SGT James Gregory “Jim” Kleman

SGT James Gregory “Jim” Kleman

Birth
Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio, USA
Death 2 Dec 1994 (aged 53)
Tucson, Pima County, Arizona, USA
Burial Tucson, Pima County, Arizona, USA
Plot Section 8N
Memorial ID 137329712 View Source
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Jim was born in Toledo, OH. He had a difficult childhood, spending time in a Catholic orphanage after his mother was hospitalized. His father died during a routine operation in 1946.

By December 1952 his mother had recovered enough bring the children back home. She remarried and moved their family to Tucson, AZ, hoping the desert would be a healthier environment for her. The family made the trip in a former Toledo city bus that his step father purchased.

Jim attended Salpointe High School, along with his best friend, Dan Southard. He participated in cross country running and track. He and Dan graduated together in 1959 and both enlisted in the Army. Jim became a member of the 82nd Airborne and completed the Ranger Course, one of the most difficult military special forces programs in the world. He served from 1959 to 1962.

After leaving the Army Jim returned to Tucson and went to the University of Arizona, graduating with a BA. His focus was Asian studies.

He took a job with Arizona Portland Cement in the 1970's and worked there as a purchasing agent.

Jim was intensely proud of his time as an Army Ranger and enjoyed the outdoors in Tucson, hiking in the mountains surrounding the city. He was a long distance runner in the 70's and 80's, completing the Tucson Marathon several times. A voracious reader, he filled his house with books, mainly spy novels, historical fiction, science fiction, and biographies, along with non-fiction military histories. He continued to enjoy skydiving (first experienced as a Ranger), becoming a frequent jumper at Marana airport.

He had a great sense of humor and loved spending time with his nieces and nephews, sharing stories of his Ranger days and encouraging them to overcome the challenges in their lives.

Extremely shy, he never married, which disappointed him. He would have made a great husband and father if given the chance, but it wasn't in the cards.

Sadly he fell victim to alcoholism in later life, resulting in his death at the Tucson VA hospital.

He is greatly missed by his family and friends, who value the positive impact he made on so many of us.

RIP, Jim. Son, Brother, Uncle, Friend, Ranger, and Patriot.


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