1 entry
  • "Psalm 90:10 says that the days of our years are 70 years,..."
The Guest Book is expired.
Service Information
Memorial service
Sunday, Jun. 23, 2019
3:00 PM
All Saints Chapel, Goodwin House Baileys Crossroads
3440 South Jefferson St.
Falls Church, VA
View Map

KLINGENMEIER RUSSELL J. KLINGENMEIER, JR. Captain, Civil Engineer Corps US Navy (Ret.) Russell J. Klingenmeier, Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 24, 1922. He was raised by his mother, Frances Emilia Niner Klingenmeier, in Baltimore, Maryland where he attended Mt. St. Joseph High School, graduating in the Class of 1940. He then matriculated in the Class of 1944 of the Johns Hopkins University School of Engineering. Summer 1942, Studies at Hopkins were accelerated due to the nation's involvement in World War II. Summer vacation was canceled. Class of 1944 morphed silently into new Class of Autumn 1943. Summer 1943, Together with other members of the Hopkins lacrosse team, his studies were interrupted by orders to active duty in World War II. Commissioned in October 1943 as a 2nd Lt. in the Army Corps of Engineers, he was assigned to the staff and faculty of the Engineer School, Ft. Belvoir, Virginia as an instructor in the Fixed Bridges Section. Winter of 1944, he arrived in France. Served in Battle of the Rhineland. During the Occupation of Germany he was a staff officer in Berlin Engineer District supporting occupation forces and military government in Berlin. He returned home in the Spring of 1947 for resumption of undergraduate civil engineering studies at Hopkins, earning Bachelor of Engineering degree in 1948. In the Fall of 1948, he accepted a regular commission as Lieutenant Junior Grade, Civil Engineer Corps, USN with duty at Norfolk Naval Base. May 1949, he married Katherine Custis Thomas of Smithfield and Newport News, Virginia. After a tour of duty in Norfolk he spent several months in Greenland participating in negotiations with the Danish Navy for return of the Naval Operating Base, Grondal, Greenland to the Danish Government. October 1951-February 1953, during the Korean War, he served as Officer in Charge, Naval Construction Battalion Detachment #1524 (Seabees) and Public Works Officer of the Naval Air Facility in support of the naval aviation maritime patrol squadrons operating out of Naha, Okinawa. With the introduction of the new P2V aircraft into squadrons coming to Okinawa, He developed the conceptional design and constructed two aircraft maintenance docks (the prototype advanced base P2V aircraft wing hangars of the Navy) to support aircraft maintenance at the Naval Air Facility. In 1955-1956 he was ordered to Princeton University for postgraduate studies in Port and Harbor Engineering, earning a Master of Science in Engineering degree. Concurrent with this graduate studies in the Civil Engineering Department at Princeton, he pursued independent graduate work in the Bureau of Urban Research at Princeton. The product of these studies was co-authored thesis on the environmental growth and development of the Gruman Aircraft Engineering Corporation as a component of the Naval Industrial Shore Establishment. This report was subsequently included in a compendium of urban panning studies of the Bureau of Urban Research which was published by Sage Publications, Inc. of Beverly Hills, California in 1965. Following a second tour of engineering duty in Norfolk Virginia, in 1959 he went to Bangkok, Thailand as the Deputy Officer in Charge of Construction, Southeast Asia. This duty involved overall direction of engineering, construction and contract administra- tion of the U.S. military assistance engineering and construction programs in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and South Vietnam, as well as certain U.S. economic assistance projects in Laos. That was followed by his assignmentto the Bureau of Yards and Docks, Navy Department as Director, Facility Planning Division. In this position he was concerned with facility planning matters for the Navy's worldwide system of bases, including preliminary planning of the Navy's major base on Diego Garcia Island in the Indian Ocean. After a third tour at Norfolk, and now a Captain, he reported to the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Vietnam in Saigon, Vietnam as the Force Civil Engineer. From early 1968 to mid-1969, a period of intense combat operations, he managed the construction program supporting US Navy, US Marine Corps, Free World Military Assistance Forces and the Vietnamese Navy and Marine Corps. The following four years (1969-1973) Captain Klingenmeier was in Naples, Italy serving as Chief of Engineering and Infrastructure, Allied Forces Southern European Command (NATO) responsible for development of the NATO infrastructure construction programs in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Gibraltar, Malta, and program coordination with the Supreme Headquarters Allied Forces Europe as well as the NATO international staff. Friends often comment on his atypical Navy career. To paraphrase what Dr. Seuss might have said had he attended the Navy commissioning... Oh, the places you will see, and the people you will meet! And so it came to pass. Here is a sampling: At the Bangkok architecture students costume ball, he and his wife were invited to attend as Thai celestial angels... With a copy of the National Geographic self-guided map in hand, he and his wife spent a weekend tromping around the majestic ruins of Angkor Wat, Cambodia... In Turkey, standing in the footprint of the Trojan Horse at the piled up rubble of the gate and walls of Troy and ruminating on the relationship of Helen and Paris... On a hot "men's day" afternoon, diving into the Roman bath in Bursa, Turkey... Changing a flat tire nearby the church and sarcophagus of St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) Bishop of Myra-Demre, Turkey... Visiting Kathmandu, Nepal and wondering about the one-eyed stupa in the main square (but just in case, spinning al the attached prayer wheels while walking around the base)... Salmon fishing on an Iceland stream during construction contract negotiations with Icelandic representatives... and, In India, gazing with wonder at the magical effect of the mid-night city lights of nearby Agra reflecting down off overhead clouds, illuminating the white marble towers and dome of the Taj Mahal...fantastic! In October 1974, after 30 years active military service, he and his wife, Katherine, bought a home in Northern Virginia. He continued working 12 years as as professional engineer with an international architect-engineer firm and a professional services contractor with the Department of Defense. For many years both he and his wife volunteered as ushers at the Washington National Cathedral. Squeezed in with all of the above, he managed to serve for ten years as Captain of the men's tennis "C" team (Inter-club League Division Champions) at the Army Navy Country Club. Capt. Klingenmeier passed away on May 15, 2019. Russell was preceded in rest by his beloved Katherine on January 12, 2019; four months shy of their 70th wedding anniversary. He is survived by three nephews, two nieces, numerous grandnephews and nieces, two great-grandnephews and a great-grand- niece. A memorial service and celebration of Russell's life will be held at 3 p.m., Sunday, June 23, 2019, at the All Saints Chapel, Goodwin House Baileys Crossroads, 3440 South Jefferson St., Falls Church, VA. Inurnment with Katherine will take place at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. A memorial service and celebration of Russell's life will be held at 3 p.m., Sunday, June 23, 2019, at the All Saints Chapel, Goodwin House Baileys Crossroads, 3440 South Jefferson St., Falls Church, VA. Inurnment with Katherine will take place at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
Published in The Washington Post on June 16, 2019
bullet Korean War bullet Princeton University bullet U.S. Marines bullet U.S. Navy
Give others a chance to express condolences. Not right now.