Robert “Bob” Klein Jr. passed away peacefully on Oct. 24, 2021, at age 68.
Born in Kansas City, Mo., to Robert Klein Sr. and Kathleen Fisher Klein, the Klein family later settled in Santa Maria, Calif., where Bob grew up with his siblings Paul and Kristi. Bob was incredibly smart with an IQ that rivaled Einstein’s. He regaled us with his tales of mischief and truly embodied the phrase “too smart for your own good.”
After graduating from Santa Maria High School in 1971, Bob joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany. His love for photography began at this time, and he captured the scenic German countryside in numerous photos left behind. He received a commendation medal for meritorious service and was honorably discharged in 1975.
Shortly after returning home, he met his first wife, Margaret, with whom he had two children, Melodie and Megan.
He attended California Polytechnic State University and graduated in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Communication, then joined his father at Lockheed Martin Corporation, working there as a Graphic Design Coordinator and Senior Graphic Artist until his retirement in 2010.
Craving solitude and a simpler life, he settled in Hayfork and adopted his beloved dog Zoa, an Australian Shepherd mix with whom he had a remarkable bond.
Bob was an avid hunter, photographer, coin collector, The Cure and Pixies devotee, and cook who dreamed of having his whole family together for a feast. Some of the best memories with him involved shooting at the range with his daughters, smoking on the porch and staring at the beautiful night sky of Hayfork with his brother, watching the Kansas City Chiefs games with his sister and father, and cooking delicious meals for his friends, always including a portion for Zoa.
Bob is survived by his daughter, Melodie Gonzalez, granddaughters Amaya and Stella, of Santa Maria, Calif.; daughter Megan (Anthony) Zottarelli, granddaughter Lucia and grandson Samuel, of San Francisco, Calif.; brother Paul (Cindy) Klein of Hayfork, Calif.; nephew Adam (Kendall) Klein of San Carlos, Calif., niece Heidi (Jon) Klein of San Francisco, Calif., and nephew Joseph (Stefani) Klein of Redwood City, Calif.; and devoted sister Kristi Klein, nephew Chad (Lauran) Sumner, and niece Nicole Evans of Santa Maria, Calif.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Kathleen.
“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever.” – Alfred Lord Tennyson
A private service will be held at a later time. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a donation to Trinity Pet Rescue, a nonprofit animal sanctuary that is caring for Zoa. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 1446, Hayfork, CA 96041.