Lyle Wayne Klein, 82, of Ely MN, a proud US veteran, passed away on November 15, 2022 in his home surrounded by his family.
Lyle was born on September 11, 1940 in Tracy MN to parents Florence and David Klein. He grew up on the family farm and attended school in Tracy where he participated in football, basketball and band. He won the Arion Award for outstanding musician, was co-captain of the football team, and president of his senior class. Lyle was always very grateful to his high school band director, Jerry Rude, for his mentoring, which guided him into a career in music education.
Lyle attended college at the MacPhail College of Music in Minneapolis, where he was President of the Phi Mu Alpha music fraternity as well as Student Association president.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in music, he enlisted in the US Navy where he taught music theory at the Naval School of Music and was a tuba player in the US Navy Band.
After 5 and 1/2 years in the Navy, he taught instrumental music at Appleton Public Schools for three years.
Lyle then moved to Ely in 1970 and taught instrumental music here for 29 years, retiring in 1999. He wrote his Master’s thesis, “The History of Instrumental Music in Ely” which compiled the musical story from newspaper articles and interviews beginning in 1888 and ending in 1970.
He loved the Ely community and its wonderful people. Lyle’s faith was strong and he loved his Lord. He loved his church family at Grace Lutheran and was very active in the church, serving as choir director for 20 years. He spent hundreds of hours choosing the music the choir would sing, not only for the musicality of the piece, but for the message it delivered. The choir performed a number of Christmas Cantatas and concerts for the public, but later invited all community members to perform in both a Patriotic Choir in the summer and a Christmas cantata in December. Lyle, through NLAA, brought back the City Band, which had been disbanded since the 1960’s.
Lyle believed in the importance of music both to the developing minds of children and for adult fulfilment, and did everything he could to involve as many as possible in some form of music. He touched many lives through his love of music.
His family was his greatest joy in life. He shared his love of the outdoors with his children through fishing, camping and boating. You would find him at every sporting event and performance, never missing a single one.
Lyle is survived by his wife Mary of 46 years, his children Kurt Klein, Kelli Thorne (Michael), Jenna Keller (Charlie), and Becca Green (Jordan), grandchildren Samantha Dammer (Andy), Justin Klein, Sarah Lebeda (Joe), Leopold Green, Harrison Keller, and Vivian Keller. Great grandchildren Avry Dammer, Leo Dammer, Crosley Dammer, George Lebeda, and Grace Lebeda and numerous nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his brother Melvin. He was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers and two sisters.
His music will live on in all of us. Rest in peace Musicman.
Funeral service at Grace Lutheran Church on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 at 11am. Graveside service at 1:30pm with full military honors. The funeral service will be livestreamed at facebook.com/gracelutheranely.