January 7, 2011
CELEBRATION OF LIFE
2:00 P.M., Saturday, January 22, 2011
Pella Opera House
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be given in Bob's name to:
Historic Pella Trust or Scholte Gardens
Wife: the late Doretha (Vogelaar) Klein
Family: Sandra (Bruce) Heerema – Pella
Robert V. (Bobby) Klein – Pella
Pam Wheeler – Pella
November 4, 1916 - January 7, 2011
Robert John (Bob) Klein, 94, of Pella, passed away at Pella Community Hospital on Jan. 7, 2011.
Bob was born Nov. 4, 1916 to John Gerrit and Nelle (Neels) Klein in Pella, Iowa. On June 16, 1938 he was united in marriage to Doretha Frances Vogelaar. They were married for nearly 70 years until her death in 2008.
He began working for his father at Pella Overall Company at a very early age. This company became Pella Products, Inc. which Bob ran for over 40 years.
Bob was an active participant in the unique community of Pella. He was a primary mover in the establishment of the Pella Historical Village, as well as a long time key contributor to the Pella Historical Society and Pella's Tulip Time. He was one of the founders of the Historic Pella Trust, a preservation organization. He served with two others as co-chairmen of the Tulip Time Steering Committee for many years, sang in lead roles in several operettas performed each year at Tulip Time, and was instrumental in development of many local landmarks, including the Pella Opera House, the Klokkenspel, Second Reformed Church, and Strawtown Inn, among others.
An active preservationist, Bob restored a number of historic structures in Pella, including a large dilapidated 1853 house in Pella that was restored to its glory with great effort in the early 1950's. Bob and Doretha lived in this meticulously restored house for over 40 years.
Bob is survived by his three children: Sandy Heerema, Pam Wheeler, and Robert V. (Bobby) Klein; his son-in-law Bruce Heerema; 7 grandchildren: Julie Mueller, Tim Heerema, Steven Heerema, Stacie Highland, Molly Catalano, Jack Klein, and Oakley Klein; 11 great-grandchildren: Madeline, Lindsey, Rachel, Jaden, Brady, Gabrielle, Alexis, Logan, Jake, Julian, and Beatrix; and many cousins and nieces and nephews in a large, close family. He was preceded in death by his wife Doretha, his sister Joyce and Ed Wesselink, and his son-in-law Jerry Wheeler.