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Obituary: Thomas Grover Klein, Franklin

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Thomas Grover Klein

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. 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 very active in the Masonic Lodge. He was a member of Center Masonic Lodge No. 23 in Indianapolis as well. They were both members of Order of the Eastern Star, Fraternal Order of Police No. 86 and the Honest Club. He also was also a member of the Indianapolis Valley of the Scottish Rite and the Murat Shrine.

After retirement, they moved to Franklin and purchased a home at the Indiana Masonic Home. Vivian preceded him in death Feb. 16, 2011, as did his 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 and Joe Klein, both of Indianapolis, Bill McClelland and Tom McClelland, both of Madison, Mary Jo McClelland of Wabash, Steve Klein of Minnesota, and John Hoffman of Madison.

He also is survived by a sister-in-law, Mary Klein of Louisville, Kentucky; many great- and great-great-nieces and -nephews; and a stepson, Lynn Dodson of South Bend. He will be greatly missed by friends and family.

Center Masonic Lodge No. 23 will conduct a Masonic service at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Ransford Chapel Of the Indiana Masonic Home, 690 S. State St., Franklin, with the Rev. Cleon Wright conducting a funeral service immediately following, with military honors to follow.

Friends may call from 11 a.m. until the time of service 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 swartzmortuary.com.

Information: 738-0202.

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