Thursday, August 30, 2012

George Daniel Kleist, BHS 1944

George Daniel Kleist, BHS 1944

Tribune, The (San Luis Obispo, CA) - January 31, 2003

George Daniel Kleist, 76, of Arroyo Grande, died Sunday, Jan. 19, 2003.

George was born Thursday, May 13, 1926, in Muscatine, Iowa, the second of two children. His family moved to California in 1941. He graduated from Burbank High School in 1944 and joined the U.S. Navy the same year. While in the Navy, he attended USC and Arizona State University.

On August 14, 1948, he married Evelyn Louise Warnock. They raised four boys and had several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They moved from their home in Burbank to Arroyo Grande in 1970. While raising their children, he was active in Indian Guides (where he was known as "Full Moon"); Cub Scouts; Boy Scouts; and Explorer Scouts, for which he was Scout Master, something he enjoyed very much.

His occupations included union pipe fitter for Myers Bros. Construction, superintendent of Construction for Fred Fiedler and Associates, owner of George D. Kleist Construction, founder of Five Cities Construction, Inc., superintendent for Vick Pace Construction, and director of construction for People's Self-Help Housing. He retired in 1991, at age 65.

He lost his precious wife of 51 years, truly his soul mate, to cancer on May 30, 1999. Since he was only 76 when he died of a sudden heart attack, his family strongly believes he left to meet up with his one-and-only true love.

He taught his family about integrity, honesty and great work ethics. Never the procrastinator, they could always depend on "his word" and his timeliness. It was a privilege to merely know George Kleist and so special to have him as a father, role model, teacher and friend. George approached each task life set in front of him with great purpose. He would begin to pursue each task through completion without hesitation or regard for its size or difficulty. He led the way and all followed. His word was his bond.

He was loved and will be greatly missed. He gave his stories, love and good "rules to live by." He will never be forgotten and will live on in the hearts of his family forever.

He is survived by his loving sister Dee Tansey; children and their families, Rupert and Joyce Johnson; Alan and Arleen Johnson, Dani Kleist and Diane Tumas, Ken and Debi Kleist; nine grandchildren and their families; and 12 great-grandchildren.

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