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Elten Henry Klein


Elten Henry Klein passed away peacefully December 8, 2016, at the Columbia Basin Skilled Nursing Unit in Ephrata, Washington. He was born in Spokane, Washington, October 8, 1924, to Anne Thomas Klein and Henry Klein of Almira, Washington, and lived his entire life in Almira until 2011 after breaking his hip, and requiring assistance with daily living.

Elten grew up on the homestead farm north of Almira until he graduated from High School. He attended the University of Washington for only one semester before returning to help his family farm during the war. He and his brother Jim farmed dry land wheat until he retired. He ate dirt, worked hard, and rarely complained.

Elten married Lois Sears November 24, 1946, in Coulee Dam, Washington, and they made their home in the town of Almira, until her death in January 1981. Together they raised four children: Rebecca Long (Eric) of Ephrata, Mark Klein (Cheryl) of Nine Mile, Washington, Cynthia Klein of Spokane, and Richard Klein (Luci) of Almira. He was blessed with nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

He loved Almira and its community and was always involved and active in its support. He was President of the Almira School Board in 1966 and served on the board for many years. Elten was always proud of being one of the charter members of the local Almira Lions Club. He was still wearing his Lions cap this fall, when he enjoyed going outside, just to hear the cars, smell fresh air, and hear the world still humming.

Sports were always a number one interest, and he excelled at those he participated in during his school years. With children and grandchildren you could always count on him trying hard to make it to all special events, especially sports. He rarely missed local school games, home and away. Elten loved music and he was one smooth dancer. When he and Lois danced, it was memorable to watch them together, smiling and having a great time. After Lois passed, Elten would find dances all over the country (Tea Dances at the Davenport, one of his favorites); many special women were treated to his gentleman kindness and charm, and those dimples. He enjoyed travel and especially Sunday drives; it was a sad day when he could no longer drive, especially his Lexus.

In 1992, Elten found himself a wonderful, loving companion, Elizabeth Litt, from Hartline; and for over 15 years they were inseparable and made each other happy. Elten was a kind, faithful, and loving husband to Lois and perpetual fiancé to Elizabeth. He had a wit and smile that endeared him to all those who knew him. As a father, grandfather, and great grandfather, there was no one more loving, caring, or supportive. For his family and friends, there never seemed to be enough time to spend with him. He was a people person and people truly wanted him near and close.He was a loyal friend, as many people attest to this. Elten was a friend who would do anything for you, he smiled and laughed, hugged and kissed; and yet he could hold someone tight and cry if they were hurting or grieving. A gentle man with a huge heart, he will be sorely missed.

Elten was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Lois; his Elizabeth; his three brothers: John, Leo Alvin, James; sister, Joan, and a beloved mother-in-law, Clara Sears (age 108).

A family graveside goodbye at the Almira Cemetery is planned for Friday, December 23. A Celebration of Life gathering in the Spring for all who wish to attend will be announced later.

In memory of Elten, monetary contributions may be made to the Almira Lions Club or the Almira Cemetery Endowment Fund (POB 114, 99103).

Viewing at Strate Funeral Home in Wilbur, Washington. Arrangements handled cooperatively by Nicoles (Ephrata) and Strate Funeral Homes (Wilbur).

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