October 24, 1927 - November 20, 2012
Larry Klinger, longtime Log Hill resident, passed away Tuesday evening, November 20, 2012, at Montrose Memorial Hospital, Montrose, Colo.
Larry was born October 24, 1927, in Detroit, Mich., to Andrew and Georgine Klinger. Primarily due to the Great Depression, the Klinger family moved to Tawas City, Mich., during the 1930-31 timeframe. Larry was then raised on a small farm in the Laidlawville, Mich., area near Tawas City from 1931 through 1944.
Through the sixth grade, he attended a one-room, country school in the Laidlawville area, then St. Joseph Catholic School through the ninth grade, and the 10th and llth grades at Tawas City High School. In 1944 he moved to Flint, Mich., where he attended and graduated from St. Michael’s Catholic High School in 1945.
Shortly after graduation, Larry was drafted into the U.S. Army, and then worked in Michigan for a year after an honorable discharge. He then hitchhiked to Arizona during the spring of 1948 where he spent the summer fighting forest fires.
Larry then returned to Michigan and enrolled in college, graduating with a B.S. degree in January, 1952, from Bowling Green State University at Bowling Green, Ohio.
Following college, he moved to Texas where he followed various careers, and eventually built businesses that he ran and owned. In Beaumont, Tex., he worked until 1954 in various sales positions. He then relocated to Houston, Tex., in 1954 where he worked a safety engineer, spending most of this time in the emerging offshore oil industry.
He relocated to Bryan, Tex., where he worked for Alenco Aluminum Windows as a salesman, starting in 1958. For the next four years he worked in sales covering the eastern half of the U.S., then the nine western states, followed by the entire U.S. for large projects, eventually opening the company’s first direct-sales operation in Houston.
Larry then moved to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1962 where he worked two years as a salesman throughout the U.S. for the Floataway Door Company. When the company was sold to U.S. Gypsum in 1964, he moved back to Houston and started his own business, Larry Klinger & Assoc., which sold doors, windows and a wide variety of fixtures and other items through the commercial construction industry. Business was very good, and Larry expanded with the opening of Tex-Lam Mfg. Co. in 1970 and he operated both companies until his retirement in 1982. He sold the companies, and both are still operating in Houston.
Larry was single until he married Dorothy Borski on April 15, 1972, in Houston. Dorothy’s sister Mary, a victim of Down’s Syndrome, immediately became Larry’s “partner” and “#1 Secretary,” a status she held until her death in 2004. Mary decided she wanted to live with Larry and Dorothy because, as Mary said, “there wasn’t any action” at home, and her parents were “too old.” Both during the time Larry ran his businesses, and during his retirement, Larry and Mary were inseparable.
The Klingers kept three homes together, Dorothy’s Kingwood home, Larry’s Lake Rayburn home, and Mary’s Bay House at Port Lavaca. Mary liked the houses on the water best, because of her love of fishing with Larry and Dorothy.
For the next 383 months (one month short of 32 years, as Larry likes to keep time) the family worked and played very hard. They traveled to Canada, Alaska, Spain, Portugal and North Africa, as well as many locations within the U.S. During those travels, they fell in love with Western Colorado, and eventually bought their fourth home, this one on Log Hill in Ouray County in 1987.
The Klingers split their time during the next four years between Colorado and Texas, eventually selling their Texas properties in 1993. In the meantime, they had acquired approximately 480 acres on Log Hill, which they named the Double K Mesa Ranch, and where they built their new home. When not working on the property, the Klingers enjoyed hunting, scouting for arrow heads and other artifacts and otherwise enjoying the canyon-laced ranch. The Klingers relished entertaining their friends and family members at the ranch, and nobody ever left hungry after the “Texas-sized” meals they prepared.
Dorothy passed away on March 21, 2004, following a short illness and just one month short of their 32nd wedding anniversary. Mary passed away exactly seven months later. Since Dorothy’s death, Larry has funded a scholarship in her honor through Fortuna Tierra, a Log Hill women’s organization in which Dorothy was a very active contributor and member.
Larry’s birth family members are sisters Virginia Jones, deceased, and Marian Ulman and Helen Troutman, and a brother, James Klinger, all of Tawas City, Mich.
A vigil followed by a rosary will be held at Crippin Funeral Home Chapel on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012 at 7:00 be at Crippin Funeral Home Chapel. A Funeral Mass is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 26, 2012 at 10:00 am at St. Mary Catholic Church, Interment will follow the service at Grand View Cemetery, west of Montrose. Arrangements are under the direction of Crippin Funeral Home & Crematory, Montrose, Co.