Thomas A. Klein
1936 - 2020
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(News story) Thomas A. Klein, a professor emeritus of marketing at the University of Toledo where he became the acting dean for what now is the College of Business and Innovation, died Thursday at Ebeid Hospice Residence, Sylvania. He was 84.

He died of kidney failure, said his wife of 58 years, Karen Klein.

Mr. Klein, who held a doctorate from Ohio State University, retired in 1993 from the University of Toledo College of Business Administration, where he taught marketing and most recently was acting dean in the 1980s and early 1990s.

"He was a truly great community asset," said Robert Savage, chairman emeritus of Savage & Associates and a longtime friend. "Anytime that he analyzed a business situation he would find ways to make the business more effective. And he was a wonderful, very caring human being. He was a very good people person and a very gentle man."

Before serving as acting dean, Mr. Klein was associate dean for many years and directed the UT Business Research Center.

He had shared his business insights with The Blade.

"Toledo was seen as a ripe market for franchisers of national organizations that had their starts in larger cities like Chicago," he told The Blade in 1987. "Those people saw their original markets being saturated and looked to cities the size of Toledo as their next obvious market."

"If I were a guy willing to take a risk, I'd bet on East Toledo," he said. "It is slowly growing, and there is significant demand there."

During his early years at UT's business school, Mr. Klein taught research methodology to postgraduate students. His research focus at the time was on statistics and marketing.

Mr. Klein was a member during the late 1960s of the Toledo Mayor's Advisory Committee on Retail and Wholesale Markets and of the Model City Employment and Evaluation Committee, serving as a liaison with the city of Toledo to help implement Toledo's Model Cities program and establish the Toledo Farmers' Market.

He was named one of Toledo's 10 outstanding young men for 1968 by the Toledo Area Junior Chamber of Commerce.

Later in his career, Mr. Klein wrote two books and multiple articles on business ethics.

In 2013 he received the Macro Marketing Association Award for his scholarly contributions to the field.

In retirement Mr. Klein taught business ethics at the University of Notre Dame for a time and then returned to UT for two more years, during which he helped establish a business ethics program and was instrumental in instituting the Center for Family Business and the sales program.

He was a past national chairman of the subcommittee on minority entrepreneurship of the American Marketing Association and a past board chairman of the University Branch YMCA.

Over the years, he had also served on the boards of the University of Dayton, Toledo Rotary, the Diocesan Catholic Schools, and Toledo Opera.

He was also active with Toledo civil rights groups.

"He was a good man," Mrs. Klein said. "He had said he learned from his father to be nice to people, be loyal, and always tell the truth. And ... he was so good at phrasing ideas and making people think."

Born May 16, 1936, in Toledo to Adeline and Arnold Klein, Mr. Klein graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1954, then obtained a bachelor's degree from the University of Dayton, a master of business administration degree from the University of Detroit, and a doctorate from Ohio State University.

After receiving his doctorate in 1964, Mr. Klein joined the UT College of Business faculty as an assistant professor of marketing and statistics. In a couple of years, he became an associate professor and then a full professor a few years later.

In his free time, Mr. Klein liked to cheer for his children and grandchildren at their sporting events and go to concerts, art museums, and theater performances.

Mr. Klein also enjoyed traveling, camping, playing tennis, dining out, and hosting dinner parties. His memberships included Toledo Rotary and the Toledo Club.

He was preceded in death by a son, who died in infancy.

Along with his wife, surviving are his son, Dr. Peter Klein; daughter, Kirsten Dusseau; brother, James Klein; and five grandchildren.

A funeral Mass will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday in St. Joan of Arc Church, with visitation at the church starting at 10. Facial masks are required. The Mass will be live-streamed on the church's website.

Arrangements are by Coyle Funeral Home.

The family suggests tributes to the Thomas Klein Endowed Fund For Business Ethics at UT, Catholic Charities, or a charity of the donor's choice.

This is a news story by Mike Sigov. Contact him at, 419-724-6089, or on Twitter @mikesigovblade.
Published in The Blade on Sep. 23, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
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6 entries
September 25, 2020
Dr. Klein's hospitality, smile, and presence in the room were such a treat to behold. I and many friends were Blessed by the example he set, his kind and encouraging words, his generosity with his time, and his interest in other people.

We are praying for the Klein family and will be with you in spirit as you celebrate his well lived life.

Bert and Arlette Hepp
September 25, 2020
In the short time I had to get to know Tom over the last year or so at the Toledo Club, I was impressed by his sharp intellect, his kindness and empathy, and his warm personality. My deepest condolences to Karen and his family.
David Karmol
September 22, 2020
Heartfelt Condolences Arrangement- BASKET INCLUDED
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Richard Hebein
September 21, 2020
Mrs. Klein, Fritz & Kirsten,

I was so sorry to hear about Dr. Klein's passing. I can't tell you of all the happy memories that all of the St. John's crew have of him and our late night visits. I hope your memories of him bring you happiness.

Jeff Hurford
Jeff Hurord
September 21, 2020
I served on the board of Goodwill with Tom he was always an inspiration and dedicated member. He will be missed.
JanDell Wasilausky
September 21, 2020
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