Matt Klein

MNOT – Matt Klein, 89, Minot and former longtime Minot lawmaker, died Monday January 30, 2023. His loving wife was by his side. Matthew M. Klein was born on December 28, 1933 on a farm near Zeeland, ND to Mathias and Magdalena (Wolf) Klein. Raised on the family farm, he attended rural schools, graduated from Zeeland High School in 1953 and attended ND State Normal and Industrial College in Ellendale, ND for a year.

Matt married Isabell Roehrich on July 26, 1956 in Linton, ND. Matt previously enlisted in the United States Air Force on October 26, 1954 in Fargo, ND. He spent a significant portion of his military service in Amarillo, TX with the 3343rd School Squadron ATC. On April 25, 1959, he received his honorable discharge as a staff sergeant.

After his discharge, he graduated from North Dakota State University in 1962 with a degree in electrical engineering before attending USC and UCLA. While living in LA, Matt was employed by the North American Aviation Space and Information Division on the Apollo Spacecraft project. He returned to North Dakota in 1964 and resided in Bismarck, where he was an aeronautical engineer with the Montana Dakota Utilities Resources Division from 1964 to 1967. The family moved to Minot in 1967 and he was employed at Minot Air Force Base on the Minuteman missile project. In 1978, he accepted a three-year tour of duty to Stuttgart, Germany, as a staff engineer for the US Army at Headquarters, Seventh Corps. In 1981 he returned to the MAFB, where he took on the position of Assistant Civil Engineer. During the early years of the Reagan military, he transferred to the US Army Corps of Engineers. During those years, he oversaw the construction of the MAFB Hospital, Air Launch Missile Facilities, and other projects. He retired from public service in 1989. In addition, he has worked as a registered professional engineer for multiple contractors on various independent projects.

Matt was elected to the North Dakota House of Representatives in 1992 and served in District 40 for 24 years until 2016. Over the years he has served as chairman and member of various committees. During the 2005 legislature he was Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Matt was an active member of Little Flower Catholic Church, where he served as a Eucharist and a member of the Church Council and Foundation Board. He was a member of the American Legion Post, Elks Lodge and Eagles, all in Minot. He particularly enjoyed reading, gardening and travelling.

Matt’s loving family includes his 66-year-old wife Isabell; Children: Sharon (David) Voeller of Goodyear AZ, Rita (James) Cooper of Louisburg KS, Diane (Jeffrey) Cooper of Sunrise Beach MO, Joan Klein (David Stanley Burch) of Shreveport LA, Kathleen (Joseph) Slate of Mesa AZ, and Karen Fiest (David Coyle) of Rosemount MN; Grandchildren: Melissa Voeller, Christopher (Kelli) Cooper, Danielle (Joseph Boyce) Cooper, Derek (Shannon) Schell, Kyle Schell, Benjamin Clark Burch, Anna (Aaron) Axvig, Jordan (Ashley) Slate, Noah Slate, Ryan Slate; great-grandchildren Kylie Boyce, Wayne Galloway, Johnathan Galloway, Aiden Boyce Cooper, Bryce Schell, Isabella Boyce Cooper, Penelope Schiefer, Alice Axvig; Siblings: Walter Klein from Zeeland, Ann Weigel from Bismarck and Betty (Dwane) Berndt from Harriet SD; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws.

Matt was preceded in death by his parents and siblings: Anton, John, Joe, LeRoy, Julia, Francis, and Lena. Christian Funeral Mass: Monday, February 6, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. at the Little Flower Catholic Church – Minot. To watch a live stream of the service or to share memories and condolences, access his obituary at www.thomasfamilyfuneralhome.com.

Vigil devotion: Sunday at 5:00 p.m. in the church.

Funeral Service: Monday at 3:00 p.m. at North Dakota Veterans Cemetery in rural Mandan.

Viewing: Sunday from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the church.

Memorials are preferred to the Little Flower Catholic Church Foundation or the Bishop Ryan High School Foundation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

| |
Back to top button