February 20, 1961 - January 1, 2021

 

Kelly Don Klinker, age 59 of Burnsville, MN passed away January 1, 2021 at his home during morning-coffee-time with Julie. He arrived at home Thursday afternoon to savor his final day surrounded by family and friends.

We celebrated New Year’s Eve with Aly reading BC comics and New Year’s Day morning coffee with Cam swabbing coffee from the Yeti cup to her Dad and playing clarinet for him.

Originally from Little Falls, MN, formerly of Warroad, MN. Forever loved by his wife and fishing partner of 34 years, Julie (Maslowski) Klinker, daughters, Aly (Dan) Hufnagle and Camryn Klinker. Parents Don and Jan Klinker of Little Falls. Brothers, Ron (Mary) Klinker of Little Falls, Barclay (Robyn) Klinker of Hutchinson. Number one grandson, Hudson Hufnagle and Puck his trusty black Lab. 16 nieces and nephews. And many, many fishing buddies. Kelly enjoyed summers at “the boat” at Uncle Kelly’s Fish Camp in Two Rivers, WI on Lake Michigan sharing his love of salmon fishing with friends and family and enjoying the camaraderie of the Seagull Marina residents. He graduated in 1979 from Little Falls Community High School where he played basketball, football and track. He then completed a 2-year small gas engine mechanic program at Brainerd Vo-tech and worked as a mechanic for a few years at LF Lawn and Sports. After a winters of little snow and a dip in snowmobiles to set up or repair.

On the good guidance of Uncle Ken, he became an orderly.

He then commuted/carpool with 5 other ladies from Little Falls to the LPN program in Brainerd for one-year to earn his LPN nursing license. Fittingly, he was hired by families to provide live-in-24-hour-in-home-end-of-life care where he provided health care and solid, steady assurance for patients and their families. He was hired by multiple families for his services. He was a nurse at St. Gabriel’s Hospital ER and med-surg, St. Otto’s Care Center and enjoyed playing pool with the residents after hours, absorbing their wisdom and sharing stories.

Kelly and his new bride, Julie moved to Warroad in 1986 to Lake of the Woods and Marvin Windows. They lived in an A-frame cottage and loved hosting family and friends for fishing, blueberry picking, parades and enjoying Warroad-life. Kelly worked at Marvin in manufacturing, customer service, sales and the loading dock for 10 years. He was a member of the volunteer firefighter & rescue in Warroad, Member and President of the Warroad Lions, and member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Fittingly Kelly donated his corneas to Lions Gift of Sight which will be used to restore sight for one to two people (check that donor box at license renewal time if you wish) or used for research or medical procedures.

Kelly, Julie and Alyson moved to Burnsville in 1996. He worked in the sporting goods department at Fleet Farm in Lakeville where he was a natural with his wealth of hunting and fishing experience. He worked at Inthermo in Lakeville for many years as the shop manager.

Semi-retiring in 2004, to be a stay-at-home/boat with Camryn. He spent early, dew-fill summer mornings mowing with the golf course grounds crew at Brackett’s Crossing in Lakeville and winter as a Zamboni driver at Ames and Hasse Arenas in Lakeville for 14 year. His most important role and a role that he aced is being a Dad to Alyson and Camryn and Pops to Hudson.

During his 3-day hospital stay this past week, a newly-engaged nurse asked him for marriage advice. He replied, “Have a good time.” Julie, Aly and Camryn ask that you hold your loved ones close and take the fishing trip.

Share your favorite “Kelly story” with his family ( realistic embellishments only please! ) to a remembrance gathering at Emblom-Brenny Funeral Home in Little Falls on Sunday, January 3, 2021 from 2:30-4:30 pm.