Passed away peacefully at home after a brief illness April 17, 2013 surrounded by his loved ones.
Barney Klinger was a force of nature in Santa Barbara and Southern California for over 50 years. He was an entrepreneur, engineer, inventor, generous philanthropist and a close friend of both Presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. Born in Chicago on November 14, 1928, he served his country in the Marines from 1945 to 1949 and moved to California in 1957. He immediately began applying his entrepreneurial skills by identifying a market niche for specific technical products in the then-emerging aerospace industry in Southern California. He was confident that "there existed requirements too small for the large corporation to be interested in and too large for the small company to try". Mr. Klinger then established several firms that have since been merged to form The Applied Companies, and its success to this day is testimony to his foresight and business leadership in the highly competitive aerospace and defense industries.
BK, as he was affectionately known by family and close friends, moved to Santa Barbara in the 1975 and purchased a magnificent 35 acre estate in Hope Ranch that he named Few Oaks. He restored it to its original glory and then proceeded to open its imposing gates to the community virtually every weekend. He hosted innumerable fundraisers for many non-profits and schools, always underwriting every event, through the years. The mansion and its lush gardens were also used to support Republican candidates and office holders from City Council to the US Senate. Few Oaks hosted President Reagan during his first visit to California after the assassination attempt on his life on March 31, 1981. Through the next 8 years the Reagans were frequent guests of the Klingers and held their Annual White House Press Party on the vast lawn every August.
Barney was a graduate of numerous professional Institutes and obtained his Masters Degree from Pepperdine University's School of Business and Management which he generously supported for many years. He was also a Trustee and major supporter Of the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Board Member of the Santa Barbara Foundation. He was an active member in a number of civic and community organizations, supporting the American Cancer Society, Santa Barbara City College, Girls Inc., Hope Ranch Trails Association, and Santa Barbara Beautiful to name just a few.
He is preceded in death by his daughter, Karen Klinger, great grandson, Adam Tinkham, and great niece Talia Klein. He is survived by his wife, Betsy, daughters Debbie (Terry) Tinkham, Cindy Klinger (Roy Simmons) Annette (Darrell) Robbins, son, Joseph (Beth) Klinger, 13 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. Barney Klinger will be greatly missed by his family, his many, many friends and the countless people he helped through his years of boundless generosity.
Honoring his wishes there will be no service. Donations may be made in his memory to the Klinger Scholarship Foundation through the Santa Barbara Chapter of the Marine Corps League. All funds will be used to support Veterans, of all services, from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who are attending college. Checks may be made out to: Klinger Scholarship, 1187 Coast Village Rd., 1-334, Santa Barbara, CA 93108. For further information call: (805) 966-1660