retired Towson real estate consultant, died Tuesday of renal failure at St. Joseph Medical Center. He was 80 and lived in Ruxton.
He founded Frederick P. Klaus and Co., a Towson consulting business, in 1954 in the old Loyola Federal Savings building on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Born in Queens, N.Y., and raised in Austria and New York, he was a graduate of the University of Neufchatel in Switzerland and studied at the University of Innsbruck and the University of Vienna.
During World War II he served in the Army in Italy and Germany. He was discharged with the rank of major.
Friends said he served as an expert witness in condemnation and zoning cases. He spent much of his time during the 1950s working on land-acquisition issues related to construction of the Baltimore Beltway and Interstate 83.
"He was quite a character. He knew Baltimore County inside and out. He was a pleasure to deal with. He loved politics and had tremendous knowledge of the county government," said Arnold Jablon, director of the county's Department of Permits and Development Management. "He knew all the players going back 50 years. He loved to tell good stories, all with a political theme."
Mr. Klaus was recalled as a shrewd judge of Baltimore County geography and land values.
"He had a nose for picking properties that were excellent investments. He knew the county well and saw the direction development was going," said Judge Edward A. DeWaters Jr., retired chief judge of the 3rd Judicial Circuit of Maryland. "He was an impressive, knowledgeable witness. He was articulate, an excellent dresser and a gentleman."
"He was an outstanding real estate appraiser. His opinions were always well-received," said Baltimore County Judge John G. Turnbull. "In many ways, he was a visionary of the county's growth. He could see the future of real estate and was guided by those excellent insights."
Mr. Klaus was a sportsman who enjoyed the outdoors. A member of the African Safari Club of Washington, he traveled to Kenya for hunting and enjoyed deep-sea fishing off the coast of Mexico. He also hunted on the Eastern Shore.
He skied in the Austrian Alps and was awarded an honorary citizenship of the Tyrol region and the keys to the town of Kitzbuhel in 1975.
A former president of the Young Democrats of Baltimore County, he was a trustee of the Towson Elks lodge.
Services are private.
He is survived by his wife of 15 years, the former Sue Ann Nordhoff; a daughter, Lissette Cassell Klaus of Towson; and a brother, Louis Klaus of New York.