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Joseph M. Klenk

Date of Death: June 21, 2024

Date of Birth: April 4, 1927


Joseph M. Klenk

The family of Joseph Klenk is saddened to announce his passing on June 21, 2024 at Mercy Hospital in Portland, Maine. His long life was filled with joy, service, travel and love for our big family and friends. He will be remembered most for his gift of jokes and laughter, his engaging storytelling, and his ability to make everyone around him feel special. He looked forward to the football season every fall and was a lifetime fan of the New York Giants. 
Joe was born on April 4, 1927 in Meriden, Connecticut to Stanley and Louise Klenk, one of five children. After high school, he was accepted into the US Army Specialized Training, assigned to the University of Maine/Orono. Joe's company left for the Battle of the Bulge in January of 1945.  As the company was boarding the bus, he was taken off as his company commander realized he was only 17. He was reassigned and received his honorable discharge on July 16, 1945. As a civilian, he returned to study at UMaine where he was a math major. In 1948, UMaine President Arthur A. Hauck approached Joe and a few friends to start a new fraternity with no hazing; Joe served as both vice president and president of Sigma Phi Epsilon. He met the love of his life, Sydney Whittier there during the first week of her freshman year.
After his graduation from UMaine in 1949, Joe and Sydney married on August 19, 1950 and settled in Cape Elizabeth, Maine where they raised their seven children. Joe was a founder of St. Alban's Episcopal Church, serving on the vestry and was Senior Warden. They developed a wonderful circle of lifelong friends, including their closest friends, known to all as "the Bridge Club".
Joe was the Advertising Manager of Hannaford Brothers and one of his proudest accomplishments was receiving the Brand Names Award, a national advertising  honor awarded annually. Joe left Hannaford to become VP of Donnelly Outdoor Advertising for Northern New England and served as an officer of the Portland Ad Club.
In 1979, Joe and Sydney purchased the Pines Motel in Boothbay Harbor, moving to Boothbay full time with their youngest children, Jennifer and James. With no prior hospitality experience, Joe's gregarious personality coupled with Sydney's organizational skills helped to make "The Pines" a success, with guests returning year after year. Joe served as a member and officer of the Boothbay Harbor Chamber of Commerce to help promote the region. They sold the motel in 1990 and purchased a Victorian style home in the Boothbay region which they renovated and turned into a second successful business - a 7-room bed and breakfast, the Hodgdon Island Inn. 
Upon retirement from "The Inn" in 1999, they moved to Blueberry Cove in Yarmouth where Joe served on the Condo's Association Board. Again they made good friends and enjoyed hosting gatherings. Joe loved to plan trips to numerous places around the globe. Sydney and Joe both had a passion for traveling and experiencing new cultures. Together, they realized their dream of stepping foot on all seven continents. 
In 2015, they moved to Thornton Oaks Retirement Community in Brunswick where they enjoyed friends and activities until Sydney's passing in August 2021, just one day after their 71st wedding anniversary. Joe then moved to the Enclave in Scarborough where he made new friends and especially enjoyed the Enclave's live music on Friday afternoons. In 2022, Joe received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Maine Health Care Association's "Remember Me" Recognition Ceremony in Augusta. 
Joe leaves behind six children and their spouses, Sarah Davis and husband Paul, Stephen and wife Ria Klenk, Jeff Klenk and wife Nancy Sheehan, Jonathan and wife Vicky Klenk, Sydney Dolat and husband Peter, and Jennifer Novelli and husband Michael, his daughter-in-law Gina Klenk, 15 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren (with two more greats on the way this year!), and his brother John of Medfield, Massachusetts. Along with his wife, Joe was also predeceased by his parents, his son James and his three sisters, Elaine Berglof, Stasia Watras and Terri Barrera.
The family wishes to thank the staff at the Enclave for the wonderful care and friendship they shared with Joe and our family. He was grateful for all who cared for him so lovingly.
A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, September 1st at 2 pm at Falmouth Congregational Church. The burial will be private at Riverside Cemetery in Cape Elizabeth.

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