Harry Paul Kleiman, 80, of Iron Mountain, went to be with his Lord and Savior on April 30, 2018 with his family gathered around him.
Born December 10, 1937 in Kingsford, Harry was one of six children born to William and Elaine (Erickson) Kleiman. He was a lifelong resident of the area, graduating from Kingsford High School in 1955. He furthered his education at Michigan Tech University, graduating in 1959 with a degree in mechanical engineering. Harry served in the Michigan National Guard from 1963-69, during which he was activated to Detroit in 1967. On June 4, 1966, he married Kristen L. Swanson at Immanuel Baptist Church in Kingsford. They enjoyed almost 52 loving years together, working hard and raising their three children.
In 1946, Harry’s father began Kleiman Pump & Well Drilling out of their home in the Kingsford Heights. He worked alongside his dad until the 1961 when he assumed ownership of the business. Over the next 50 plus years Harry grew and developed the company to its current size and reputation. It was well known and accepted that Harry never truly retired from the water industry and its people. His desire was to provide clean and safe water to all his customers whether they were a private homeowner, a farmer, municipality, local industry, or mining company. His dedication and professionalism to the water industry was his lifelong passion.
Some of his professional associations included Michigan Water Well Advisory Board to the Governor—serving as chairman periodically, Michigan Department of Public Health Committee drafting policy guidelines regarding hydrofracturing for wells, American Water Works Association, National Ground Water Association, Society of Mining Engineers of AIME, Michigan Ground Water Association—serving periodically as director and president, Engineering Ministries International, the American Water Works Association, and the Wisconsin Water Well Association. In 1996, Harry was given the honor of being named the Michigan Water Well Driller of the Year. When accepting this award, Harry commented, “Our highly trained employees are the key to our operation. To us, each customer is important. Over 50 years, we’ve drilled wells and sold all kinds of pumps to all kinds of people! We even sold a line shaft pump to John Wayne for irrigating his cotton crop on his ranch in Arizona!”
For most of his life, Harry was an active member of Immanuel Baptist Church, serving as trustee and AWANA leader, and most recently attended Grace Baptist Church. He loved God and was acutely aware of the sacrifice of his Savior on the cross. From that truth, Harry lived a life of thankfulness, compassion, and love for others.
Harry was a people person. No one was ever a stranger to him, and he always enjoyed a charismatic conversation whether waiting on a bench while ‘the girls explored’, or swapping stories with the guys at one of their many weekends at hunting camp, or at a weekly lunch with friends. Harry was well known throughout the U.P. by business associates and customers. It was often said, “If the U.P. had a governor, it would be Harry P.” Hardly a holiday went by when Harry wouldn’t get a phone call from a frantic farmer who needed water for the dairy cows, but the pipes were frozen or a pump had failed. He was always glad to lend a helping hand when it was needed.
He was also involved with the Dickinson County Historical Museum/Iron Mining Museum/ Cornish Pump Museum Board. He enjoyed community service with his fellow Rotarians. He also was a lifelong member of the NRA.
For all his accomplishments and busyness with the company, Harry’s most important accomplishment and legacy in life was his family. His love and commitment throughout the years is a testimony of God’s love and grace in his life. Family vacations, saunas, backyard fires, winter evenings by the fireplace and hunting morel mushrooms in the woods at camp were activities to which he looked forward. Back scratching, head rubs, hugs and kisses, and trips to the root beer stand were among some precious memories with his grandchildren. His teasing and storytelling will be deeply missed.
Harry is survived by his beloved and devoted wife, Kristen; children, Lynne (John) Hackert of Rancho Cordova, CA, Erik (Sara) Kleiman of Iron Mountain, and Kimberly (Brett) Shilton of Marshfield, WI; and precious grandchildren, Amanda, Jürgen, Anja, and Jäeger Kleiman and Liam, Sada, Iona, and Méav Shilton.
He is also survived by sisters, Lenore Edwards, Marjorie France, Katherine (Ray) Clemo; sister-in-law, Betty Kleiman and brother-in- law, James Swanson; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Elaine Kleiman; two brothers, Gordon and Terry Kleiman; brothers-in-law, Tom Edwards and Peter France; and parents-in- law, Alton and Ruth Swanson.
Visitation will be on Saturday, May 5 from 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. at Redemption Hill in Kingsford with funeral to follow at 11:30 a.m. also at Redemption Hill. Pastor Brett Shilton, Harry’s son-in-law, will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established at Samaritan’s Purse – Clean Water Projects under Harry Kleiman’s Memorial Fund, (https://www.samaritanspurse.org/memorial-page/harry-kleiman-iron-mountain-mi) to provide clean, potable water in impoverished areas while sharing the good news of Jesus Christ who said in John 4:13-14, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” An additional memorial gift will be provided to Bay Cliff Health Camp (http://www.baycliff.org/donation/) to provide programing to children in the UP with special needs.
Condolences may be expressed to the family of Harry Kleiman online at www.ernashfuneralhomes.com
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