Orange City, Iowa
James Kleis, 76, of Orange City, passed away Saturday, May 19, 2018, at the Orange City Area Health System.
Memorial services will be 11 a.m. Tuesday at First Reformed Church in Orange City. The Rev. Mark Haverdink will officiate. Interment will be prior to the services in West Lawn Cemetery at Orange City. There will be a family prayer service at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Oolman Funeral Home in Orange City. Visitation will be after 4 p.m. today, with the family present 5 to 7 p.m., at the funeral home. You may express your sympathy at www.oolman.com.
James Robert was born on Nov. 22, 1941, in Plainwell, Mich., the son of Harold and Dora (Vander Kolk) Kleis. He was raised in Kalamazoo, Mich., where he graduated from the Kalamazoo Central High School. He then attended Northwestern College in Orange City, where he played baseball, basketball, and football, and where he met his future wife. He received his master's degree from Morningside College in Sioux City.
On June 3, 1965, he married Sharon Anker in Orange City. They made their home in Orange City, where he taught mathematics and coached junior high athletics at the M-OC/Floyd Valley Community School for 36 years. He then was a part-time instructor at the Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon, and Dordt College in Sioux Center. In addition to teaching, he enjoyed officiating at basketball, football, softball, and volleyball games. Jim loved people and was always known for his encouraging spirit and fun-loving nature.
Jim’s health forced him to give up refereeing and substitute teaching eight and one-half years ago. In 2014, he became a resident of the Prairie Ridge Care Center in Orange City.
He was a member of First Reformed Church, where he served on the consistory as a deacon and an elder and taught Sunday school classes. He also belonged to the National Education Association, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the Orange City Lions Club.
Survivors left to cherish him and whom he loved so much, include his wife of almost 53 years; two sons and their wives, Darren and Heather Kleis of Des Moines, and Jason and Shelly Kleis of Dakota Dunes, S.D.; five grandchildren, Corbin and Bergin (of Darren), and Samuel, Addison and Reese (of Jason); a sister, Judy De Does of Dallas, Texas; and a brother, David Kleis of Tampa, Fla.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister-in-law, Sylvia Bretveld.
Memorials may be directed to a scholarship fund for a math student, to be established at the M-OC/Floyd Valley High School.
The service will be live-streamed on frcoc.org, and broadcast on local cable television channel 20.