Obituary of Paul Kleist |

Obituary of Paul Kleist

Paul V. Kleist, of Grass Valley, Calif., died Sunday, Nov. 2. He was 88.

A private burial with military honors will be Wednesday, Nov. 5, at Sierra Memorial Lawn Cemetery in Nevada City, Calif. A celebration of life will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, at Peace Lutheran Church, 828 W. Main St., Grass Valley.

He was born in St. Louis, Mo., on March 22, 1926, to Carl and Minna (Paul) Kleist, the third of three children. He grew up in Overland, Mo., and played football at Ritenour high school.

Mr. Kleist was a scout and mechanic in the U.S. Army, 41st division, in the southern Philippines during World War II. After the end of the war, he served in the U.S. Army of Occupation in Japan.

He and his high school sweetheart, Ruby Shelton, were married Sept. 11, 1948, in St. Louis. Mr. Kleist attended Washington University, where he was a gymnast and a champion fencer. He graduated with a degree in business and engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Mr. Kleist was a manufacturing engineer in the computer industry in Silicon Valley. The Kleists were active members of St. Luke Lutheran Church in Sunnyvale, where he was a cantor.

The couple lived in the Grass Valley area for 25 years. They were active at Peace Lutheran Church and sang in the choir. In 2008, he became a blacksmith at Empire Mine State Historic Park, fulfilling a childhood dream.

The Kleists enjoyed camping, fishing and traveling throughout North America, often with their children. Mr. Kleist was a Sunset Magazine Chef of the West, an artist, craftsman, outdoorsman and avid reader.

He was a devoted husband and a loving father. He is survived by daughter Trina Kleist, her husband Francisco Osuna, and grandson Paul Osuna; son Kurt Kleist, his wife Susan, and granddaughter Montana; and sister Elaine Lloyd, husband Elmer, and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruby Kleist, in 2007.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Mission Endowment Fund, Peace Lutheran Church, 828 W. Main St., Grass Valley, CA 95945.

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