DENIS J. KLEIN | JULY 23, 1932 - JULY 7, 2013

Crown Point man had varied talents

2013-07-25T22:21:00Z Crown Point man had varied talentsCHARLES F. HABER Times Correspondent
July 25, 2013 10:21 pm  • 

Whether he was carving out a block of wood, tossing out a fishing line or donning his barbecue hat, Denis Klein was a talent to behold.

With four brothers and five sisters, Klein also was big on family values and carried on those virtues as a husband and father.

Denis J. Klein, 80, of Crown Point, died July 7.

After two years in the U.S. Army, he married his wife of 60 years, Joan, who died in September, said his daughter, Laurie Phernetton.

"He was always good with his hands," she said. He was a welder for 35 years for Ford Motor Company.

After retirement, he turned those talented hands to the art of woodcarving, Phernetton said. This led to many figures — ducks, birds, shoes, fishermen, sea captains, a person with a backpack and many other things.

Phernetton recalled how her dad also worked his magic on the barbecue grill.

"He cooked chicken and fish for the church festivals" at Our Lady of Consolation on Independence Hill, she said, adding that he also stepped in as Santa for the kids at Christmas.

Phernetton also remembered the huge Memorial Day cookouts he conducted for the entire family.

"He would set up this big barbecue rack" and cook about 50 chickens with his own special sauce.

Klein also loved to fish the lakes in Minnesota with his brother, Fred.

Phernetton said "The Klein Boys" were often mentioned in Minnesota newspapers and radio for their impressive catches of walleye and lake perch.

Klein was just as impressive as a father.

"He took such good care of us and gave us everything we ever wanted," his daughter said.

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