January 30, 1928 marked the birth of Norman (Norm) Dean Klejch, son of Jerry and Lillian Sophia (Jezek) Klejch. Birthplace was the farm home southeast of Diagonal, Iowa. He was welcomed by an older brother, Laverne.
Norm grew to adulthood in the Diagonal community, attending the rural Fairview School and later graduating as valedictorian with the Diagonal High School class of 1947. After completing a 2 year accounting and business law course at Commercial Extension School of Commerce in Omaha, Nebraska, he secured employment in the accounting department of Union Pacific Railroad.
On May 15, 1949, he was united in marriage to Doris Marguerite Pratt at the Tingley Methodist Church and they established their home in Omaha.
In 1950 they returned to their love of farming in Ringgold County. It was here they became parents of 4 children – Craig (1952), Janelle (1955), Sherri (1958), and Valerie (1962). To provide better for his family, Norm entered the insurance business with Ringgold County Farm Bureau in 1962 and served as agency manager for 20 years. During this period he excelled in sales performance and attained membership in the prestigious Royal Court of Honor.
After years of parenting and with the college education for their children almost complete, Norm and Doris decided to work together as business partners so Klejch Insurance Agency was established in 1982. Here, later joined by son, Craig, they enjoyed serving their clients for 30 years. In the fall of 2013, the business was sold and they began retirement.
Norm was a man with a zest for living who enjoyed interaction with clients and offered a helping hand whenever possible. He had keen business knowledge tempered with honesty and integrity and served his community in many ways throughout the years.
He was interested in education as evidenced by serving eight years on the Ringgold County Board of Education and as president of the Mt. Ayr Community School Board for 12 years. He was also a member of the Lions club, Mt. Ayr Manor Inc. Board, and also gave many years of service to the Diagonal Bohemian Cemetery Association (a position close to his heart affirming his Czech heritage).
Family was of the utmost importance to Norm. He stressed and encouraged excellence both to his children and grandchildren and they did not disappoint him. "Grandpa" was always cooking up a deal to go somewhere or do something with family and many special times are now treasured memories for all of us.
Norm passed away Wednesday, May 21, 2014, at the Clearview Home in Mount Ayr. Funeral services wre Tuesday,
May 27 at the First Christian Church in Mount Ayr. Pastor Chris Conklin and Pastor Jim Morris officiated the service.
Musicians were Doug Greene, David Greene and Darla Dolecheck. Honorary bearers were Ashley Nelson, Lindsey McClaran, Tiffany
Kelley, Christopher Nelson, Allyson Huffman, Collin McClaran and Andrea Huffman.
Norm is survived by his devoted wife of 65 years, Doris. He is also survived by his son Craig and daughters, Janelle (David) Huffman, Sherri (Randall) Nelson, and Valerie (Dale) McClaran. Seven grandchildren including Tiffany (Daniel) Kelley, Christopher Nelson, Ashley Nelson, Allyson Huffman, Andrea Huffman, Lindsey McClaran, Colin McClaran and two great-grandchildren, Madison and Emma Kelley. He is also survived by sisters-in-law June Stephens, Helen Mickelson and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, LaVerne Klejch.
Norm's faith was extremely important to him. Christian principles guided his life and that along with his love for family went hand in hand. These past months his strong faith sustained and supported him as he faced adversity with patience and courage. He will be greatly missed, although we rejoice that we will someday see him again. In his final hours, Norm often stated how blessed he had been to live 86 years and have such a wonderful and loving family as well as great neighbors and friends, and indeed to have lived such a wonderful life.
Private burial will be in the Diagonal Bohemian Cemetery at a later date.
Memorials may be directed to the
First Christian Church, Boehmian Cemetery of United Church of Diagonal building project.
Online condolances may be left
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, June of 2014