Dietmar K.R. Klein ’57

Dietmar K.R. Klein ’57 died on December 13, 2023, in Kronberg im Taunus, Germany.

(The following was provided by Timo Klein in December 29, 2023:)

I regret that I have to inform you that my father, Dietmar, passed away on 13 December, following a tumble during a walk in mid-October that caused cerebral hemorrhage from which he was unable to recover. He was in hospital for five weeks, but fortunately he could be transferred to a section of his retirement home (Altkönigstift) for palliative care during the last three weeks of his life. Gisela, their three children, and two of his six grandchildren were with him when he passed away.

My father always loved telling stories taken from his rich and fulfilled life at our regular family gatherings, and he spoke fondly of the two years he lived in the US, be it the adventures during his travels or the time at Bowdoin College itself (I once visited the campus briefly in 1985 during my own time as a student in Illinois). I also am aware that he kept in contact with you and a few others he got to know at Bowdoin, and I have the two letters in front of me that you sent in November (in your role as Class Agent) and December this year (with information about developments in your family during 2023), which my father unfortunately was no longer able to read.

My father attended many events organized by the Bowdoin Club in Germany – and regularly contributed speeches or publications to these events. We also informed Carmen Birkle, the Club’s current president, and Petra-Angela Wacker, of his passing, and they asked us to send a memorial card to the Office of Alumni Relations in Brunswick – thus you may have heard already once this letter reaches you.

I will send this letter additionally by “snail mail” together with a memorial card for you. The poem by an anonymous author that you will see on the cover stems from the 12th century and is written in “Mittelhochdeutsch”. The protagonist speaks of the love to another person enclosed in his/her heart, with the key (“sluzzelin” = Schlüssel in modern German) being lost so that this love can never leave the heart. He recited this short poem from memory at my brother’s 60th birthday in August this year. You may know that German was my father’s favorite subject in school, and that he once dreamt of a career as a highly recognized feature writer at a renowned newspaper. His professional career took a different turn – one that inspired me to become an economist – but his love of reading and writing stayed with him all his life.

Yours sincerely,

Timo Klein

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