Gerald P. Klein, age 91, of rural Wabasha, died peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving family early Sunday, April 8, 2018. He was born February 22, 1927 in Oakwood Township near Plainview to Ernest and Catherine (Marx) Klein. After growing up in the area, he served his country for two years in the U. S. Army in Japan from 1950-1952. On October 29, 1956 he married his wife of 61 years, Ruth Miller, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, rural Kellogg.
Gerald farmed on Pepin Hill, rural Wabasha for most of his life and he also worked at Big Jo Flour Mill in Wabasha from 1965 until he retired from the mill in 1992. Together he and Ruth raised a family of twelve children. He was a dedicated member of St. Felix Catholic Church in Wabasha where he served as a sacristan and as a member of St. Joseph’s Society of Catholic United Financial. Gerald was also a member of the Wabasha American Legion Post #50 and the Burkhardt-Roemer VFW Post #4086.
He enjoyed the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins, bird watching and horses. His most important focus in his life was his family. He loved spending time with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Gerald is survived by his wife, Ruth Klein, Wabasha, MN; their twelve children, Teresa Klein, St. Cloud, MN, Robert Klein (Lydia Velez), Rochester, MN, Peter Klein, Wabasha, MN, Daniel (Jeanette) Klein, Chatfield, MN, Mary (Tom) Gruenbeck, Mission Viejo, CA, Lisa Klein, Rochester, MN, Pamela (James) White, Jean (Steve) Johnson, Jerry Klein, all of Lake City, MN, Tom Klein, Chris Klein and Dawn (Dave) Heim, all of Wabasha, MN; 18 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; sisters, Doreen Stamschror and Margaret (Dennis) Speedling, both of Wabasha, MN and Helen Schilz, Minneapolis, MN; numerous nieces and nephews and grand-nieces and grand-nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Catherine Klein, grandson, Garrett, sisters, Anita Norton and Betty Roemer Schmidt; brother, Robert Klein; and brothers-in-law, Lloyd Stamschror, Donald Schilz, Pat Norton, Bud Roemer and Rollie Schmidt.
A funeral Mass will be offered on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 11:30am at St. Felix Catholic Church with the Reverend Father Gregory Parrott and Deacon John Hust officiating. Interment will follow at St. Felix Cemetery. Military rites will be provided by the Wabasha American Legion and the Burkhardt-Roemer VFW Posts and the MNARNG Honor Guard. Casket bearers will be his six sons and honorary bearers will be Gerald’s grandchildren. Family and friends may call at St. Felix Church on Wednesday from 4-8pm with a rosary service at 8pm and on Thursday one hour before the Mass.