Warren Craig Maus
Warren Craig Maus was the first of four children born to Louis Craig Maus and Norma Lee (Warren) Maus. His birth on September 24, 1946, in Winslow, Arizona, predated by more than two decades the incident in which the protagonist of The Eagles’ song “Take it Easy” was ogled by a young woman in a passing flat-bed pickup in the same small town.
Not long after his birth, Warren and his parents moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he spent the remainder of his childhood and adolescence. In 1964, he graduated from Hot Springs High School, where his friends included a gregarious saxophone player named William Jefferson Clinton about whom the rest of the world ended up learning a lot.
After graduation, he attended college at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and Henderson College before being drafted into the Army. While stationed in West Germany (he also spent some time in South Korea), he met his first wife, Anneliese (Berg) Maus. After Warren’s discharge from the Army, the couple moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas, where they had a son, Derek Craig Maus (a future author of obituaries such as the one you’re currently reading…), in 1971. Warren earned both a B.A. in English and Business and an M.A. in American Literature at the University of Arkansas before they moved to Kansas City, Missouri, in order for Warren to teach English at Johnson County Community College. A year later, they moved to Darmstadt, West Germany, where Warren taught English for the University of Maryland until the couple amicably divorced, and he returned to the United States in 1977.
Warren lived briefly in Hot Springs and in Memphis, where he lived less than a mile from Graceland in a forgettable apartment on the unforgettably named—and terribly spelled—Pidgeon Perch Lane. In 1979, he received an offer to resume teaching at Johnson County Community College and moved back to Kansas City, where he lived for the rest of his life, albeit in more different houses and apartments than most people can count on their fingers and toes.
One evening in the late fall of 1980, the twin calamities of the Royals’ loss in the World Series and Ronald Reagan’s election led him to drown his sorrows at the Longbranch Saloon in suburban Overland Park. That night he met Zim Loy, who would become his partner (and, later, wife) for the last four decades of his life. They moved in soon thereafter, beginning a process of peripatetic cohabitation that would include nearly a dozen stops on both the Missouri and Kansas sides of the border in the Kansas City metro area. Warren and Zim got married at their Hyde Park home on Campbell Street in November of 1989 in an event that remains second only to Woodstock in terms of the number of people who dimly yet fondly remember it.
Over the course of his 40-plus years in Kansas City, Warren worked not only as a collegiate instructor, but also as a freelance writer, a magazine publisher, and editor, and as a fundraising, development, and marketing executive for public television (KCPT), the renovated Union Station project, and for community radio (KKFI).
He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2015, but faced the many challenges of that condition with his trademark combination of wit and obstinacy for six years, allowing him (among other things) to welcome his grandson Oscar Maus into the world in May of 2018. He also continued doing his beloved crossword puzzles, copy editing page-proofs, golfing as much as possible (including a hole-in-one at Swope Park Memorial golf course), and indulging in the city’s culinary delights, particularly barbecue.
As it always does, though, Parkinson’s began taking its toll and after a mercifully brief period of crisis, Warren slipped away quietly and calmly at home with his wife and son by his side at 4:20 a.m. on July 16, 2021.
He is survived by his wife, Zim Loy; by his three siblings, Pam Maus of Owl’s Head, Maine, Melodye Rogers of Denton, Texas, and Mickey Maus of Tulsa, Oklahoma; by his son, Derek C. Maus of Potsdam, New York, and Montréal, Canada; and by his grandson, Oscar Maus, of Montréal, Canada.
In lieu of flowers or other gestures of condolence, donations in his name can be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation (parkinson.org)