The Rev. John P. Klingeman, 82, passed into eternal life Sunday, July 24, at Guardian Healthcare in Altoona after an extended illness. Born in Warren, Ohio, on January 17, 1940, son of the late Navarre & Kathryn (Wilson) Klingeman, he married Judy DeGol in Winchester, Virginia, on June 22, 1983.
He was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Caelan; son, Michael; brothers James and Thomas; brother-in-law, Edward Trickett; and infant sister, Sherry.
Along with his wife, Judy, of 39 years, he is survived by their children: son, Jonathan of State College and daughter, Brittani Kunkel (Ben) of State College; grandchildren, Carson, Lucya, and infant Kallie Kunkel of State College. He is also survived by sons, Erik of Pittsburgh and Steve (Lisa) of Harrisburg; granddaughters, Jordan and Macey of Pittsburgh; brother, Richard (Trang) of Virginia; sisters, Carla Guy (Jim) and Marilyn Trickett of Ohio; and numerous nieces, nephews, and other extended family members.
After graduating from Warren G. Harding High School in Warren, Ohio, in 1957, Klingeman completed his undergraduate work in Sociology at Youngstown State University in 1962. He then attended and graduated from the Hamma School of Theology at Wittenberg University in Ohio and was ordained as a Lutheran Minister on June 6, 1966.
Known to the Altoona community as Pastor John, he spent his entire career in ministry, serving numerous congregations in Canton, Ohio, and Pittsburgh. He retired from Trinity Lutheran Church in Juniata after 22 years of service. He continued supporting the needs of the local community part-time officiating weddings and funerals, and served as pastor at Salem Lutheran in Pinecroft until 2019.
Known for his over-the-top spirit, witty humor, and terribly old coffee, Pastor John supported the growth of many ministries during his tenure at Trinity Lutheran, including developing men's, women's, and children's youth, music, and puppet groups. His trusty sidekicks, Bertha the Bunny and Moo-Moo the Cow, were staples at every children's sermon.
After retiring from full-time preaching, Klingeman worked for the Altoona Area School District's ELECT Fatherhood Initiative as a counselor supporting teen fathers for many years. He later ran and was elected to serve on the AASD School Board from 2013-2017. He was also a member of the Appalachian 8 Intermediate Unit Board of Directors and the Altoona Area Public Library Board during this time.
Pastor John also served on the Logan Township Planning Commission, including as Vice-Chair, until his illnesses precluded him from continuing, concluding his 14 years with the group.
He loved to garden, travel, and spend time with his grandchildren in his spare time.
Uncle Jack will be greatly missed by his entire extended family in Warren, Ohio.
At the request of the deceased, a Celebration of Life Ceremony will be announced at a later date for friends and family. Arrangements are by Mauk & Yates Funeral Home, Inc., Altoona.
In lieu of flowers and gifts, the family requests memorial donations to Penn State's THON, the student-run philanthropy committed to enhancing the lives of children and families impacted by childhood cancer, https://thon.org/.