Friday, June 3, 2022
11:00 AM EDT
St Mary of Spring Lake
406 E Savidge St
Spring Lake, MI 49456
1 (616) 842-1702
Visitation from 10 until the start of Mass
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
PO Box 66
Coopersville, MI 49404
Life Story / Obituary
As family and friends can surely attest, Joanne Patricia Klein truly understood the secret to a life well lived. She was a constant source of strength and support for those around her, even in the most difficult of times. Pat poured her heart and soul into all that she did, and she was never afraid to work hard in pursuit of her dreams. A proud wife and mother, she was overjoyed to watch her family tree grow and always considered herself blessed to be surrounded by so many loved ones. Deeply loved, Pat will be forever missed by those who knew her best.
With the end of WWII, America was making the shift to being a nation at peace once again. It was also during this eventful time that Paul M. and Miriam Brubaker Clawson announced the birth of the baby girl they named Joanne Patricia “Pat” on June 30, 1946.
Growing up, Pat was a typical young girl of her generation in many ways. She was raised in the family home as the oldest of four children. Pat grew up alongside her siblings, Paula, Kathy, and Michael, and she took her role as their oldest sister and protector very seriously. Both of her parents worked to provide for their family, Paul as a well driller and Miriam as an EEG technician. Pat discovered her passion for music at a young age when she began learning to play the flute with encouragement from her mother. She loved riding horses as well.
When pursuing her education, Pat was a very dedicated and hardworking honor student. She was at the all-state level in band, and she was the first chair flautist in the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony. Pat graduated from Martin Public School in 1964 and then went on to attend Western Michigan University on scholarship for instrumental music. There, she was a member of Sigma Alpha Iota music sorority.
New and exciting changes were on the horizon for Pat as she met the man who would quickly become the love of her life. His name was Gerald Klein, and the two first met while both were attending Western Michigan University. He was there on scholarship for vocal music, and they hit it off instantly. Pat and Gerry continued to date throughout college. It didn’t take them long to realize that they were made for each other. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Pat and Gerry were married on May 4, 1968, at St. Margaret in Otsego, just two weeks after their graduation. Following their union in marriage, the newlyweds prepared for their future together by taking on jobs. Pat taught summer school, and Gerry worked construction. Later, both were able to teach music at Wyoming Public School for a year.
All who knew Pat can surely agree that, of all the things she loved in life, she treasured her family above all else. Throughout their many years together, she and Gerry were overjoyed to welcome two beloved children into their hearts and home. Darin was born in 1969, followed by Angela in 1973, completing the Klein family. Pat chose not to return to school instruction, instead dedicating herself to remaining close to home and raising her children. Meanwhile, Gerry continued to support the family by taking a job in the business world with Hallmark Cards. Pat truly thrived in her role as a mother. She was very involved in the lives of Darin and Angela, and she developed very close and personal relationships with them as they grew older. Later in life, Pat was thrilled to become a grandmother to Taegan and Camryn. She was just as involved in the lives of her grandchildren, and the three shared a love for flute and horse riding. Pat always considered herself blessed to be surrounded by so many loved ones.
After Darin and Angela joined the family, Gerry continued to work to provide for Pat and the children. His job with Hallmark Cards took the Klein family to many different places around the country, including Grand Rapids, Escanaba, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Kansas City, Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, and finally back to Grand Rapids. At each new location, Pat would visit the local school and offer her music instruction services. She always found 15 to 20 students who were interested. Pat enjoyed teaching lessons very much, as it allowed her to contribute financially to her family and pass on her knowledge to others.
Never one to sit still for long, Pat pursued several hobbies to stay busy in her free time. As well as teaching private lessons, she played in the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and the Overland Park Community Orchestra. Pat also enjoyed going to concerts of all genres, including classical. Both she and Gerry were both big sports fans. When they were in Kansas City, they went to every Kansas City Chiefs home game and watched the away games from friends’ homes. Pat had a remarkable eye for art and color, and she liked to paint with oils and watercolors. Though she didn’t watch much television, she was known to enjoy a good movie every now and then. Pat enjoyed many trips and vacations, including to locations such as Hawaii, the Caribbean, California, and Colorado. She liked to go on cruises as well. Pat enjoyed a quiet evening at home, but she also loved to put together parties and host friends and family members. Pat’s faith was a concrete element throughout her life. She was an active member at her church, playing flute for the choir, and she regularly prayed the Rosary, keeping her faith strong. Pat was known for her sweet tooth and her love of Cheetos and lobster. She enjoyed spending time in the kitchen and was famous for her homemade lasagna, meatloaf, cabbage rolls, and salmon patties.
Though she was a strong and resilient woman, Pat’s life was not without its tragedies. In 2002, she underwent a corrective surgery that did not go as planned. As a result, Pat suffered many complications and had to do physical rehab. She was able to remain at home for twelve years before spending her last eight at assisted care facilities. Pat’s son, Darin, tragically passed away unexpectedly in 2016. She was devastated, but she remained positive despite her losses and instead focused on pouring love into everyone around her.
When reflecting on the life of Joanne Patricia Klein, it is easy to see her unwavering strength and her unconditional love for her family. She was very talented and skilled in many creative arts, and she was known for the solid work ethic that served her well for her entire life. Nothing brought Pat greater joy than spending time with her loved ones. She was dedicated to serving others whenever she could, and she always made sure that her friends and family members always knew just how much they were treasured. Though she will be deeply missed, Pat leaves behind a priceless legacy that her loved ones will be proud to carry on in her footsteps.
KLEIN – Joanne Patricia “Pat” Klein age 75, of Spring Lake and formerly of Grand Rapids, passed away on May 23, 2022. She was preceded in death by her son, Darin Paul Klein; and brother, Michael Clawson. Pat is survived by her husband of 54 years, Gerald Klein; daughter, Angela Marie (Kevin) Braverman; and grandchildren, Taegan and Camryn. Also surviving are her siblings, Paula (Bill) Haecker, Kathy (Bruce) Brandon and sister-in-law, Annette Clawson; Inlaws, Leo (Marcia) Klein, Richard (Nancy) Klein, Nancy (Jon) Denhof and Erwin (Monica) Klein; and many nieces, nephews and friends. Pat graduated from WMU with honors and taught music at Jackson Park Middle School. She was an accomplished flutist and played in the Grand Rapids Symphony, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and the Overland Park Community Orchestra. She taught 100’s of private flute students over a thirty year period. Pat was a loving wife, a supportive mother and a loyal friend. She was loved by all. The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you Covenant Living of the Great Lakes, Chestnut Fields Retirement Community and Kindred Hospice for their compassionate and loving care. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11 AM on Friday, June 3, 2022 at St Mary of Spring Lake Catholic Church, 406 E Savidge St, Spring Lake. The family will greet guests from 10 AM until the start of Mass. Contributions in her memory may be made to Lori’s Voice. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to read Pat’s life story, submit a favorite memory, photo or to sign the guestbook online.