Dad was born prematurely in the early stages of U.S. involvement in World War II. It's as though he was anxious to join the fight for a just cause right from the beginning. He was the firstborn of 7 children to John T. and Dorothy Klein of Cheektowaga, NY. He joined the Navy at 17 years old and served with distinction on several sea deployments during the early years of the Vietnam War. Following five years of active duty in the Navy, Dad had a successful career working in the fields of accounting, personnel, computer programming, and IT management while living over 20 years in mid-Michigan and 35 years in Northwest Georgia.
Dad held strong values and traits that included honesty, faithfulness, punctuality, and preparedness while always displaying a dependable work ethic. These values helped guide him as the rock of support for a family that included three children and his wife of over 61 years - Janice. His determined and battling spirit endured and were evident as he continued fighting through debilitating health issues that included heart failure, diabetes, vascular problems, prostate cancer; and ultimately, kidney failure.
Dad enjoyed playing sports and spending time outdoors. He spent many years coaching various teams that his children played for. Dad instilled in his children love, respect, and appreciation for gamesmanship through participation in outdoor recreation activities. In recent years his mobility had been restricted due to his health issues. With his burdens now lifted I can see him once again enjoying the activities he loved and share with his family and friends.
Dad was preceded in death by his firstborn daughter Jodie, who died shortly following her birth. Dad will be survived by his wife Janice, his two sons John Steven and James, and his grandson John David, who is married to Hannah. He was also preceded in death by his brother Richard (survived by his wife mary). He is survived by brothers Lawrence, Paul (Kim); as well as sisters Mary Ann Fixx, Arlene Lazarski, and Joanie Ettipio (Carl). Dad's siblings currently preside in upstate New York. Dad will also be survived by brothers-in-law Russel Markley of Michigan, Ronald Shepler (Joyce) of Florida, and Marvin Shepler (Helen) of Cartersville, GA.
Dad has also touched the lives of many other friends and family members, many of whom affectionately call Dad by the nickname "Skip" or "Skipper". We all loved and respected Dad, and we will all greatly miss him. But we know that he is now at peace and his spirit, love, and guidance will remain with us forever.