Cover photo for Jim Klein's Obituary
Jim Klein Profile Photo
1945 Jim 2023

Jim Klein

August 13, 1945 — July 18, 2023

James “Jim” Leo Klein, 77, passed away on July 18, 2023, at his home in Jamestown surrounded by family after a journey with cancer. Jim formerly resided in Grand Forks, Valley City, and Bathgate, ND.

Jim was born on August 13, 1945, in Tacoma, WA to Ben and Dorothy Klein. The family later relocated to Valley City, ND.

Jim was diagnosed with glaucoma as a child and attended school at the North Dakota School for the Blind in Bathgate, ND. Jim had many adventures in the rural community with friends. His blindness shaped his fierce independence and positive outlook on life. At the School for the Blind, he played the clarinet, wrestled, ice skated, and enjoyed nature. The School for the Blind relocated to Grand Forks, where Jim met the love of his life, Rose Belgarde. Jim and Rose were married on June 8, 1968. Over 55 years of marriage, love, and adventures created a life full of fun and laughter. Jim and Rose welcomed four children – Julie (Steve) Mayhair, David (Erin) Klein, Beverly Klein, and Curtis Klein.

Jim graduated from the University of North Dakota (UND) in 1972 with a bachelor's in business administration. Jim sold real estate, ran a finance and mortgage brokerage company, sold insurance and investments, delivered newspapers, assisted in online marketing, wrote grants for multiple organizations, ran the Pioneer Rest Home, and tested accessibility software. He had a passion for learning and staying busy.

A trip to Bathgate, ND led to him becoming the administrator for the Pioneer Rest Home, former location of School for the Blind.

The 1997 flood relocated Jim and Rose to Valley City where they enjoyed the “City of Bridges”. They later moved to Jamestown in 2016.

Known as Papa Bear and Mama Bear, Jim and Rose loved having “extra” children around for playtime and laughter. They enjoyed teaching that disabilities do not define a person. They often had coffee with friends, cousins, in-laws, neighbors, and others – sharing laughs and catching up.

Jim was diagnosed with cancer in late January 2023. Snowstorms, staffing shortages, medical treatments, and aggressive cancer did not stop Jim from accomplishing his goals. He wanted to hear the laughter of children at the school he routinely walked by on his daily walks, celebrate Rose’s birthday, ride his bicycle, take part in celebrating all the June family events, and meet his first great-granddaughter. Most importantly, he wanted to celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary with his beloved wife.

Jim was survived by his wife of 55 years, Rose; children Julie (Steve) Mayhair (Jamestown), David (Erin) Klein (Jamestown), Beverly Klein (Rochester, MN), and Curtis Klein (Bismarck); grandchildren Thomas (DeAnn), Brianna, Samuel Mayhair, Gabriel Klein all of Jamestown and Ava Klein of Bismarck. Great-grandchildren Maverick, Griffin, and Harlow Mayhair of Jamestown. Siblings Larry Klein, Geraldine Klein, Terry and Cris Klein all of Grand Forks, Leroy Klein (Minot), and Karen Johns (Bloomington).

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Joyce.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to the ND School for the Blind, Jamestown Regional Medical Center- Hospice, or Lincoln Public School PTO.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jim Klein, please visit our flower store.

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Sunday, July 23, 2023

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