Richard “Rich” Kling, 82 of Belmond, Iowa died August 22, 2018 at the Hospice of North Iowa Inpatient Unit in Mason City, Iowa. Memorial Services will take place at Trinity Lutheran Church, 304 3rd Ave NE, Belmond on August 25, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. with Pastor Dawn Pedersen officiating. Burial will be at the Belmond Cemetery immediately following the service. Visitation will be held at Andrews Funeral Home, 516 1st St. SE, Belmond on August 24, 2018 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. and one hour before the service.
Rich was a life-long resident of Belmond, born on July 11, 1936 to Sven Otto (Gunnar) Kling and Rosezella Louise (Koeppel) Kling. He was baptized on December 24, 1936 at Trinity Lutheran Church and confirmed December 23, 1956 at St. John Lutheran Church. As a youth, he was a Boy Scout and showed signs of his astute business sense as an award winning newspaper carrier for the Des Moines Register. He worked at the Standard Oil Gas Station and rebuilt cars with his brother Rollie before graduating from Belmond High School in 1954. On August 4, 1956, Rich was united in marriage to Marilyn Kay Steenhard at St. John Lutheran Church in Belmond and together raised three daughters, Sue, Pam and Cindy.
Rich learned the value of hard work at a young age and in 1955 his work ethic caught the eye of Bud Packard, a successful area businessman. Bud invited him to join Packard Electric in 1955. He began as an apprentice, completed training and became a journeyman electrician in 1961. He became a business partner of Packard Electric, Inc. by 1966, and was elected president by his peers for more than 15 years until 2001. He held expertise in large industrial electrical contracting with many certifications. He was an early proponent of computer drafting and welcomed computers into his life. Even after he became ill, Rich was still organizing most everything with spreadsheets.
In 1961, Rich joined the Belmond Fire Department and served the Belmond community in various capacities for 58 years. He was Chief or Assistant Chief from 1978-1984. He continuously challenged himself as a life-long learner earning important certifications with the Belmond Fire Department. At the time of his death, he was serving as the communications director and worked countless hours labeling, scanning and archiving fire department photographs and documents while planning for a Belmond Historical Society exhibit.
He was a devoted son, husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He mentored many young people throughout the years at Packard Electric, the Belmond Fire Department and in the community. He was an active member of and served many key roles in St. John Lutheran Church until its closure in 2016 and recently joined Trinity Lutheran Church. In short, he was a man who was committed to his family and friends, to his work, community and faith.
He was preceded in death by his parents Gunnar and Rosezella, his wife Marilyn, brother Miran Kling, sister-in-law Ruthann Kling, and nephews Roger Kling and Mark Kling. He is survived by his devoted friend of the last 14 years, Sandra Nelson, three daughters Susan (Richard) Whitty of Dubuque, Iowa, Pam Kling (Michael Rausch) of Madison, Wisconsin and Cindy Kling of Athens, Texas, grandsons Nathan (Katharine Watson) Whitty and Justin (Gina) Whitty, great-granddaughter Elsan Rose Whitty and step-grandsons Thomas and William Rausch, step-great-granddaughters Remi and Lina Rausch, brother Rolland, nieces and nephews, Barbara Sutton, Joyce Stout, Raymond Kling, Kenneth Kling, Matthew Kling, and Alison Kling.
Rich was blessed in his life. He had a devoted family whom he loved and who loved him dearly. He truly enjoyed working and said he looked forward to going to work every day. He supported Packard Electric and its employees until his death and knows the company is in good hands. The Belmond Fire Department was woven into his soul and gave him years of satisfaction. Rich earned the respect of so many through his acts of good deeds, loyalty and compassion.