In Memoriam: Christian John Kalaus (1977-2023)

Posted on June 23rd, 2023 at 4:00 PM
In Memoriam: Christian John Kalaus (1977-2023)

Christian John Kalaus, a member of the Lycoming Law Association since 2002, died on March 10, 2023.

Memorial Service

Memorial Petition





The Honorable Nancy L. Butts, President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County, 29th Judicial District, by Order dated April 6, 2023 appointed the undersigned Committee to draft Resolutions memorializing the life of Christian John Kalaus, Esquire and to submit the same to this Honorable Court at a special Resolution Memorial Service scheduled for June 23, 2023 at 4:00pm.

The undersigned Committee submits the following Resolutions for this Honorable Court’s consideration:

  1. Christian John Kalaus, Esquire, a member of the bar of this court since 2002 died unexpectedly on March 10, 2023.
  2. Chris was the husband of Melissa Kalaus, who is an attorney and was a member of this bar.
  3. Chris was born on September 30, 1977, in Scranton, Pennsylvania and was the son of the late Dorothy Kalaus.C
  4. Chris graduated from the University of Scranton in May of 1999, Summa Cum Laude. He was on the Deans lists for all 4 years while at the University of Scranton, a member of the Criminal Justice Honor Society and the Recipient of the Professor Frank Brown Award for Excellence in History. 
  5. Chris graduated from Syracuse University, College of Law, with a Juris Doctorate degree in 2002. While at Syracuse Chris was editor for the Law Review and graduated in the top 10% of his class
  6. After graduating from law school, he applied and was selected to join the United States Marine Corps, OSC for training and evaluation as a Marine Corps combat officer with the intention of ultimately working for the USMC JAG. Unfortunately for Chris, he suffered from shin splints and was therefore physically not qualified to join the Marine Corps. Their loss was Judge Kieser’s gain, and he became his law clerk in the summer of 2002 where he remained until he joined the Public Defender’s Office on October 8, 2007.
  7. He continued to work at the Public Defenders office until August 16, 2008, when he joined the law firm of Rieders Travis, Humphrey, Harris, Waters and Waffenschmidt.
  8. As a law clerk Chris was especially astute in ascertaining the legal issues and principles of law which would determine the outcome of an argument or case. He quickly won not only the appreciation and respect of Judge Kieser but also that of the other Judges, law Clerks and many Attorneys for his legal analysis, research and writing skills.
  9. Chris was the best researcher that Tom Waffenschmidt had ever seen, and as such, when Tom decided to leave Rieders Travis in 2014, he asked Chris to join him and was lucky enough that Chris agreed.
  10. Chris worked in the Waffenschmidt Law Firm for Tom during the past nine years doing all the research and writing including Pleadings, Motions in Limine, Summary Judgment Motions, any and all Federal Court Pleadings, PO’s, Brief in Support and Briefs in Opposition to any Motions that were filed as well as Mediation and Arbitration submissions.
  11. Chris also handled all the firm’s Social Security Disability claims.
  12. Chris was a perfectionist, and it would be an extremely rare occurrence where anyone he worked for would make a change to anything that he had drafted.
  13. Chris was an avid sports fan and a die-hard fan of the Chicago Black Hawks and the Chicago Bears.
  14. Chris and his wife Melissa enjoyed exercising, biking, and staying fit. They also cared for their two rescue dogs and their cat.
  15. Chris was very close to his brother, who lives in the Philadelphia area as well as his nephew.
  16. Chris is survived by his wife Melissa with whom he had been married for 15 years. In fact, Judge Kieser was honored to have performed the wedding ceremony on December 23rd 2008.

NOW THEREFORE, be it resolved, that we, the undersigned, joined by the Bar of Lycoming County, do recognize the passing of Christian John Kalaus, Esquire and recommend adopting the following resolutions.

BE IT RESOLVED, that in the passing of Christian John Kalaus, Esquire there has been a loss to the Bar of Lycoming County of an outstanding member who represented the best principles of the legal profession; a loss to the community of an active and unselfish citizen; a loss to his family of a loving husband; and a loss to his friends of a talented and always interesting companion.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of these Resolutions be spread upon the records of this Court and that copies of the same be sent to his widow.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this court and its Bar hereby extend to his widow, a deep and heartfelt expression of sympathy.


Thomas Waffenschmidt, Esquire, Chairperson
The Honorable Judge William Kieser
The Honorable Judge Marc Lovecchio
Nicole Spring, Esquire