It is with profound sadness to share that Kelly J Klein, age 61, passed away of sudden cardiac arrest on Saturday, July 24th, 2021. Kelly was born in Pulaski WI in 1960 to Ralph & Muriel Klein and graduated from Pulaski High then worked for the original Pulaski Phone Company. It was during this time he met life-long friends Chuck & Barb while on the track team. Kelly held the record for 40+ years running high hurdles and proved he could jump over a double sized bed with one leap. Kelly then attended classes in La Crosse where he met life-long friends Joel & Steven. They shared many road trips to the Florida Keys and out West. Kelly also formed life-long friendships with Barb’s brother Dave & Mary along with their extended families. Kelly was like a second dad to Tara, Rachel, and Kristy and welcomed them into his heart from the day they were born.
In early 1992 Kelly moved back to Green Bay and started working at Schneider National. He had a special knack working with customers working at Frontier Phone Co., United Health Care, and most recently Wisconsin Public Service. Kelly formed several special friendships with everyone, especially Crazy Jean who convinced him in 2005 to reach out to his friend Julie Mulder. They were reunited at Pulaski Polka Days and realized the special bond they had and enjoyed several years together enjoying everything life had to offer. Julie’s son Nicholas looked to Kelly as his second dad, and he was very proud of Nick’s accomplishments believing he would succeed in anything he put his mind to.
In 2011 Kelly & Julie purchased a new home in Howard and just celebrated 10 years living in their dream home with a beautiful yard, deck, and the famous Tiki bar Kelly built by hand. He held numerous Tiki bar parties around his birthday and the door was always open. His love of the ocean, Jimmy Buffet, Florida, and fun adventures are present throughout it. He loved the Labor Day get togethers, Cancun, Mardi Gras, Fantasy Fest, and Burning Man and most recently a Florida vacation with Julie commenting this was the best trip we had. Kelly enjoyed a good Bloody Mary, listening to guitar pickers, relaxing by the pool or on a deck. He loved checking out new places with several friends at The Ave and Four Way bars and was known to always have a Ziploc of treats in his pocket to snack on & share.
In 2019 Kelly suffered a health set back when he was diagnosed with heart failure and spent time at Bellin and Froedtert Hospital. Doctors looked upon Kelly to be a miracle with medications and his overall spirit and joy for life to avoid any surgeries. His medical condition was unheard of, and his story will continue on with the doctors and students that spent time with him. Although he took great care of himself in recent years his untimely death comes as a shock to everyone.
Kelly is survived by his fiancé, Julie Mulder; son, Nicholas (Jary) Mulder; his mother, Muriel Klein; brothers, Marshall (Ann and son Zach), Gary (daughter Kelsey), Randy; and a sister, Debbie (Tom and their 2 children) Julie’s mother, Kathleen Peterson; her sister Debbie Wagner; and stepmom, Rhonda Wagner; and all aunts, uncles, and several cousins on both sides of the family. He was preceded in death by his father, a sister, Julie’s dad and stepdad.
Julie would like to share a huge thanks to everyone at Bellin & Froedtert for their efforts and amazing support. A special thanks to Don & Tammy Riha for supporting Julie during his sudden passing and to so many wonderful friends we considered family.
Kelly, you are the love of my life and always will be, you were one of a kind always smiling and sharing joy with everyone you came in contact with. I will forever keep you close in my heart and do my best to carry on your incredible zest and love for life and adventures. Forever & Always – You are the Best! Kelly Jay Klein
A Celebration of Life will be held Friday, July 30th at Lyndahl Funeral Home, 1350 Lombardi Ave, Green Bay from 3 pm to 7 pm. A small service will be held at 6 pm and attendees are welcome to share a few special memories of Kelly. In lieu of flowers we are accepting contributions towards a memorial fund for Happily Ever After animal shelter.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kelly J Klein, please visit our floral store.