Cover photo for Jim Klein's Obituary
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Jim Klein

October 2, 1943 — February 26, 2024

Cozad

Jim Klein

James Dennis "Jim" Klein passed away Monday, February 26, 2024 at Meadowlark Pointe Assisted Living at the age of 80. Jim was born in Callaway, NE on October 2, 1943 to Edd and Daisy (Helmuth) Klein.  Jim was the fifth of six children.  He attended school in Merna and was an Honor Society member and a very gifted athlete.  He never spoke about his athletic prowess and his own children didn't learn of this until they were in college. 

Jim married Janet Davy on May 25, 1962.  It seemed like a natural thing to do since Janet had been driving him around town since he was fifteen years old.  They had three daughters Julie, Joni and Jill and his number one son Jeff (to which Jeff replied, "I'm the only son Dad").

 Jim went to work for Monroe Auto in Cozad after completing high school and worked there until 1978.  When the workday was over, he worked on his top-flight golf game with family and friends. Jon Wilson and Gary Jobman were two of his best golf buddies among many others. Weekends consisted of Mass on Saturday night and sunrise golf on Sunday morning (with a pellet gun for shooting varmint gophers along the way). He claimed it helped with his shot for hunting season. A little fishing could be mixed in along with after-hours construction projects.  As young adults his children went to college with coat trees, bookracks and any other wooden project that was requested.

 When the itch of construction needed to be scratched, he left Monroes and ventured out on his own as a contractor.  Initially he teamed up with Gene Schroeder in Brady, NE at the Cabinet Shop.  Jim eventually built homes, did remodels and additions and built cabinets that were installed from Maxwell to Lexington, Eustis to Merna.  He even did concrete work when he could keep from knocking himself out from getting the sledgehammer caught in the clothesline. He was a naturally gifted engineer and construction manager without the degree.  He made sure that all of the trades didn't box each other in on his jobsites.  He and Bill Marhenke had a lot of stories to tell. Fortunately for many, Bill loved music on the job site but Jim was meh about the music....work was the music.  And oh, did he have standards, "If you're going to do it, do it right" was heard many times.  Jeff later would use that to get him to do things a new way with the same high-quality results.  Boy that made him grab a Bud.

 Above all of the doing Jim was about being.  He was a St. Joseph.  Always guiding, protecting and serving his family and friends.  He served on the Church Council and Knights of Columbus, along with being on some city boards.  He maintained a large garden that was raved about by many people.  He would arrive at people's homes with arms full of his harvest.  The horseradish was top-shelf and that legend continues to live on. Many brats, sauerkraut and other goodies were traded to get some of it.  You didn't want to get him started on potato planting unless you had the time to commit to listening to the entire process.

 Family was at the #1 spot of his list.  He never wanted a cell phone but checked in often with his family on it.  Jim was a gentle, steady and ready influence for his family and will be missed greatly by Janet, Joni and Jeff Pharris (Jared and Jordann), Jill and Steve Sweeney (Patrick and Kelly), Jeff and Karen Klein (Mackenzie and Collin Thompson and daughter Blake, and Olivia and Isabella), his Brothers Gene and Clifford (Judy) Klein and all of the Cali and Merna Kleins.  He was preceded in death by his infant daughter Julie.

He was a great Husband, Dad, Grandpa and Great-Grandpa. Be humble, faithful, healthy and at peace for he is and ever will be, wanting us to be too.

Jim’s wishes were to be cremated. Memorials are suggested to the family to set up a Trade School Scholarship. Rosary will be recited Saturday, March 2, 2024 at 9:00 a.m. at Christ the King Catholic Church. 

Memorial Mass with cremains will be held April 20, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. at Christ the King Catholic Church.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Jim Klein, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Rosary

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Starts at 9:00 am (Central time)

Christ the King Catholic Church

613 West 13th Street, Cozad, NE 69130

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Memorial Mass

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Christ the King Catholic Church

613 West 13th Street, Cozad, NE 69130

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