James A. Klein
June 21, 1933 – August 4, 2018
Jim Klein was born June 21, 1933 in Hankow, China to Herman and Edna Klein and was launched into an adventure filled and full life. He was baptized by his father who was serving as a Lutheran missionary in China at the time. The missionary work was interrupted by the Japanese invasion of China in 1937 and the family was forced to return to their home in Pueblo, Colorado where they lived for several years before returning to Hankow, China for a second mission call in 1940. During this tour, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and on December 7, 1941 the family members were designated prisoners of war, had to leave Hankow and move to Shanghai – along with 1,500 other Americans – for internment in anticipation of a trade for Japanese prisoners. The exchange of American prisoners – including the Klein family – for Japanese prisoners eventually happened between two ships docked at Mozambique, Africa. Upon their return to the U.S. (after 53 days at sea) the family lived in a number of locales, before eventually settling in Provo, Utah where his father served a Lutheran congregation as pastor, and where Jim was confirmed in the Christian faith.
Jim attended high school and college at St. John’s College in Winfield KS, where he met and soon married Gladys Moerbe of Bishop, Texas in 1956. Jim had enlisted in the Army after graduation, and shortly after being married in Texas, he and his new wife were shipped to Stuttgart, Germany for a tour of duty, where their first son, Greg was born. During his service to the country, Jim completed Army Ranger training, achieving the rank of first lieutenant, and was honorably discharged in 1958. Upon their return to the states, the young family moved to St. Louis where Jim enrolled in Concordia Seminary with the intent of becoming a pastor. While enrolled at the seminary he worked part-time with his brother Tom at a local catering company named B.F.L. Catering, located near the seminary in St. Louis. After a brief time, Jim decided that the catering business was his calling and he and his brother Tom eventually became partners/owners of B.F.L. They successfully operated the business for over 20 years, providing part-time employment for many seminarians and future pastors, along with every extended family member growing up in St. Louis at the time. During this time Jim and Gladys were blessed with three additional children Lynn, Diane and Jimmy.
In 1978, Jim sold his interest in B.F.L. when the rapidly expanding local hospital made the brothers an offer to move the business. After a period of time, Jim decided to invest in a McDonald’s franchise, going through the rigorous training required to become eligible as an owner/operator. In 1980, he was offered a franchise in Englewood, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. He was going home to his beloved Colorado. Jim was a natural at operating the business, and soon was offered a second store in Littleton, Colorado. During his time as a McDonald’s franchisee, Jim also served as president of the local advertising co-op from 1992-1996. With McDonald’s, Jim and Gladys enjoyed traveling extensively, both visiting family across the country and traveling abroad. Sadly, Gladys passed away in 1990 and Jim was required to move on without “Moms”.
In 1991, Jim met and married Jacquelyn Fry of Casper, WY, whose husband Ron had also passed away in 1990. Jim and Jackie continued with McDonalds until 1998, when he decided to sell the stores and pursue other interests such as golf, tennis and exploring Colorado, which he enjoyed to his last days (he would never admit that he was retired). He and Jackie also traveled extensively, enjoying trips to many locations around the world.
Jim was the consummate family man, supporting, guiding, disciplining, loving and encouraging his children, while modeling a steadfast Christian faith and life for all he came in contact with. Jim passed away suddenly on Saturday, August 4th to join the saints in heaven. Jim is survived by his wife Jackie, children Greg and wife Becky, Lynn and husband Steve Hellwege, Diane and husband Tim Kammeier, and son Jimmy. Stepsons Jerry Fry and wife Rose and Jim Fry. Grandchildren Darcy and Brandon Kammeier, JoAnna and husband John Gomez, Abby and husband Brenton Whitaker, Ben, Emily and Jonathan Klein, Sam, Elley, Megan and Anne Hellwege, Cassandra and husband Ben Turner, Amanda and Mallory Fry, Jacqueline and husband Mark Bartlett, Jamie and husband C.J. Jordan. Great grandchildren Braxton, Ainsley, and Brayson Whitaker, Maddocks and Eden Turner, Aliza, Joslyn and Pierce Bartlett, Jordan and Carter Gomez.
Jim is also survived by siblings, Richard Klein and wife Irene, Dorothy Uhrinak, Ray Klein and wife Rachael, Ruth Eberle and husband Roy, Lois Jensen, Nicki Parsons and husband Gary. Pre-deceased siblings are Bob Klein, Bill Klein, Tom Klein and Joseph Klein.
- Greg Klein
- Jim Klein
- Ben Klein
- Jonathan Klein
- Sam Hellwege
- Brandon Kammeier
- Ronald McDonald House
Our Father Lutheran Church
Donald F. Hinchey Scholarship Fund,
- Visitation Friday, August 10, 2018
- Memorial Service Saturday, August 11, 2018
James A. Klein
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January 1, 2019
To the Klein family - My deepest condolences to your family. Your dad was such a kind, caring person. I can remember as a your child your family visits to Bishop to see your Grandpa Moerbe. Sending love to your family ,
October 17, 2018
I just learned of Mr. Klein’s passing today and am saddened. I worked at his restaurant in Englewood, Colorado for several years during high school and a year or more after that. I remember he was such a nice man and such a professional person! I know that the opportunity I got working that first job at his franchise instilled in me the dedication I have to my work and professional life and that I learned this from working that first job at his location in Englewood! Thanks Mr. Klein! You’ll always be remembered!
August 10, 2018
I will always remember how wonderful Jim was in the way he helped care for my Uncle John in his last years.
Jim’s was a life well lived. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Rest In Peace with the Lord, Jim.
Pam and Jay Hellwege
August 10, 2018
We shared many family moments with Jim and Jackie. Jim was always pleasant, smiling, supportive to his family, pleased with the accomplishments of children and grandchildren and willing to travel to many St Louis events. He has created a wonderful legacy through his family and will be missed.
August 9, 2018
Sending lots of love, light, (((HUGS))) and prayers!
August 9, 2018
I am one of Rose Fry’s sisters. I had several occasions where I stayed at Jim and Jackies beautiful mountain home. Including the time our mother passed away and she was buried in Colorado. Jim and Jackie opened their home to us as we laid our Mother to rest. I am forever greatful for his generosity. He also hosted my niece Cassie Fry’s graduation party and I was a recipient of his awesome catering skills. He went out of his way to welcome us. I am blessed to have known Jim.
August 8, 2018
Loved my Dad dearly. I will miss him each day. May he happy in the presence of our Lord and Savior.