WAYNESVILLE — Eric J. von Klinger, a Wilmington native, veteran journalist and noted expert and researcher on error coins, died Aug. 22 at Quaker Heights Care Community in Waynesville, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 66. Prior to living at Quaker Heights, he was a Sidney resident.
Mr. von Klinger was born Oct. 8, 1946, to Joseph von Klinger, a World War II veteran, pharmacist and lawyer, and Louise von Klinger, a homemaker. He graduated from Wilmington Public Schools in 1964, and Miami University, Oxford, in 1968, with a bachelor's degree in English.
Mr. von Klinger's newspaper career spanned 33 years and included stints as managing editor, copy editor, Sunday editor and staff writer at newspapers in Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah and West Virginia. In this region, his early newspaper career included work at the Middletown Journal in Middletown, where he was staff writer and later, Sunday editor, and the Franklin Chronicle in Franklin, where he was managing editor.
His interest in coins developed early in life. When the Lincoln, Memorial Reverse cent was first released in 1959, his seventh-grade science teacher brought a roll of newly minted coins to the classroom, giving a cent to each student. Intrigued, Mr. von Klinger remembered that his father had a bag of old coins and he began studying them, beginning a lifelong hobby. By the time he went to work for two noted coin publications, his interest and knowledge encompassed nearly every area of United States coins, early American coppers and tokens, and world coins. He was associate editor at Numismatic News in Iola, Wis., and staff writer for Coin World in Sidney, where he wrote the Collector's Clearinghouse and Readers' Ask columns. He was a charter subscriber to Coin World, which was first published in 1960, and a member of the American Numismatic Association, Civil War Token Society, and the Token and Medal Society.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Louise von Klinger, and sister, Karen Smuland.
He is survived by two nephews, Mike (Jenny) and Matt (Phyllis) Smuland.
Funeral arrangements were handled by the Reynolds-Smith Funeral Home in Wilmington, with burial in Sugar Grove Cemetery, also in Wilmington.