Beatrice E. "Bea" Klein
Two Rivers - Longtime Two Rivers resident and respected banking investment advisor, Beatrice E. "Bea" Klein, passed away on Sunday, May 17, 2020, with her family by her side. Born on July 28, 1925 in Two Rivers, Bea was the daughter of the late Nathaniel and Hilda (Shambeau) Buhk. She was a graduate of Washington High School and St. John's Lutheran Grade School, and a lifetime member of St. John's Lutheran Church.
Following graduation and in the midst of World War II, Bea traveled to Washington D.C. to become part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's domestic counterintelligence work in their Fingerprint Division.
Upon returning home to Two Rivers, she was united in marriage to Cyril E. Klein at St. John's Lutheran Church on June 23, 1945. They celebrated 70 years of marriage, and were blessed with a son and a daughter, four grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. Cyril preceded her in death on November 5, 2015.
Bea has had an extraordinary professional career spanning 58 years which began upon her reentering the workforce fulltime at the age of 34. In 1959, she secured a position in the banking and investment world as a bookkeeper and later an auditor at Two Rivers Savings and Loan. In 1974, she was recruited by First Federal Savings & Loan as branch manager for the new Manitowoc branch - the first female branch manager in Wisconsin. Later, under the new flagship name of First Financial, Bea served as branch manager of Lakeshore Branch, and then vice-president and regional branch manager overseeing branches in Appleton, Oshkosh, Sheboygan, Green Bay and Manitowoc, and later as regional manager over six additional branches. During this time she was a member of the First Savings' Middle Management Committee and First Financial President's Circle where she earned membership in the Captain's Club.
In 1998, First Financial merged with Associated Bank. Bea remained with Associated Bank until her retirement in 2011, becoming vice-president, account executive of Associated Wealth Management where her strong work ethic and uncompromising high standards, earned her recognition in Associated Wealth Management's Hall of Fame. Not slowing down after retiring from Associated, she joined Northwestern Mutual Manitowoc as associate investment representative until retiring again in 2016.
Throughout her life, Bea has donated her time to professional, civic and charitable organizations. These have included the Manitowoc/Two Rivers Business and Professional Women, Lakeshore Technical Advisory Committee, University of Wisconsin Citizens Advisory Council, and the Manitowoc County Board of Realtors.
Bea was a recipient of the highly distinguished Clara Barton Award for years of volunteering at the American Red Cross in Manitowoc and by the March of Dimes for distinguished volunteer leadership in birth defects prevention. She was active in the League of Women Voters and recognized for beautification of the park near the Lakeshore office, and was supportive of the Manitowoc Symphony Orchestra.
She and her late husband Cyril enjoyed bowling, golfing and curling belonging to a number of organized teams. As an avid golfer, she organized and managed the first Manitowoc Ladies Golf Tournament at Fairview Golf Course which included Lincoln, Elks and Branch River. She was an active member in the Lakeshore Curling Club, and was a founding member of the Family Swim Club in Two Rivers. Bea and Cyril were life-long Green Bay Packer fans and enjoyed traveling to Europe, the Caribbean, Hawaii and many other places across the United States.
Her relationship with God and the Lutheran Church has always been an important part of Bea's spirituality as a member of St. John's Lutheran Church over the 94 years of her life.
Bea is survived by her son, Bryan Klein (Connie Cooper) Dallas, TX; her daughter, Ellen (Gary) Konop, Germantown; grandsons Timothy Klein and Christopher Klein, Grapevine, TX; granddaughters, Sarah (Joshua) Lutz, Menomonee Falls and Laura (Andrew) Kielbasa, Sussex; great grandchildren, Brent, Ethan, and Addison; sister-in-law, Joan Brull, Manitowoc; nieces, Diane (Don) Krienitz, Pamela (Jeff) Wheeler, Renae (David) Schmeltzer, and Kim (Joseph) Brull; and extended members of the Shambeau family. Preceding her in death, in addition to her husband and parents, are her sister, Carol Buhk Malkowski and brother, Douglas Buhk.
Bea's family extends a special thank you to Pastor David Scherbarth and his wife, Nancy; the kindness of neighbors and friends who have been so helpful over the many years, Mike, Jeremy and Kris, Jeff and Sandy, Tom and Bette, Augie and Marlene, and the congregation and ministry of St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church.
The family would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to the staff and friends at Wisteria Haus, Home Instead and Sharon Richardson Community Hospice.
Due to the current health pandemic, private funeral services will be held on Friday, May 22.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial offering in Bea's name may be made to St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, Two Rivers.
Condolences may be sent to the Klein and Konop families in care of Deja & Martin Funeral Chapels, 1506 18th St., Two Rivers, WI 54241 or by visiting www.dejamartin.com
Deja & Martin Funeral Chapels, 1506 18th St., Two Rivers, is assisting the Klein family with funeral arrangements.