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Walter Allen Klein Jr.

On Tuesday, January 19, 2021, Walter Allen Klein, Jr passed away at the age of 80 due to complications of the COVID-19 virus.

Walter was born in St. Louis, Missouri on December 4th, 1940 to Walter and Marion Klein.

He attended CBC High school and was active in their ROTC program.

In 1961 he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from St. Louis University.

Later in 1961 he joined the United States Army Reserves as a corporal and was based out of Fort Leonard Wood, MO. 

Walter married Eileen Hoffmann of Bellefontaine Neighbors, MO on October 12th, 1963, and had 3 children.

In his professional career he followed in his father’s footsteps as an Independent Insurance Executive and operated two insurance agencies, Commonwealth Insurance Agency and Continental American Agency, for over 50 years. He was instrumental in writing Missouri’s first surplus lines law and was a former Name at Lloyd’s of London. He enjoyed developing rural real estate in and around Franklin County, Missouri and served on multiple bank boards around the St. Louis area until his death.

His passions included the collecting and restoration of antique and classic automobiles and was active in the Horseless Carriage Club and Model T Clubs in St Louis. He loved spending time with his family and tinkering with cars at Windy Hill Farm in St. Clair, Missouri and enjoyed traveling.  Walter was a giving man and always tried to help those in need. In his automotive circle he was known as “Dr. Klein” for his ability to repair almost anything. He had vision and saw value and potential in many things that others had given up on. 

Walter was preceded in death by his father, Walter A. Klein, Sr. his mother, Marion Klein and his sister Maryanne Lawther.

He is survived by his wife Eileen, his three children, Walter Klein, III (Janice), Christine Sigman (Steve) and Cynthia Klein, his beloved 6 grandchildren, Mackenzie Sigman, Samantha Klein, Walter Klein IV, Caitlynn Sigman, Nicole Klein, and Ellie Sigman, his nieces Susan Lamb, Michelle Prince and Rebecca Ellwood and his partner of the last 20 years Janice Barber, her daughters Julie Barber and Kristin Barber Faris (daughter Delia Faris).

A celebration of life for friends and family will be held at a later date due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Donations to the American Heart Association or the American Kidney Foundation in Walter’s honor would be deeply appreciated.

16 Comments

  1. Steve on January 28, 2021 at 8:08 pm

    I will miss him so much. But I can’t stop smiling when I see his big smile in the photo. He lived life bringing happiness to everyone he met.



  2. Ellie on January 28, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    I am going to miss seeing grandpa every weekend at the farm. He always lit up the room and made everyone smile! He would do anything to make his grandkids happy (especially get us ice cream). Grandpa was the most hardworking man I knew, and he will always be missed!



  3. Mackenzie on January 30, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    Grandpa always encouraged me at everything I did, especially becoming a doctor. He once gave me a veterinary book when I told him that’s what I wanted to be, and that meant so much to me. He always believed in me and knowing that helps me keep pushing through when things get hard.



  4. Joann Sigman on January 31, 2021 at 1:51 pm

    I will miss Walter. Paul. And I always looked forward going to the farm be cause the minute we would arrive we jump in to “ a little called a “mule and off we would go managing to get stuck in a big mud hole. So Paul and Walter would have to get out and push while I steered . And of course we shared the grandkids….each trying to spoil!



  5. Dr. Gerald Perschbacher on February 1, 2021 at 7:28 am

    I first knew Walter many years ago thanks to his regular attendance at events of the Horseless Carriage Club of Missouri. He was a good fellow in every sense and was appreciated by the club. That impression of his cordiality and friendship in the old car hobby made a firm impression not only on me but many others. I don’t think he ever turned down a cry for help in working on an old car. His friendship was contagious and fostered more and more of it among his peers. In every sense of the word, he was a Grand Man! He shall be remembered in the club’s archives as a shining light.



  6. JANICE BARBER on February 2, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    Walter was the most loving, generous and kind man, ever. He could be sweet and silly at the same time. He had the ability to share his love and kindness with his family and mine. I’m still waiting for him to walk through the door with his muddy shoes from the farm. He loved adventure and we were so lucky to share those adventures. He had so many friends, in every part of his life. He was the love of my life, I will miss him forever.



  7. Caitlynn Sigman on February 3, 2021 at 12:04 am

    I’m so thankful for all of my time with grandpa and everything he’s done for us. From riding in the model T at the farm to picnics on the Ft. Lauderdale Beach, so many of my favorite memories were with him. I’ll miss seeing him at the farm, my tennis matches, and all my dance recitals. I love you, grandpa!



  8. Janice Klein on February 3, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    So many memories. I was welcomed into the Klein family now 40 yrs ago. Fond memories of first meeting Walter on Claudine Dr. My first trip to Florida to spend time in Ft.Lauderdale enjoying a boat ride on Cuffy, enjoying dinner at Norwood Hills Country Club and my first Lobster at Nantucket Cove. Walter had always been welcoming to me and my family especially out at the farm. When my father Bob passed away I felt comforted knowing Walter was there for me, my family and for our 3 children his grandchildren that he loved so much.We are heartbroken and will miss Walter so much.



  9. Julie Barber on February 3, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    I’ll be honest I’ve been struggling with what to say. Wally was a gem 💎 to me, my family and all my friends loved 🥰 him so dearly. I feel so incredibly lucky, treasured our adventures, going to Cuba, and his phone never worked LOL. Our Sunday winery visits, or just live music dancing and being his partner. His love for the sport of a ‘deal’, a great happy hour, and his ‘finds’ at the Swap (flee market). I can’t go without mentioning endless advice ‘you know what you should do’, always appreciated and helpful.

    My fav, mom and Wally coming to my house, me doing what I love…cooking for them, too many times to count. He was the love of my moms life, and she treasured him. I’ll always be grateful.

    I’ve got so many pics, look forward to sharing with the Klein family, he was loved by so many, and all feel his loss.

    I love 💕 you Wally.



  10. Lolitta and David Reisner on February 4, 2021 at 8:49 am

    We met Walter and Janice few years ago in Florida and became very close friends. We had a lots of fun together countless happy hours🍸eats in our fav restaurants, listening to the music 🎶 and dancing 💃 boat rides🚤, museum trips, their trip to NY was especially memorable among of other things.
    He was always kind thoughtful generous a very special person “A MENCH” (Yiddish for a great men)
    We miss him terribly. Our hearts are broken over this loss.
    Our deepest condolences to Janice and family. You are in our prayers.
    🙌💖💖💖



  11. Kristen Faris on February 4, 2021 at 3:46 pm

    Wally was one big party from the moment he entered our lives. He couldn’t wait to share all the fun things he has experienced with us. He had more energy to go go go. He didn’t like to sit still for long. Even if we didn’t want to play with him, he was always very convincing mostly because he wasn’t taking no for an answer. I appreciate him being the fun and loyal companion for my mom, which could never be replaced. Love you Wally❤️



  12. Mirella Ostrec on February 6, 2021 at 9:29 am

    I will always remember him with a wonderful smile on his face. Wally was kind and loving. He will be greatly missed. Love & Peace, My friend!



  13. Mirella Ostrec on February 6, 2021 at 9:31 am

    I will always remember him with a wonderful smile on his face. Wally was kind and loving. He will be greatly missed.



  14. Jean Funck on February 7, 2021 at 4:21 pm

    My late husband and I met Walter and Eileen over 50 years ago on a Horseless Carriage trip to Hannibal.
    We continued our friendship and enjoyed countless dinners and many adventures. He will missed by many.



  15. Ann Tripodi and Bill Ballard on February 10, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    Our bubble is broken. Walter, you left us too soon. We will miss all our goofy and spur of the moment adventures….plus some very well planned trips around much of the world. We hope you can recreate those beautiful shared times in heaven. Rest in piece, our dear friend!💕



  16. Dian (Albert) Keil on May 29, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    Walter was a great boss, friend and mentor. I have so many fond memories of my 24 years working for Walter at Commonwealth/Continental. I was saddened to hear of his passing. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.



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