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Bernie Klem


1939 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Bernie Klem Obituary
June 22, 1939 - December 7, 2016 Anyone who knew Bernie Klem--family members, co-workers, friends, acquaintances-- to describe his personality or what made him happy, and it's likely you would hear some or all of the following words: Charming, charismatic, brilliant and patriotic. They might recall his love of joking and teasing or the joy he took from being with his wife and children. Everyone would undoubtedly recall his big laugh and a voice that never lost its trace of an accent that sounded as though it fell somewhere between Boston and New York City. Or his strong sense of right and wrong. Bernie, who had been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in the fall, died on Dec. 7, 2016, surrounded by his loving family, and the stories that people are sharing all point to one thing: Bernie Klem provided a huge tent that sheltered a grateful community. Bernie was born on June 22, 1939, in Boston, MA, to Moe and Celia Klem and did not leave the area until a job brought him to Southern California in the 1960's. His sense of humor was evident even in childhood continued unabated until his death. He was a strong student as well, attending the English High School and Northeastern University, where he majored in math and physics. Boston is also the place where he met Ina, the love of his life whom he married in 1962. His first job out of school was at Avco Everett, an aerospace company in Massachusetts, and, as it turns out, aerospace was his calling. After Bernie and Ina moved to Los Angeles in 1964, he worked for a number of companies, earned a master's degree from UCLA in meteorology, and wrote hundreds of technical papers. He retired from the Aerospace Corp. as a senior scientist in 2004, but worked as a consultant for several years after that. For Bernie, there was no such thing as too much knowledge. He never stopped being a family man. Bernie and Ina bought a house in Mar Vista in 1967, had two children and quickly immersed themselves in homework and AYSO soccer (coaching, refereeing, organizing) and all the other rituals of childhood. Bernie Klem is survived by his wife of 54 years, Ina; daughter Kat George and her husband Sam George; son David Klem; grandchildren Alex and Elizabeth George, and Ashley, Tyler, Ryan and Emily Klem; great grandson Zeb Klem; and a brother, Alan Klem and his wife, Ellie Klem. He is also survived by countless friends and acquaintances who came to appreciate his love of eating and Broadway musicals, his insistence on his own continuing education, and his support of Ina's church community at St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Los Angeles. His favorite pastime is hanging out with family and reading. Bernie will be remembered at a memorial service at St. Bede's Episcopal Church located at 3590 Grand View Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066, at noon on Sunday, Dec. 18th. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the . And they hope the world will remember Bernie Klem as fearless.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Dec. 14, 2016
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