The End of an Era

My Father And His Best Friend

I’m not sure how to put this, but my father James E. Klein (seen on the left in the above photo) passed away on July 3rd, 2011.  Many of our readers will remember the good times we had with him on our most recent trips to the USA.

“Jim” was born January 30, 1923 in Canandaigua, New York, the 4th child of Fred and Mildred Simons Klein.  His father was manager of I.J. Newberry’s stores so the family lived in many places in New York State and eventually settled in Buffalo.  He was a Veteran of World War II and served as Second Lieutenant in the Pacific Air Zone in the 373rd Bomb Squadron, 308th Bombardment Group.  Stationed in China, Jim served as navigator/bombardier aboard a B-24 Liberator named “Little Egypt” until the cessation of hostilities.  He was awarded the following honors:

  1. Presidential Unit Emblem
  2. Honorable Service Lapel Button
  3. World War II Victory Medal
  4. American Campaign Medal
  5. Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, with 4 Bronze Stars (each star represents an addition qualification for the award).
  6. Good Conduct Medal

After the War, he trained to become an electronic engineer with RCA. He owned and operated Television Laboratory Sales & Service in Buffalo, NY for many years, before moving to Florida in 1959 where he became the first certified color television serviceman in the entire state. He joined the staff at Honeywell in 1963 and was employed by them until his retirement in 1988.  Jim moved to North Carolina in 1973 to join the Greensboro office of Honeywell, and later became a private contractor for Honeywell and other companies when he started his own company, Jimboco, Inc. after his retirement from Honeywell.

He is survived by his wife Wanda of Walkertown, brother Frank, and niece Diane Palmero of Cheektowaga New York.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Mildred Simons Klein, brothers Clifford and Thomas, sister Mildred and two infant children Ellen Ann, and James Allen.

He was the proud father of son Michael and wife Hui-Chen of Taiwan, daughter Janet Hunnicutt and husband Michael of Stokesdale, NC; daughter Nancy Landi and husband Tom and grandson Josh of Fort Collins, Colorado; and son John Thomas Klein of Greensboro, NC. He is survived by grandchildren Adam and wife Christin Hunnicutt and great granddaughter Madison, and grandsons Casey and Elliot Hunicutt all of Stokesdale NC.

He was a devout man, a loving father to his children, and took great joy in his grandsons, music, fishing, golf, and swimming anywhere and anytime. He was know for a sharp sense of humor and his ability to repair nearly anything.

He will be greatly missed….

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  2. Michael, I am very sorry for your loss of your dad. It leaves an empty spot in your heart. My prayers are with you and Hui-Chen.

    1. thank you Mitesh. i know it must have been very difficult for you to write that without inserting a joke! hope everything goes well for you in Northern CA.

  3. My most heartfelt condolences to you and Hui-chen on the passing of your father. Your tribute a few years back to your dad’s WWII service touched many of us greatly. Sorry for your loss.

    Warmest Regards,


    1. hi Turk, thanks very much for your kind comments, and also thank you for being a loyal reader for so many years. we appreciate that, and also your comments.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear that.

    It’s hard when someone you love is suddenly gone. The person is no longer there but your love for them is unchanged.

    My condolences.


  5. I am sorry to hear about the passing of your father. I hope you and Hui-Chen are doing well during this painful time. May your memories as well as the memories you both share regaurding your father help you in dealing with your loss. My thoughts are with you both, take care, and hugs to you from NH.


  6. MJ,

    im so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. my thoughts are with you and your family.

    my condolences.


  7. MJ, I am sorry to hear the sad news mate, my heart goes out to you and Hui-chen. I thank you for the great posts you did with your family and lovely memories you shared with us as they are priceless.

    Again sorry to hear the news and condolences to your entire family.

    1. Brunty, thanks for your kind words, my friend. i’m glad you enjoyed the family articles that we did in the past. take care Brunty.

  8. Hi Mike , Sorry to see that your Dad has passed on. I hope your memories are good ones. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    1. Ken, so glad you dropped by and left us your kind comments. i know you know what it’s like to lose your father too, unfortunately. please take care, Ken, and thanks.

  9. Thank you for the opportunity to share a few moments with your dad and family in the midst of their journey. I’ve talked with Janet a few times. When I read about your dad’s passing I found your notes while looking for information on the internet. Documenting your trip shows that we are left with memories to flood our souls with feelings of comfort even in the saddest of times. It was a delight to see him so happy with the family he remembered from a time when everything made so much sense. May the fragrance of memories last long after the pain of your loss lingers. Deborah Gregson Greensboro NC

    1. Deborah, thanks so much for dropping by and leaving such a nice comment. we do have some good memories with our father and we’ll continue to share them often over the coming years. take care.

  10. I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  11. Michael,

    As we discussed earlier, your Dad was a special guy. He really was the kind of guy that could walk into a room full of strangers, and everyone would naturally gravitate toward him. In essence, he never met a stranger he didn’t know. The world was a far better place with him in it. Condolences.


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