Merrill "Mel" Hilary Klein

June 27, 1937September 6, 2019

Mel was born and raised in Duquesne, PA. He maintained a lifelong friendship of over 72 years with his childhood best friends who called themselves "The Urchin Gang”.

Upon graduation from Duquesne High School, Mel joined the United States Navy because he did not want to follow in his father’s footsteps to work as a butcher, nor did he want to work in the steel mills.

Upon honorable discharge from the Navy, Mel had a greater calling in life; he joined the Los Angeles Police Department and committed himself “To Protect and To Serve” the greater Los Angeles area until he retired.

After retirement, he continued to work as a private investigator and a personal protection specialist to high-profile corporations and celebrities, maintaining dignity, honor, respect and moral values towards family, friends and all.

Mel always said, all the way up to the night before his passing, “The greatest day of my life was August 31, 1969 when I met Leona. It was fate and destiny that brought us together and my life began”. Mel and Leona spent 50 incredible years together in marriage, not only deeply in love with each other, but also sharing that same love with family and friends. One of their favorite sayings to one another is “I love you more than yesterday, but less than tomorrow, and our love will live on.”

Mel had such a strong passion for family and life. He truly loved his family and friends and said he will take a piece of everyone’s heart with him until we all meet again.

Mel was truly a remarkable man. The night before he passed, with what little strength remained, he left 2 heartfelt recorded messages, one to Leona expressing his eternal love for her and the other to the family indicating how honored he was to be accepted into our family.


  • Visitation Monday, September 16, 2019
  • Funeral Service Monday, September 16, 2019
  • Committal Service Monday, September 16, 2019


Merrill "Mel" Hilary Klein

have a memory or condolence to add?

Kelly Kostjuk

September 18, 2019

Uncle Mel, you always said how blessed you were to join our family, we were the ones who was blessed to have you become part of our family. You were more than my uncle, you were my godfather! I love you today, tomorrow, and every day after that for the rest of my life! Love always and forever, your Pickle Puss!!!

Stephanie Walker

September 18, 2019

Mel and Leona are extended family to us. We met them both over 15 years ago when we moved into our house next door to them. My kids don’t know life with Mel in it even if it was just waving high when Mel was out getting the mail or over the fence in our backyard. He was the greatest man and would come over and turn down our AC and go get us a gallon of milk and put in our frig right before we got back from a week trip to California. He took the time to do an interview with my son on PI work for a school project. We loved having them attend our neighbors Christmas party with Leona’s sister Harriet. I would apologize if my english Bulldog Gator would bark for Mel to let his dogs out so Gator could visit with them. He would say oh no his bark is deep and doesn’t bother me at all. Never complained about the noise my kids made late at night in the backyard. You could feel his love and kindness always.

He was strong and a gentlemen to his last breath. Leona can be so proud of him. We will miss him oh so dearly.

Love the Walkers, Greg, Stephanie, Griffin and Savanna ❤️

Maura Yarbrough

September 14, 2019

As we celebrate a life well lived, I reflect on memories of my Uncle Mel. We did not get to visit often but when we did Uncle Mel and Aunt Leona shared the warmth and love of family.

I had the absolute pleasure of spending my 46th birthday at Mel and Leona’s house. They celebrated me with a wonderful meal. It was great joy to be together around a table. I am thankful to have the memory of that day and hold it close to my heart.

My mother loved her baby brother. There is great joy and peace knowing that they have been reunited and forever happy.

The courage that Uncle Mel showed during his life and as he faced his last days is remarkable. It gives me strength in this time of sadness and hope as I move forward in life inspired to live by his example.

Love and memories live forever.

William Delmer

September 13, 2019

Our heartfelt condolences to Mel's beloved Leona and family and friends. I met Mel in 1947 when we moved into the house next door to him in Duquesne, PA. He and I were about the same age and we bonded almost immediately. Over the years, time and distance separated us but we remained friends. I will miss him terribly. He was a great kid and a great guy. From time to time, Merrill would come back to the Pittsburgh area to visit the surviving "Urchins" and we'd get together for a night on the town. we are all very much saddened by the departing of such a beloved friend and our hearts go out to the love of his life, Leona. A photo of Mel with some friends from Duquesne has been posted here.

William Delmer

September 13, 2019