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David S. Klehm, 81

| April 6, 2010 4:40 AM

David S. Klehm, 81, passed away at home on April 1, 2010. He was born June 8, 1928, in Libby, Mont., to Karl A. and Mary Klehm. He was the youngest of three children. In 1949 he met and married Nan Garnett in Couer d’Alene. They then moved to Moscow so he could attend Forestry School at the University of Idaho.

Upon graduation from the university, Nan and Dave moved to Kalispell, Mont., for a brief time before Dave enlisted in the U.S. Army, and attended Officer’s Candidate School in Ft. Belvoir, Va. He graduated as a 2nd Lt. and was sent to Korea to engineer roads that were crucial to keeping American casualties as low as possible. For his service in Korea he was awarded the Bronze Star.

After the Korean War he and Nan returned to Kalispell for good. They started their family with Kari Jo in 1954, followed by Kris in 1957. Through the course of life, Dave was a member of the Montana National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve. He attained the rank of Major and retired from military service after 26 years. His primary career, however, was in forestry. Upon his return from Korea, he worked for Kalispell Lumber Company, Somers Lumber Company, Burlington Northern and finally retired as a land manager for Plum Creek Timber Company in 1984. His love of the woods was deep seated, as his father had been Forest Supervisor for the Kootenai National Forest when he was young. David manned the Meadow Peak Lookout his 16th summer. He logged in Korea (during a war!) to acquire materials to build roads, make shelters and maintain MASH units. For Dave, “wood, truly was good.”

After his retirement, he and Nan traveled the western United States and later he took up wood working and made thousands of old fashioned wooden toys that he took to the Farmer’s Market, and also donated extensively to charity.

Dave had been a trombone player since fifth grade and was a member of the Flathead Community Band for 29 years and also played in the Shriner’s El Katif and German Bands for almost 20 years. Last year he donated his trombone to the Evergreen Jr. High School band. He had been active in the early years of the Evergreen Lions, a member of the Masonic Lodge and Shriners, and active in the Society of American Foresters.

Dave was an avid collector of any and every thing. He was always delighted to have just the right thing for the right use.

Dave was preceded in death by his parents, Karl A. and Mary; his brother, Karl and sister Patricia, and his dear son, Kris in 1982. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Nan, at the family home. His daughter Kari Klehm (and husband Mike Collins), and beloved grandson Zachri Klehm, all of Kalispell, and many nieces and nephews who he cherished.

The time for a memorial reception will be announced soon.

Contributions in Dave’s name may be made to: Shriners Hospitals for Children, P.O. Box 2472, Spokane, WA, 99210-2472 or Home Options Hospice, 430 Windward Way #101, Kalispell, MT 59901.

Johnson-Gloschat Funeral Home is caring for Dave’s family. You are invited to go to www.jgfuneralhome.com to offer condolences and view Dave’s tribute wall.

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