John Klinkowize Jr., gifted builder

John Klinkowize Jr, 78, of Ridgefield, passed away on Saturday, April 9, 2016 after a courageous battle with cancer. He was the loving husband of the late Jean B. (Gerstenkorn) Klinkowize.

Mr. Klinkowize was born on March 1, 1938 in Washingtonville, NY; a son of the late John and Helen (Solanka) Klinkowize. He graduated Washingtonville High School and entered the United States Air Force after marrying his sweetheart, Jean.  After being discharged from the Air Force, John moved to Pelham Manor, New York to begin his family and new career as a commercial display manufacturer.

A Ridgefield resident for the past 9 years, Mr. Klinkowize had also previously resided in Hampstead, NC; Sarasota, FL and Pelham Manor, NY.  After moving to Florida, John and Jean established the Brittany-Lore Galleries where he and his wife worked in the art/framing business for a number of years.  Eventually John and Jean moved to Hampstead, NC in the same state where their marriage began.  All their moving culminated in a move to Ridgefield, Ct.where for the past 9 years they resided in the company of their children and grandchildren.

Mr. Klinkowize was an avid golfer. He also spent time coaching baseball and speed skating. This nomadic builder met each challenge of life with bravery, hard work and a fierce determination to succeed. John’s hands were truly a gift from God and there was nothing he couldn’t build.  He was a unique person in that his ability to learn, teach himself and ultimately pass that wisdom on to others will be one of his greatest legacies.  His role as a coach and mentor were an especially important role in his life. John along with his wife, Jean, were the rescuers of many discarded animals throughout their lifetime.  Their unending compassion and love for these many cats and dogs garnered the respect of all that knew them.

Mr. Klinkowize is survived by his son, Ronald Klinkowize and his wife, Donna of Ridgefield and by his daughter, Laura Kirchner and her husband, Steven of Ridgefield. He is also survived by five grandchildren; Spencer, Makena, Emma, Peter and Jack.

In addition to his children and grandchildren, Mr. Klinkowize is survived by a sister, Carole Thalman of Forest Grove, OR.

Mr. Klinkowize was predeceased by his parents, his wife, Jean and his son, Peter.

Now John and his wonderful talents rest with God and what a treasure heaven has received now.  John’s family asks that you wish him peace on his last and greatest task yet to complete.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 10:30 AM at St. Elizabeth Seton Church; 520 Ridgebury Road, Ridgefield. Interment will be private and at the direction of the family; there will be no calling hours.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to ROAR of Ridgefield, CT. Thank you.

Kane Funeral Home, Ridgefield is in charge of arrangements.