This is our tribute page to our father, husband and gentleman, Albert Kline, Sr. The following includes his obituary and eulogy read by Suzy Kline at the funeral. Please enjoy and thank you for everyones thoughts and prayers. We want to also thank all the folks who came to the funeral reception at our home on Friday, April 15, 2010.
Eulogy (Read at funeral by Suzy Kline)
Our family is joined here today at the site of our parent’s plot, which they purchased in 1977 about 10 years after we came to this country, to say goodbye to this amazing man who overcame many obstacles to make a happy and prosperous life for all of us.
Dad regarded himself as a WW1 baby. In the course of his long life he overcame many hurdles of the darkest days of war torn Europe and enjoyed all the successes with an unhurried appreciation in times of prosperity and peace. He truly touched each of our lives in his own special way.
Through my eyes as a small child I adored my father. When I see the joy on his face in an old photo while pushing my baby carriage, I can see that he adored me as well. I can tell from his happy face that he loved me when I was born. I also know that he loved me when he died, because those were his last parting words to me. To comfort and care for him through his last days was the greatest gift I could offer my father because he spent over 50 years loving my mom, my brothers and me.
And what was his gift to us all those years?
His love for animals, people, travel, the outdoors, the trees, the birds, and a general sense of the appreciation of life. Both, when we lived in Holland and during our life here in Corpus, he loved the water and going to the beach. I have memories of my parents taking me to the beach in Holland and then to the playground which my dad knew was my favorite past time. In his later years, he loved to spend time in the yard and swim in his pool. He let me know how wonderful life was here in Corpus, as I was shoveling snow and chipping the ice off my driveway in New York. He loved to ride his bike in Holland, and I remember sitting behind him as a child and then pedaling behind him when I got older trying to keep up with him. He was a strong man with strong lungs and great endurance.
He loved the outdoors, all his dogs, his water fountains and listened to the different sounds of all the birds. I have memories of him whistling and mimicking them to answer their call. He loved all his dogs and had a special bond with each of them. He loved to relax in his yard and just enjoy each day of his life both indoors and out.
He loved to travel, and as a child I saw most of western Europe on our vacations before my 10th birthday. His stress was at a minimum in his travels with us. He just liked to relax and talk to people. I remember he had a knack for going up to perfect strangers anywhere in a restaurant, bar, a bus or train and (even on the streets in friendly mid-town Manhattan) and just strike up a conversation with anyone. I remember on our weekend trips in Holland we used to go to the forest and take long hikes. He knew which mushrooms to pick which were edible, and he would make the most delicious soup. He loved to travel with his family because he loved spending time with his family.
My Dad had a sense of stubborn individuality and perpetual independence as he aged. I called him my “Eveready Bunny” because he just kept going and going, walking, shopping, mowing the lawn, and driving his car until the very end. His most important gift to me is his happy- go- lucky attitude with a great sense of humor at every turn of life. Oh……. how he made me laugh sometimes.
Dad touched our lives in so many ways influencing and contributing to each of our unique personalities. As we close this chapter of his life, Dad will continue to live in our memories as we go on with our own lives passing some of these traits of his love for life and love of family to our own children and grandchildren. Dag, Pap. Goodbye Dad, I love you.
Albert Kline, Sr. passed away on April 11, 2011. He was 93 years old. He was born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on August 25, 1917. He briefly worked as a photographer with his father at the family photography studio.
Albert was part of a show business family that included his famous father and sister. His father was a gifted comedian and tenor in Holland. His sister was the first woman to play a leading role in the first Dutch film. In 1934, he began singing on Dutch radio with an orchestra and would become a famous radio musician in his own right. Albert sang and performed with international orchestras that played and traveled throughout Europe during the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s, recording many records for Dutch radio.
His musical career was interrupted at the onset of WWII. He was captured and sent to Germany under occupied Holland to work on the German railroad. He befriended a German officer and was granted a rail pass back to Holland. In the winter of 1944, he traveled from farm to farm, sleeping in barns, eating potato peels and drinking milk to survive the harsh winter of 1944.
When returning to Holland after the War he continued his music career. He met his present wife, Margaret and married in 1956. In 1967, the family moved to Corpus Christi and he founded a piano tuning and repair business that he operated for over thirty years. His music continued to play an important role in his life. He played with many bands at such places as the Town Club and sang with his accordion for many local parties and special events. He was a member of the Corpus Christi Symphony for several years playing the bass violin and served as a president of the south Texas chapter of the Piano Technician’s guild. In 2006, he happily celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with family and friends from Holland here in Corpus Christi.
Albert was a great-great grandfather to an extended family in the Netherlands. He is survived by his wife of fifty-four years, Margaret; his daughter, Suzanne Hettena and son-in-law, Jack Hettena; son, Dr. Al Kline; daughter-in-law, Dr. Joann Kline; and son, Gary Kline, all of Corpus Christi. He is also survived by grandchildren, Summer Stevens of Dallas, Texas; Megan, Nicole, Peter and Jacob Kline, of Corpus Christi and Lillian of Allen, Texas. Family in the Netherlands include, sister-in-law, Lilllie Onneweer; brother-in-law, Paul Onneweer of Hardegarijp; daughter, Friedi Zeldenrust and son-in-law, Harry Zeldenrust of Utrecht; daughter, Karin Buurman and son-in-law, Cees Buurman of Arnhem, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
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