Gary Kling, 83, of Yankton, South Dakota died on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at Avera Sister James Care Center in Yankton.
No services are planned and arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Yankton. Memorials in Gary’s honor may be directed to the Heartland Humane Society at 3400 E. Hwy 50 in Yankton, SD 57078.
Gary Gene Kling was born January 30, 1939 in Fort Collins, Colorado to “Skinny” Alex and Molly (Hettinger) Kling. He grew up in the Fort Collins area and graduated from Fort Collins High School. Gary then enlisted in the United States Navy where he worked as a Radarman on destroyers. Gary served 20 years and spent nine of those years in Vietnam. Gary achieved the Rank of Chief Petty Officer and retired March 6, 1978. Gary and Carole were married in San Diego on August 30th, 1969. The family later returned to Fort Collins where Gary worked as a letter carrier. Gary was often referred to as the “Jogging Mail Man”. He enjoyed golf so much he would watch the sun come up on the first tee on Sunday morning. In 1995, they moved to Yankton and Gary worked in maintenance, first for the Yankton School District and then for First Dakota National Bank. He said it’s easier to clean up after bankers than children. Gary loved gardening. His picture was in the paper for the man who took care of the First Dakota bank flowers. In 2012 Gary and Carole moved south in search of mild weather and plenty of golfing. A neighbor said he could stick a hammer in the ground and be able to pick off tomatoes a few days later. At home, every blade of grass was the perfect length and his roses were so beautiful they would make you cry. Last year they decided to move back to Yankton from Texas because it was his favorite place to live. Gary loved the look of a brand new shiny black car and enjoyed going to McDonald’s every morning for coffee. His favorite music was Brule. Gary never had much to say but he was a good listener for 54 years. Over those years he was Carole’s partner in crime and could be so silly. He was a good kind man that made his bed every day and always smelled of Old Spice. He will be greatly missed.
Gary is survived by his wife, Carole Kling of Yankton; two children: Barbara (Dan) Wagner of Yankton and Patrick (Cindi) Kling of Kalispell, Montana; four grandchildren: AJ Kling, Hailey Wagner, Jessica Wagner and Owen Wagner; and two great grandchildren, Adalynn McIntosh and AJ “Andy” Kling Jr.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents.
Gary’s family would like to give a special THANK YOU! to the staff of Avera Sister James