John W. Klein

"Johnnie"

Young Johnnie


John William Klein (Johnnie Jr.) was the eldest child of John and Carrie Klein. He was born at home on September 10, 1917 in the mining camp of Dunkirk, Kansas. See additional photo of Johnnie at approximately 6 years of age with his sister on Helen Klein Bryan's page.

When he was young, he was very industrious; he could always hustle up some money. He sold hides to a guy who sold them for fur coats. He'd skin the animals and put them on wire stretchers. He also shined shoes in the Frontenac pool hall. He used to have a shoe shine kit with leather strap for carrying. My Uncle Finis still has the kit.

When he was a kid he went to Frontenac Methodist church.

After high school, he drove a truck at the McGrath (coal) mine. He also worked at Hull and Dillon Packing House for awhile.

He then moved to Newton Kansas and worked for the railroad; after that moved on to California where he worked for McDonnell-Douglas. He also had a WPA job for the U.S. Department of Forestry.

In 1942, Johnnie was drafted into the Army. He was assigned to the 114th engineers, 32nd Infantry Division (Red Arrow Division) and fought in the Pacific Theatre. (For additional photo and info on his war experience, please see http://www.wwiimemorial.com/default.asp?page=registry.asp&subpage=search. Fill in fields as appropriate, key in "kansas" for the state).

He eventually moved to Michigan and lived with his Aunt and Uncle--Emile and Alice Klein. He got a job in a factory.

Johnnie


In 1946, he married Lydia Ellero. They had one child, Yvonne, born on September 28, 1947.

Lydia, John, and Yvonne


After retirement, John's greatest enjoyment was making trips to Arizona to visit his grandson, Jay Hall.

Johnnie died on Monday February 22, 1999. He is buried at Garden of Memories in Pittsburg, Kansas.

To view another tribute to Johnnie Klein, please visit:

http://www.32nd-division.org/history/tribute.html


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