Christ Klein, age 85, of Carrington, ND, died Sunday, January 29, 2012, at Golden Acres Manor in Carrington, ND.
Christian “Christ” Klein was born on May 1, 1926, the son of Frank and Christina (Ripplinger) Klein at Balta, ND. Christ was raised on a farm near Orrin, ND and attended school in Sylva, ND, until the 8th grade.
Continuing to farm with his father until 1945, Christ was inducted into the US Navy and served in the conclusion of WWII aboard the USS Gasconade and USS Ajax. In 1946, Seaman Second Class Christian F. Klein was Honorably Discharged from the U. S. Naval Training Center at San Diego to return home to assist farming with his father, whom was ill at the time.
While working on his father’s farm with his younger brothers, Christ attended many of the small community dances around Balta and Selz, ND, and soon had a chance meeting with a mischievous, bright and beautiful young lady, Elizabeth “Betty” Richter. After a year of courtship, they were united in marriage that would last 49 years, and 12 children. Enjoying a short honeymoon, traveling 4 states to show Betty his naval adventure in San Diego, Christ returned home with his new bride and continued to farm in Orrin.
In 1956, now having started a family of five children, Christ and Betty moved their young growing family to a farm by Brantford, ND. Many productive farming and ranching years later, their family would grow to become 11 children. Christ, always the opportunist and organizer of keeping his family and affairs busy and productive soon expanded his farming activities to include a motel and restaurant business, the Chieftain Motor Lodge in Carrington, ND.
In 1981, Christ sold his Brantford area farm operation and moved to Carrington, continuing to farm part-time, growing trees, collecting cars, traveling and enjoying polka dances throughout the mid-west.
On February 11th, 1997, while enjoying their winter home in Florida, the love of his life, Betty died one year short of their 50th anniversary. Christ remarried in October 1998, to Ann Striefel (Leismester) in Harvey, ND, and continued to spend his winters in Florida, enjoying his remaining years traveling and dancing.
Christ, while always known for raising quality cattle, was instrumental in developing the Tarentaise breed, registering and promoting them all over the US. He served on the American Tarentaise (ATA) board of directors and for his efforts, he was inducted into the ATA Hall of Fame. Christ was a member of the American Legion, VFW, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus.
Christ is survived by his second wife, Ann of Harvey; 11 children, Gary (Connie) Klein, Fargo, ND, Carla (Dennis) Hagel, Carrington, Dale (Mary) Klein, Fargo, Mark (Deb) Klein, Fargo, Christy (Paul) Reimer, Carrington, Charmain (Steve) Romanoski, Sheboygan Falls, WI, Carol (Mike) Birkeland, Chandler, AZ, Frank (Lorie) Klein, Carrington, Colleen (Orin) Gedrose, Dallas, TX, Brian (Melody) Klein, Eagan, MN, and Darren (Dawn) Klein, Bennington, NE; 28 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; 5 sisters, Beatrice Schall, Fargo, Lorraine Schaefer, Rapid City, SD, Delores Carlo, Seattle, WA, Arlene Schmaltz, Rugby, ND, and Kathy Schwinghammer, Ely, MN; and Ann’s children.
He was preceded in death by his 1st wife, Betty; parents; a sister, Eleanor Schall; four brothers, Leo, Henry, Harold, and Jerry; a son, Kallen; a grandson, Neil; a great-granddaughter, Taylor; and one step-daughter, Rita.
FUNERAL SERVICE: Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Carrington, ND
DATE AND TIME: Friday, February 3, 2012 at 10:30 AM
BURIAL: Carrington Cemetery, Carrington, ND