He was a man of honor and respect. I once saw a picture of him dressed up in the old western days with the long coat western gun and belt. I told Susan he looked like a real badass. I fell in love with that pic. RIP Jim, you sir will be missed.
Jim was a good man and a good brother-in-law. When I first married his sister I was working at Bucyrus Erie, a very large machine shop. Jim was working at Evansville Electric, a much smaller place. I remember him taking me there several times to work on various projects he had going. It was enlightening to see what could be done by a craftsman in a small shop. Jim WAS a real craftsman, creative and intelligent. He worked with wood and metal with equal skill. While I was employed in the Engineering Department at USI we got our first Computer Numerically Controlled milling machine. Jim was makiing an open frame wooden clock and while he had all the tools and skills to make most of the mechanism he was having trouble getting a couple of the gears to mesh properly. I was glad to assist him by doing the necessary programming to cut the gears on a state-of-the-art machine tool. We had a good time and learned from each other. To this day that clock sits in the living room of his home, it is a real beauty.
Jim was a firearms enthusiast, amatuer gunsmith, and a reloader. He got me interested in casting bullets and reloading. He was also the person that showed me how to safely strip, clean, and reassemble a Colt 1911 Government model pistol. He was familiar with many other types of firearms and was always preaching safety and responsible use of fiearms. We went shooting together many times and had a lot of fun. He later joined the SIngle Action Shooting Society (SASS) and participated in many local matches. I know how much fun he had, dressing up like an old west character and living out the pleasant fantasy many of us had from watching shows like Bonanza and Gunsmoke.
Several years ago Jim took a long neglected double barrel shotgun that I had inherited from my family and did a fantastic job restoring it to be a beautiful and completely functional firearm. It will never be fired, the barrels are old technology not suited for modern ammunition, but it will always have an honored place among my collection. It is a small piece of Jim that I will always have around.
Jim and Dee raised two fine children. His son, Scott, is my business partner, we own a small machine shop. He is the only person on Earth I would ever want to be in business with. It is a tribute to Jim that Scott has many of the same values of honesty, integrity, and creativity. We enjoy working together in the same type of shop Jim spent many years working in. Sometimes it is hard work but we have a lot of fun.
A few ,months ago we bought a used lathe from Jim. Sadly, he knew he could not use it anymore but I think it gave him some measure of peace to know it would be used by his son and I as we carry on his legacy of crafstmanship. Like all of his equipment it was well taken care of and in good shape. It is another piece of Jim that we will have around as a reminder of what he was, what he did, and what he stood for.
RIP Jim, you will be remembered as a good man, a good brother-in-law, and a fine American.
I only met you a few times. I was always impressed with your knowledge and wisdom. I wish I could have spent more time with you. All my prayers to your family. You will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace
Theodore “Jim” Kleiman, 82, went home to be with the Lord on September 2, 2020 at 11:27 p.m. He was born on February 22, 1938 to Ted and Ethel Kleiman in Evansville, Indiana.
Jim was endlessly curious and loved to learn new things. He would always be found with stacks of books and loved reading. For most of his life, Jim was a machinist at Evansville Electric. His passion was working on anything mechanical. Jim served his county in the National Guard for 8 years. He was also a gun enthusiast and was a member of Single Action Shooters. Jim was a member of the Evansville Lapidary Society. He was also a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
Jim is survived by his wife of 61 years Delores Kleiman; his children Susan Jewell (Laura Jackson) and Scott (Kris) Kleiman; his grandchildren Logan Kleiman, Cameron Kleiman, Lauren (Micah) Merillat, Damien Jackson; his great-grandchildren Ryan Merillat, Kyle Merillat, Gunner Jackson, and Gage Jackson; his siblings Walter (Ilse) Kleiman and Nan (Keith) Benedict; and many loving nieces and nephews.
Jim was preceded in death by parents Ted and Ethel Kleiman.
Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until time of service at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, September 8th at Sunset Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church or the Evansville Association for the Blind.
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