Charles "Chuck" Klima of Guttenberg died on May 5 in his home in the company of his daughter, Kris, and his dog, Calpie, to join his departed wife, Joan, on their 68th wedding anniversary. He was 91 years old.
He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, a friend to many, a retired business owner and a decorated U.S. Marine who fought in WWII. Chuck was born on May 19, 1921, in Cedar Rapids to Charles, Sr. and Leota Klima. He graduated from Franklin High School in Cedar Rapids where he ran track.
The day after Pearl Harbor, Chuck was the first in Cedar Rapids to enlist in the Marine Corps. He served 35 months in the South Pacific as a member of the Forgotten Battalion, helping to secure the islands on the way to Japan including Iwo Jima. He loved the Corps and proudly retired as Captain.
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He returned from the war to marry his sweetheart, Joan Wheeler, on May 5, 1945. In Cedar Rapids they had two children, Chuck and Kris, and together ran Chuck Klima Oil Company Maintenance. He was a stained glass artist and an expert pistol shooter, winning the state championship in 1968.
Chuck and Joan retired to their home in Guttenberg where Chuck enjoyed fishing, turkey hunting, and mushroom hunting. Chuck and Joan enjoyed dancing together their entire lives. "Mr. Chuck" has been a fixture at Guttenberg Elementary where he's read to kindergarteners twice a week for seven years. In 2003, Chuck helped create the beautiful stained glass panels that decorate the school's entryway.
He is preceded in death by his grandson, Brett Klima, and his wife Joan. Chuck is survived by his brother Richard Klima of Florida; sister Connie Switzer of Tennessee; son Charles Klima (Pam), 66, of Buckingham, Iowa; daughter, Kris Nassif (Ken Johnsen), 63, of Des Moines Iowa; grandson Jake Nassif (Sarah), 38, of Minneapolis; granddaughter Allison Nassif (Ben Weaver), 35, of Minneapolis; and grandson Travis Klima, 32, of La Porte City, Iowa; great-grandchildren, Hunter, Gracie and Johanna; his special friend Betty McVicker; and his best pal Calpie. Memorials may be directed to Iowa Food Bank or Salvation Army.
Arrangements are being handled by Tuecke-Allyn Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 207 S. First, Guttenberg, IA, where the family will receive friends from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, May 9, 2013. Memorial service will be at Tuecke-Allyn Funeral Home & Cremation Service at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 9, 2013 with Military Rites following service at the Veterans Memorial in the city park.