Lawrence Klein, or Larry as he was known, a lifelong resident of Sullivan County, passed away Saturday, October 14, 2023 after a short illness. He was 94 years old.
The son of the late Nathan and Gertrude Weiner (a.k.a. Werner) Klein, Larry was born April 15, 1929 in Liberty and grew up at Klein’s Hillside Hotel in Parksville, NY. As a boy he raised ducks for the hotel kitchen, worked as a waiter (wearing a fake ID because the owner’s son got fewer tips) and acquired his lifelong love of working outdoors fixing and building things and operating heavy equipment. Larry initially attended a one room school in Parksville and then rode the bus to Liberty where what is now the elementary school served grades one through 12. After graduating from Liberty Central High School where he played basketball, Larry earned a degree in civil engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. While in college he was in ROTC.
After graduating from college, Larry joined his father and uncle in constructing Klein’s Bungalow Colony in Kiamesha, NY, the family having gotten out of the hotel business in the late 1940s. At first, the bungalows only served summer vacationers, but eventually Larry converted them into four season apartments, renting to teachers during the school year and vacationers in the summer. He also built several houses in Liberty. Larry made work continually engaging by combining his engineering skills with electrical, plumbing, welding, automotive and carpentry while managing to work predominantly outside, which he loved. Until the very end of his life, he cherished sunny days.
While in college he married the love of his life Marion Irene Norris. The couple had three children. In 1957 they moved from the Monticello area to Liberty where they spent the rest of their lives. After retiring in his 50s, Larry and Marion crisscrossed the country many times sightseeing and visiting children and grandchildren. Marion passed away December 23, 2017. Marion and Larry were married for 69 years. Larry is survived by: Daughter Bonnie Hart and her husband Tom in Henderson, Nevada and their three sons, Ryan and wife Jennifer Diffley of Phoenix, Arizona, Dustin and wife Kristen of Las Vegas and Troy and wife Judy Mata in Henderson; daughter Lori Klein and her husband Donn Wray of Carmel, Indiana and their daughter Ellen of New York City; son Dr. Wayne Klein and his wife Tatiana in the Boston area, Wayne’s stepdaughter Yana in the Boston area and daughter Sarah Klein Edmon and husband David in Washington DC. Also surviving are his brother-in-law Lester Norris of Parksville and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be Thursday, April 11, 2024 at the Harris Funeral Home, West Street at Buckley, Liberty, NY. Funeral services will be Friday, April 12, 2024 at the Harris Funeral Home. Burial will be in Liberty Cemetery, Liberty, New York.
Memorial contributions may be made to Sullivan County Meals on Wheels. Please send checks payable to “Sullivan County Treasurer” with “Meals on Wheels” noted on the memo blank to: Office for the Aging, County Government Center, P.O. Box 5012, Monticello, NY 12701.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Harris Funeral Home, West St. at Buckley, Liberty, NY 845-292-0001, 845-439-5200 www.Harris-FH.com