Matt Klein

Matt Klein, 89, Minot and former longtime Minot Legislator died on Monday, January 30, 2023.  His loving wife was at his side.

Matthew M. Klein was born on December 28, 1933, on a farm near Zeeland, ND to Mathias and Magdalena (Wolf) Klein.  He was raised on the family farm, attended rural schools, graduated from Zeeland High School in 1953 and attended the ND State Normal and Industrial College at Ellendale, ND for one year.

Matt married Isabell Roehrich on July 26, 1956, in Linton, ND.  Previously, Matt had enlisted in the United States Air Force on October 26, 1954, at Fargo, ND.  A considerable amount of his military service was spent in Amarillo, TX with the 3343rd School Squadron ATC.  He received his honorable discharge as a Staff Sergeant on April 25, 1959. 

Following his discharge, he graduated from North Dakota State University in 1962 with a degree in Electrical Engineering prior to attending USC and UCLA.  While living in LA, Matt was employed by North American Aviation Space and Information Division on the Apollo Spacecraft project.  He returned to North Dakota in 1964 and resided in Bismarck where he was employed by Montana Dakota Utilities Resources Division as an Aeronautical Engineer from 1964 – 1967.  The family moved to Minot in 1967 and he was employed at the Minot Air Force Base on the Minuteman Missile project.  In 1978, he accepted a three-year tour of duty to Stuttgart, Germany as a staff engineer for the U.S. Army at the Seventh Corps Headquarters.  He returned to MAFB in 1981 where he assumed the Deputy Civil Engineer Post.  He transferred to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the Reagan military buildup years.  During these years he managed the construction of the MAFB Hospital as well as the Air Launch Missile Facilities and other projects.  He retired from the Civil Service in 1989.  In addition, he worked as a Registered Professional Engineer for several contractors on various independent projects.

Matt was elected to the North Dakota House of Representatives in 1992 and served District 40 for 24 years until 2016.  He chaired and served on various committees through the years.  He was Speaker of the House during the 2005 legislative session.

Matt was an active member of Little Flower Catholic Church where he served as a Eucharistic Minister and member of the church council and foundation board of directors.  He was a member of the American Legion Post, Elks Lodge and Eagles all in Minot.  He especially enjoyed reading, gardening, and traveling.

Matt’s loving family includes his wife of 66 years Isabell; children:  Sharon (David) Voeller of Goodyear AZ, Rita (James) Cooper of Louisburg KS, Diane (Jeffrey) Cooper of Sunrise Beach MO, Joan Klein (David Stanley Burch) of Shreveport LA, Kathleen (Joseph) Schiefer of Mesa AZ, and Karen Fiest (David Coyle) of Rosemount MN; grandchildren: Melissa Voeller, Christopher (Kelli) Cooper, Danielle (Joseph Boyce) Cooper, Derek (Shannon) Schell, Kyle Schell, Benjamin Clark Burch, Anna (Aaron) Axvig, Jordan (Ashley) Schiefer, Noah Schiefer, Ryan Schiefer; great-grandchildren Kylie Boyce, Wayne Galloway, Johnathan Galloway, Aiden Boyce Cooper, Bryce Schell, Isabella Boyce Cooper, Penelope Schiefer, Alice Axvig; siblings:  Walter Klein of Zeeland, Ann Weigel of Bismarck and Betty (Dwane) Berndt of Harriet SD; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws.

Matt was preceded in death by his parents and siblings: Anton, John, Joe, LeRoy, Julia, Francis, and Lena.

Mass of Christian Burial:  Monday, February 6, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. in Little Flower Catholic Church – Minot. To view a livestream of the service access https://www.mtmsales.net/thomas
Vigil Prayer Service:  Sunday at 5:00 p.m. in the church.
Graveside Service:  Monday at 3:00 p.m. at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery-rural Mandan.
Visitation:  Sunday from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the church.
Memorials are preferred to the Little Flower Catholic Church Foundation or the Bishop Ryan High School Foundation.


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