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Bert Klein dies –
Yelm Blogger’s father, frequent Yelm visitor and benefactor

– Editor’s note:
My father instilled in his family an understanding of philanthropy and public service, with his influence being felt far and wide, including support for the contributions of my wife Yael & I to Yelm-area causes primarily through The Klein Family Foundation.
A partial list of that legacy includes:
Nisqually Land Trust, Dollars for Scholars, Yelm Food Co-op, Yelm Food Co-op’s Gift of Gobble, South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity, Yelm Timberland Regional Library, Rainier Education Foundation, Bald Hills Fire Dept., Southeast Thurston Fire Dept., Hwy 507 Young Life, Yelm Community Schools, South Sound Farm Land Trust, UCBO Christmas turkey drive, Drew Harvey Theater, The Triad Theater, N Theater (new seats for the Drew Harvey Theater), Standing Room Only (SRO), StageStruck Players, Yelm Farmers Market, Yelm Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Yelm Tree Fund (annual Arbor Day celebration).

– Bert Klein of Louisville, KY. passes, age 86.
Loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather; retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mid America Bancorp d/b/a Bank of Louisville, died peacefully, Friday, March 24, 2017 surrounded by his family. He’s preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Elaine and his son, David. He is survived by his sons, Stephen (Yael) of Yelm, WA and Richard (Beth); four grandchildren, Erin, Kathryn, Chelsea and Casey; and one great-grandson, Luke.

Bert attended Louisville Public Schools, graduating from Kentucky Military Institute. He attended the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in banking with his Senior thesis entitled “Banking in Kentucky” and in 1952, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. Upon graduation, he entered the US Air Force as a Second Lieutenant and was stationed in Germany. While in the service, he married Elaine Brodnax of Birmingham, AL.

Bert began working with the Bank in 1953. He became member of the Board of Directors in 1967. He then became President in 1970, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 1985 and retired in 2002. Being so active in the Bank, doing the work that he cherished, he also served in many capacities throughout the community, that he loved: he was Chairman of Louisville Regional Airport Authority and during that time, the new terminal was built and later, he became the sole negotiator in its negotiations with UPS on establishing their main hub in Louisville; Downtown Development Corporation Board of Directors; Chairman and Annual Fundraising Campaign Chairman for Greater Louisville Fund for the Arts; member of the Jefferson County Financial Advisory Committee; Vice Chairman, Treasurer and Board Member (for over 20 years) at Jewish Hospital; Opening Night Gala Co-Chair with his wife, Elaine for Kentucky Center for the Arts; a member of Kentucky and Louisville Chamber of Commerce; Treasurer for Kentucky Opera Association, Louisville Ballet and Channel 15 Public Television; Chairman of the Board for the Louisville Zoo Foundation; member of the Louisville-Jefferson County Cultural Complex Committee; he served on the Mayor’s Citizens’ Advisory Committee for Community Development and Chairman of the Mayor’s Economic Development Committee; the Annual Dinner Chairman in 1971 for the National Conference of Christians and Jews; a member of Project 2000, State of Kentucky Financial Institutions Board, The Temple (where he was Treasurer for Congregation Adath Israel Brith Sholom) and Board of Overseers at the University of Louisville.

Over time, with dedicated service, Bert was honored by many organizations, including Man of the Year 1985 at the Israel Bond Tribute Dinner; 1986 Brotherhood/Sisterhood Award at the National Conference of Christians and Jews; 1990 Community Service Award – Catholic School Alumni; 2001 Man of Vision – Prevent Blindness; 2008 Couple of the Year – The Temple; and in 1990 Adopted Alumnus Membership Bestowed from the University of Louisville Alumni Association, to name just a few.

Bert enjoyed swimming, working on his farm, duplicate Bridge, traveling to many wonderful destinations, had a sweet tooth for chocolate but most of all, he loved his family. He loved his Jewish community and heritage, and the entire Louisville community was dear to his heart. He simply loved life, had a beautiful heart and a beautiful mind, as he was known for being a “numbers genius”. A great passion for Bert was shared with his wife, when in 1998, formed a thoroughbred racing and breeding partnership with Elaine and his son, Richard, winning over 90 stakes races, of which 22 were graded stakes wins. And having a beautiful and generous heart, he and his family were donors for many major gifts including Klein Neuroscience Wing at Jewish Hospital, Klein Family Center at The Temple, Klein Learning Center at Churchill Downs Backside, Klein Family Scholarship at Centre College, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, Inc. – Elaine Klein Career Development Award and the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Finance Scholarship.

Funeral services will be 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 28th at The Temple, 5101 US Hwy 42, with burial to follow in The Temple Cemetery. Visitation will begin after 1:00 p.m. Expressions of sympathy in Yelm-area can be sent to South Puget Sound Habitat of Humanity, earmarked for their Yelm location.

– The March 24 passing of Bert Klein was reported as follows:
* Bert Klein’s Obituary published in the Louisville newspaper
Read more in the Courier-Journal (A Gannett Company).

* Bert Klein’s Obituary published in the Yelm, WA. newspaper
Read more in the Nisqually Valley News.

* “Owner-Breeder Bertram Klein Dies”
From Bloodhorse.
Read more

* “Prominent owner, breeder Bert Klein dies at 86”
From Daily Racing Form (DRF).
Read more

* “Bertram Klein, Owner And Breeder of Numerous Stakes-Winning ‘Berties,’ Dead At 86”
From the Paulick Report.
Read more

* “Bertram W. Klein, 86, Passes Away”
From Thoroughbred Daily News.
Read more

* “Kentucky Racing Loses A True Icon”
From Indian Charlie, Louisville, KY.
Read more

* “Pinch Hit swinging for fences in Groupie Doll”
August 6, 2017
“Pinch Hit ran back April 23, losing by a neck. It was Richard Klein’s birthday. When the filly won by a nose May 27 at 19-1 after a race-long battle, it was the birthday of his mother, who died in 2013 after a long battle with breast cancer.

‘I’m not a spiritual person, but I’m starting to believe this stuff,’ Richard said. ‘They were up there watching this horse run, and they willed her home,'” by Jennie Reese, Special the the Courier & Press.
Read more

Posted by Steve on March 26, 2017 at 12:01 am | Permalink

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One comment

  1. Dear Steve,

    Condolences to you and your family during this time of grief and loss.
    Your father’s legacy is still alive through your beautiful and generous heart.

    Infinite love and gratitude,
    Cindy Perloff & Eran Ben-Sira

    Comment by cindy on March 30, 2017 at 12:10 pm

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