Kenneth Kleis ’50

Kenneth James Kleis was born on April 24, 1925, and went to live with his Lord and Savior on January 2, 2021.

He was raised on 17th street in Holland with his parents and siblings Gerald (deceased in WW2), Stanley, Roger and Charlotte (Van Haitsma). Some of his childhood memories include selling vegetables door to door, mowing lawns and having a paper route. He was a lifelong member of Pillar Church; attended Holland Christian schools and graduated from Holland High school in 1943. Soon after, with other local friends, he was drafted into the Army military police reaching the rank of Sergeant.

After WW2, he attended Hope College graduating with a business degree. He spent his career as a salesman for Marsilje Insurance Agency and treasured the many relationships he made there. While at Hope, he met his future wife, Margaret Wolffensperger, an exchange student from The Netherlands. Ken and Margaret were married in 1951 nearly reaching 70 years of marriage. They were blessed with three children, Peter Kleis and Linda Van Wyk, Trinie and Glenn Vander Ploeg, Connie and Dale Mead; nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Ken thought it special when his grandson, Scott, and great-grandson, Zachary, joined the military and served their country as he had.

Ken treasured time spent with family and friends. He enjoyed meeting for coffee, playing cards, golfing, camping, hiking, and riding his John Deere tractor. He volunteered at local agencies assisting with transportation, food delivery, and visiting those under hospice care. He was a member of the American Legion- Leenhouts post for more than 50 years and attained the rank of Post Commander and Chaplain.

Ken was predeceased by parents, Isaac and Cornelia (Vanden Heuvel) Kleis; brothers, Gerald and Stanley, and many in-laws in The Netherlands.


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