Frederick K. (Rick) Kleene, Jr., 78, passed away peacefully in the early hours of October 7, 2021 after a year long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born in Detroit, Michigan on October 18, 1942. His family moved to Oahu, Hawaii when he was a young boy, where he developed a lifelong love for the ocean. He attended Punahou School through his junior year where he was on the rowing team, and he finished high school at San Mateo High in California. Rick went on to attend the University of Colorado and became a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He transferred to San Jose State where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.
He met the love of his life, Janice, through mutual friends while working in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and they were married after a brief courtship in 1968. He was a loyal and loving husband, and they celebrated their 53rd anniversary last June.
Rick spent his entire career working for General Electric Company in power generation sales. During his early career, he also served in the US Coast Guard from 1966 until 1972. His career moved him from coast to coast, and he spent most of his career in Phoenix, Arizona where he and Janice raised their two daughters. He was very successful and well respected at General Electric, and made many lasting friendships. Ultimately, he retired in Scottsdale where he spent his remaining years.
He was a member of Arizona Country Club for over 40 years, where he served on the Board and Membership Committee. He enjoyed playing golf and made many friends over the years. Rick was an avid reader. He was physically fit and completed many triathlons and 10Ks. The Wharf to Wharf 10k in Santa Cruz became a family tradition. He was a spectacular joke teller and a life long prankster. Rick was well known for his dry sense of humor, and he had the ability to make people laugh even during tough times.
Rick was the rock of his family, and he always provided good advice. He was wise, charming, generous and touched the lives of many. He had a big heart, and he supported multiple charities.
He is survived by his wife Janice, daughters Lisa Mallender and Susan Barnes (John), grandchildren Emily, Allison, Ryan and Owen, sister Judith Klein, and many other extended family members. He will be greatly missed by all. Aloha Rick, may we meet again on the other side.
Rick’s ashes will be scattered at sea, and a celebration of life will be held at a later date. In remembrance of Rick, a tribute donation can be made to the International Rescue Committee.