John F. Klein O’63 (’57-63) , 79, of Swansea, IL, born June 3, 1936, in Belleville, IL, died Sunday, October 11, 2015, surrounded by his loving family.
John was raised in Freeburg, IL, graduated from Belleville Cathedral, and attended SIU Carbondale, St. Henry Prep Seminary, Belleville, and St. Meinrad Major Seminary in Indiana. He was ordained a Catholic Priest in 1963. Prior to ordination, he spent five summers at St. Philip Parish in East St. Louis as their Recreation Director. His first priestly assignment was as Assistant Pastor at St. Stephen Parish in Caseyville, IL. In 1965, John was assigned to St. Mary Parish in Belleville, IL. While there, he organized many parish athletic teams, and was instrumental in volleyball being played in Belleville parishes. In 1971, John was named the Belleville Diocesan Catholic Youth Organization Director, and worked out of offices in Belleville, Fairmont City, and Breese.
John was very proud of the many “old-timer” men’s and women’s softball and volleyball teams and leagues that he organized. In 1972, he took a “leave of absence” and went to Baltimore, MD to work for their CYO. One year later, John went to Rochester, NY where he was the CYO Acting Executive Director. While in Rochester, John was laicized from the priesthood. The next year, 1974, John started a 20 year career as Executive Director of the Mercy County CYO based in Trenton, NJ. Back in Illinois in 1999, John was named Site Director at Daystar Community Program in Cairo, IL, an agency of the Diocese of Belleville, and retired from there in 2006.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Judge Edmund and Cecilia, nee Hoffman, Klein; and two brothers-in-law, Joseph Dickerson and Mel Baldus.
Surviving is his wife of 39 years, Carol, nee Jakob, Klein, whom he married in 1976; two sons, John (Amanda) Klein of Ballwin, MO,
and James (Laura) Klein of Fenton, MO; two grandchildren, Addison and Beckett Klein; three sisters, Rose Baldus of Fairview Heights, IL, Catherine Dickerson of Belleville, IL, and Mary (William) Leingang of Columbia, IL; two brothers, Edmund (Rose) Klein of Sun Lakes, AZ, and Robert (Sandy) Klein of Fairview Heights, IL; and many nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to St. Mary Catholic Church. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.