Ted Kline was born Dec. 23, 1920 in Shattuck, Oklahoma and passed away April 27, 2015 at St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, Washington. His parents, Dave D. and Frieda (Erlich) Kline were second generation Americans. Ted’s grandparents were German Russians who immigrated to America during the reign of Catherine the Great. The family named was changed from Klein to the Americanized spelling Kline. Both Klines and Erlichs claimed land in Oklahoma during the Oklahoma land rush. Ted and his siblings and their families still own the original
family homestead in Oklahoma.
When Ted was of school age, the family moved to a
farm outside of Alva, Oklahoma. Ted spoke German until he started school.
The family farmed the land and at one time had a truck garden from which Ted sold produce.
His work on the farm also included driving a team of mules to plow the property.
Ted and his brother, Harry enlisted in the armed services at the beginning of World War II.
Ted was stationed at a base in Texas and at the end of the war, returned to Alva.
He started college at Northwest College in Alva, where he met Verna Lucille Latham.
They were married on March 3, 1946. Verna passed away in 2004. She was the love of his life.
Their two children were born in Alva, Dee Ann in 1951 and Craig in 1953.
He received a beloved daughter-in-law in 1976 when Craig married Connie Still.
Ted had a milk delivery route while the family lived in Alva. In 1956, the family moved to Centralia, Washington, where Verna’s brother and sister were already living. He had a bread delivery route for several years and then obtained employment in the mill of the plywood plant. Eventually, he moved from the mill into the sales department and in the early 60s he was promoted to sales manager. In 1967, he left the plywood plant to work in real estate. He and Hershey Thomas opened Kline-Thomas Realty in 1969. Several years later, Mr. Thomas retired and the business was renamed Kline and Associates. In 1986, his son Craig joined the firm and together they continued to grow in the community. He was very proud of the Coldwell Banker Kline and Associates firm that he founded. He still has a desk there and went into work every day to help with the business side of the firm.
Ted was an avid gardener and continued to plant and maintain a large garden well into his late 80s. His garden was a source of community and during the harvest months family and friends would come by to pick vegetables,
eat vegetables and visit with him. His favorite crops were the strawberries and the corn. He was a deeply devout man
and his faith was central to his being. He and Verna joined the First United Methodist Church when they moved to Centralia.
He attended church services every Sunday and was still very involved in the spiritual
and operational activities of the church.
Ted loved his family. He had three siblings, Harry Kline and Alene Sternberger both preceded him in death. In the 1990s, he and his sister, Rosie started traveling together. They went on cruises, to casinos, took a trip to Death Valley and attended graduations and weddings together. Ted particularly enjoyed returning to Oklahoma to visit his extended family. Ted had seven grandchildren, whom he adored and who adore him, Adam Longcrier, Jamie Kline-Bates, Jessica Kline, Jody Kline-McHugh, Ashley Kline, Noah Kline and Taylor Kline; three great-grandchildren, Max Kline-Kim, Jude Ryan Bates and Genesis Jessie Bates.
Besides his children, daughter-in-law, sister, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, he is survived by several nieces and nephews.
Ted left a legacy of love, compassion, faith, responsibility and grace with his family and everyone who knew him.
He is dearly loved. Remembrances may be made to the Centralia United Methodist Church Memorial Fund.