Cover photo for William Donnell Klein's Obituary
William Donnell Klein Profile Photo
1943 William 2024

William Donnell Klein

November 3, 1943 — January 13, 2024


Col William D. Klein (USAF, Ret.)

William (Bill) Donnell Klein died on January 13, 2024.  Bill’s 80th birthday was celebrated by family and friends last November and his and Robin’s 57th anniversary was January 7 this year.  He was born November 3, 1943, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Bill and Audrey (Cronkhite) Klein.  He lived there with his parents until 1953, when they moved to Albuquerque.  

Bill graduated from New Mexico Military Institute in 1961.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics in 1965 from New Mexico Tech. In October, 1966, Bill went to Air Force Officer Training school where he was commissioned as a First Lieutenant on January 4, 1967.  He married Robin Kay Melton on Jan 7, 1967.  The AF sent him to school at University of Michigan the summer of 1967 and he received his Master’s Degree in Meteorology in May, 1968.  In June 1968, 2 weeks after he left for RAF Bentwaters, Bill and Robin’s first child was born. Their twins were born in England on his birthday in 1969.  In 1971, Bill was assigned to MIT where he completed his PhD in Meteorology.  He spent the rest of his 26 years in the AF as a meteorologist.  He attended Squadron Officer’s School, Air Command and Staff School as well as the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.  Bill retired in 1992 with the rank of Colonel.  Bill was an avid photographer and an expert photo processor.  His work has been shown in the Albuquerque area at various venues.  He was also an avid consumer of chocolate.  He didn’t really like coffee, but it was a great foil for getting more chocolate in his mouth so he drank plenty of it laced with a ridiculous amount of chocolate creamer.   

Bill is survived by his wife, Robin; his children, Karel Klein Ruy (David), Bill Klein (Kelly) and Marje Klein and 8 grandchildren, Jared Kerney, Nicole Fleming, Forest Florini, Molly Klein, Cutter Florini, Will Klein, Dashiell Ruy and Ellery Ruy.  He is also survived by his brother Jim Klein, and sisters Linda Caldarelli, Dot Bodiroga and Patty Poole. 

A memorial service will be held at the Alegria Community Center in Bernalillo at 10:00 a.m. on February 4, 2024 .  In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the Friends of Bosque del Apache. That was his favorite spot for wildlife photography. Donations in his memory may be sent to may be sent to PO Box 340, San Antonio, NM 87832.


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