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Obituary: Thomas Grover Klein, Franklin

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Thomas Grover Klein, 95, of Franklin, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, at Johnson Memorial Hospital in Franklin.

He was born in Madison to Joseph and Ida Mae (Shanks) Klein on Aug. 23, 1918, one of nine siblings. He grew up in Madison; and following graduation from Madison High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in World War II.

Tom earned a Bronze Star and was involved in hand-to-hand combat with the Japanese Army during the Battle of Attu off Alaska. While in the Army, he played football and basketball, earning him offers for scholarships to several big colleges. He chose to pass up those opportunities and returned home to Madison.

Tom left Madison and joined his brother Joe in Indianapolis, first working as a bricklayer with his sister-in-law Louise’s father, then at Bookwalter and Ball before beginning his career with the Indianapolis Police Department. Tom earned the rank of major before retiring.

Police work was Tom’s life until after the age of 50 when a fellow officer introduced him to his future wife, Vivian. Both were active in the Masonic Lodge. He was a member of Center Masonic Lodge 23 in Indianapolis. They both were members of Order of the Eastern Star, Fraternal Order of Police 86 and the Honest Club. After retirement, they moved to Franklin and purchased a home at the Indiana Masonic Home. He was preceded in death by his wife, Vivian, on Feb. 16, 2011, and by three brothers and five sisters.

Tom was proud to be a Mason and a member of the Indianapolis Police Department. No matter where he went, he always had a joke to tell. He constantly reminded those around him that he had lived a great life.

Survivors include nieces and nephews, Judy Callahan of Indianapolis, Joe Klein, Bill, Tom and Mary Jo McClelland, Steve Klein and John Hoffman. He also is survived by a sister-in-law, Mary Klein, and many great- and great-great-nieces and -nephews and a stepson, Lynn Dodson.

He will be greatly missed by friends and family.

The Rev. Cleon Wright will conduct a service at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Ransford Chapel of the Indiana Masonic Home, 690 S. State St. in Franklin. Friends may call from 11 a.m. until service time Saturday at the chapel. Entombment will be at Washington Park East Cemetery in Indianapolis.

Swartz Family Community Mortuary and Memorial Center in Franklin is handling arrangements.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.swartzmortuary.com.

Information: 738-0202

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