Dedicated Hampton family man kept tabs on loved ones
When Harry Klotz's daughter needed a father figure for her children, she knew where to turn.
"You could always count on him to be there for you, no matter what it was," said Pamela Taylor of New York.
Harry J. Klotz Jr. died in his home in Hampton on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2009. He was 91.
Mr. Klotz grew up in Bloomfield and played football at Schenley High School. He was offered a college football scholarship, but turned it down in order to work to support his family, which was recovering from the Great Depression. He was a World War II Army veteran who served in Tunisia in northern Africa and the Northern Apennines region in Italy, Taylor said.
Mr. Klotz met Doris McKelvey in 1946 through a relative, and they married a year later. In 1958, the couple moved to Hampton, where he was an active member of Hampton Presbyterian Church, serving as an elder, deacon and trustee.
Mr. Klotz worked for 48 years in Bloomfield at Pittsburgh Gage and Supply on Liberty Avenue, now the Gage Corp. He started in the warehouse and worked his way up to purchasing agent because of his proficiency with numbers, Taylor said.
After retiring from Gage, he worked at his son's construction company, Jack Klotz Construction, until about 10 years ago.
Taylor said some of her fondest memories involve the family's annual camping trips to Lake Erie.
"How we ever got all that stuff back there in the back of the trunk, I have no idea, what with five people and a tent," she said.
Mr. Klotz passed along his love for swimming to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, whom he took on day trips to Moraine State Park in Butler County, said grandson Jeffrey Schurer of Richland, the oldest of 13 grandchildren.
"The grandkids would just be climbing all over him, and he would just float there," he said. "It was a good time."
Schurer said Mr. Klotz constantly checked on family members.
"He was always hassling me about my hair getting too long, or my beard, or straightening my tie," Schurer said. "To know someone cared so much about how everyone was doing, it was very supportive."
In addition to his daughter Pamela, Mr. Klotz is survived by a son, Harry J. "Jack" Klotz III of Hampton; daughter, Donna Schmitt of Wildwood; 13 grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren.
Mr. Klotz was preceded in death by his wife, Doris, a brother, Lawrence J. Klotz, and a sister, Anna M Klotz.
Visitation is scheduled from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. today in the Herbert R. King Jr. Funeral Home, 2841 Woodland Circle, Hampton.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday in Hampton Presbyterian Church on Hardies Road with the Rev. Brian Wallace officiating. Interment will follow with military honors in Hampton Cemetery.