Les Klabunde, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away Friday, January 17, 2014.
Lester William Otto Klabunde was born the eighth of ten children May 20, 1924, on a farm near Omaha, Nebraska, to Minnie and Ernest Klabunde. He grew up as a golf caddy at Omaha Country Club and was the Caddies Champion there for many years. He enlisted in the US Navy and served in the Pacific from 1943 to 1946 on a baby flat-top aircraft carrier, the USS Kitkun Bay. It was on board ship that he learned to make his signature cinnamon rolls! At a USO dance in Long Beach, California, he met Edith Irene Mortenson. They married September 11, 1946, in Omaha. Les attended Art Center College in Los Angeles, graduating in 1951. He worked as an artist for General Telephone Directory Company, which later became GTE (and today's Verizon), creating commercial art and graphics for Yellow Pages advertisements. Soon he was assigned the responsibilities of Art Manager for the company, a position he held until his retirement in 1983. In addition to his lifelong passion for golf, Les pursued his own artistic interests, creating hundreds of paintings and collages. In 1986, Les and Eadie moved to Medford to be near their two children, Kevin and Kelly. Friends, golf, art, and time spent with family (especially their four granddaughters!) made for a long and happy retirement.
Les is survived by his wife of 67 years, Eadie; son and daughter-in-law, Kevin and Penny Klabunde; daughter and son-in-law, Kelly and Brian Adolph; and granddaughters, Becky Klabunde Tomer (Jonathan) of Washington, DC, Rachel Klabunde (Hector Alvarez) of Via del Mar, Chile, Holly Adolph (Scott Reid) of Denver, Colorado, and Kassie Adolph of Medford.
A celebration of Les' life will be held this summer when all of his granddaughters can be in Medford. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Alan B. Holmes Memorial Scholarship benefitting Rogue Valley golfing youth (and, at one time, two of Les' granddaughters!) Gifts may be sent to the Oregon Community Foundation, 818 West Eighth Street, Medford, OR 97501. Please make checks payable to "Oregon Community Foundation" and write "Holmes Scholarship" on the memo line. Thank you.