James (Jim) Joseph Klein, age 79, a long-time resident of Lombard

Written by Brust Funeral Home on April 22nd, 2017

American_Flag_x300James (Jim) Joseph Klein, age 79, a long-time resident of Lombard, IL passed away on April 20, 2017 at Edwards Hines Jr. VA Hospital in Maywood, IL.  Jim was born on April 8, 1938 and died of stage 4 lung cancer which was diagnosed January 2017.  Jim is preceded in death by his wife of almost 30 years, Sandra L (Higgins) Klein, and his parents, Albert J. & Dorothy E. (Cummings) Klein.

Jim and his parents lived in various towns in Wisconsin, Illinois and California while he was growing up.  He spent most of his teenage years in California and graduated high school in Fresno, CA.

Jim served our country in the United States Navy from May 1957 to January 1961.   He began his training at Great Lakes, Illinois where he became a Diesel Mechanic.  During the rest of Jim’s active service he was stationed in San Francisco, CA and Yokosuka, Japan while he served aboard the USS Hancock as a Machinists Mate achieving the Rank of 3rd Class Petty Officer.  After being honorably discharged in January 1961 he served in the U. S. Naval Reserve for two years.

Following Jim’s military service, he started working for Pollard Motor Company in Melrose Park, IL as a truck driver delivering truck parts to new & used truck dealers and various truck repair shops throughout the western suburbs of Chicago.  Jim worked in this capacity for this company until he retired.

Jim and his wife Sandy were avid campers.  During much of their married life together they spent most weekends from Spring through Fall camping at various campsites within a couple hour’s drive of their Lombard home.  Most of their vacation travels were extensive camping trips all across the United States to the point that they visited every state in the continental U.S. (excluding only Maine) as well as Alaska.  Following Sandy’s death, Jim spent every December through April in his camper in far southwest Texas.

Jim was a long-time member of the Elmhurst Model Railroad Club.  He enjoyed the HO scale trains.  He worked often at the club building new layouts, scenery and tracks as the club’s displays expanded over the years.  He joined with other members during the club’s many weekly open houses directing his trains around layouts depicting a nostalgic look at life in the Midwest from the 1940’s to 1960’s.  He even designated an entire room in his home to an extensive model railroad track layout.

Jim is survived by his special friend, Grace Janota, twelve cousins and their extended families on his side of the family and by six nieces and many great nieces and nephews on his late wife’s side of the family.

Any memorials to the American Cancer Society would be appreciated.


1 Comments so far ↓

  1. Tammy Moore says:

    We will miss you Uncle Jim, but now you can be in Heaven with Aunt San.

    Love Your Niece, Tammy and children Stephanie & Caleb Moore

Leave a Comment