Ronald Lloyd Klein
April 26, 1939 – August 5, 2020
Ronald Lloyd Klein of Raleigh, NC died on August 5, 2020 at the age of 81 after a lengthy struggle with cancer.
Ron was born on April 26, 1939 and was raised at his family farm near Lexington, Illinois. He was the son of Frank and Lila (Sharp) Klein and had four older siblings: Myra, Faye, Keith, and Ben. Ben survives, as well as many nephews and nieces.
As an elementary school student, the one-room country schoolhouse Ron attended burned down. He began attending the nearby "city" schools in Lexington, Illinois where he met Nancy Ann Jones in the 4th grade. Their romance never wavered from that point on. They were married in 1961. Nancy and family look forward to celebrating their 59th anniversary this month.
Ron was the beloved father, father-in-law, and Papa to two daughters and their families. Laura and James Vann and their children, Sarah and Walker, live in Raleigh. Karla and Bob Murdock and their children, Anna and Will, live in Lexington, Virginia.
The work ethic of a farming lifestyle remained the cornerstone of Ron’s identity and he flourished in an active lifestyle. He was a planner, a problem-solver, and an inventor of labor-saving mechanisms that tended to feature levers and pulleys. He was at his best in the middle of a project unfolding within his garage or yard. Ron could most often be spotted wearing a WVU cap displaying his Mountaineer allegiance. During recent years he derived great joy from the vibrant and generous lives of the young families in his neighborhood.
Ron was an engineer and a professor. He received a BS and MS from the University of Illinois in Electrical Engineering, worked at Bell Telephone Labs in Andover, Massachusetts, and earned a PhD from the University of Iowa. He served as a faculty member at Kansas University for 10 years and at West Virginia University for 27 years, where he was Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The passion of his scholarly career was magnetically levitated train systems.
Ron found fulfillment in learning to play the bells in the tower of Wesley United Methodist Church in Morgantown, WV with the help of a great friend and expert musician there. He often played the bells before and after church services. In Raleigh he became involved in the video streaming program at Highland United Methodist Church where he formed deeply treasured friendships. He remained active and invested in continuing to improve the streaming program throughout his lifetime.
The family is profoundly grateful for the extraordinarily loving care that Ron received from Matthew Nielsen, MD and his staff at UNC, who understood and responded to him with patience, dignity, and respect. The staff of Transitions Life Care in Raleigh brought tremendous peace and comfort to Ron and his family as well.
A small memorial gathering was held under a canopy of trees at Ron’s home in Raleigh. He will be buried in the family plot in Lexington, Illinois.
Memorials may be made to the Highland UMC Streaming Program, Highland UMC, 1901 Ridge Rd., Raleigh NC 27607, or to Transitions Life Care, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Ronald Lloyd Klein
August 19, 2020
Words do an injustice in explaining how much I will miss Dr. Klein! He will always live in my memories and admiration.
My deepest condolences to Nancy and his family!
Dr. Klein was an erudite scholar, a kind elder, and a patient mentor! It is no exaggeration to say that Dr. Klein was one of the most important initiators and teachers of my professional career. During the busy but happy five-year beautiful days at WVU, Dr. Klein had been teaching me, helping me, and shaping me, from my undergraduate studies in EE to the completion of my PhD. The following is the acknowledgment of my doctoral dissertation (1993), please allow me to read it here again to Dr. Klein:
“I am deep grateful to my advisor Professor Ronald Klein for his scientific guidance, his readiness and willingness to help, his continuous support over the years, and especially for the atmosphere of friendly cooperation that made this dissertation possible. With a wealth of prodding questions, suggestions, and discussions, with generous help, support, and encouragement, with shrewd and attentive guidance, with wholehearted kindness and understanding, in short, he has worked at least as hard as I have to bring out the best in me. For all this, and more, I shall always be grateful.”
Rest in peace, Dr. Klein!
August 10, 2020
With fond memories of Ron when he was our next door neighbor in Morgantown. My deepest condolences to his family, expecially Nancy.