Thomas J. Klein

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obit template2018-11-29T12:10:12+00:00

Thomas J. 

Of Greenfield, Wi., died peacefully into The Great Evolutionary Spirit on January 14, 2023, at age 88. Tom was born on March 11, 1934, in Port Washington, WI. On July 18, 1964, he married the love of his life, Jean Marie Hennessey, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. They resided in New Berlin for 45 years and are the proud parents of four sons. His family lived with the awareness that Tom was very grateful to his wife, his four sons, and their wives for the abundance of love they have given him. He is a man who found beauty in the wonders of nature and the goodness in the heart of people.

Tom is survived by his wife of 58 years, Jean Marie, and their four sons: James Joseph (Ann) Portland, Oregon, Robert Thomas, PhD, (Carolyn) Houston, Texas, Thomas Don, JD, (Deborah) Franklin, Wisconsin, and Patrick Hennessey (Clara) Malmo, Sweden. Very proud grandfather of ten grandchildren: Ryan, Matthew, Helena, Gretchen, Colin, Charlotte, Amelia, Charles, Peter, and Lucas Klein. One great-grandchild, Oliver Klein. Further survived by Sisters-in-law Virginia (Wm. deceased) Klein, Florida, Deloris (Tony) Quint, Texas, Donna (Victor) Weiler, Wisconsin, Brothers-in-law John (Rose) Hennessey, Illinois, Thomas Hennessey, Iowa. Tom is also survived by many beloved nieces and nephews, cousins, co-workers, and friends. He was a long time friend of Bill W. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Lorraine (Hubing) Klein, a sister, Mary Klein (J. Wm.) Diderich and two brothers, Richard (Kathleen) Klein and William Klein, MD., and a brother-in-law, James Millington Hennessey.

Tom graduated from Marquette University in 1958 and received a Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1962. He worked for Milwaukee County during the 1960s, where he was one of the first workers in the Child Protective Services section and later became the supervisor of the Child Protective Services department. Later, he was employed by The State of Wisconsin, working with the eight counties in the Waukesha Region for the Department of Health and Social Services and the Department of Workforce Development. He retired in 1997. In retirement, he enjoyed many hours of learning at Clement Manor Lifelong Learning Center. Tom was forever grateful for the faith group that met every Monday morning. The group readings and discussions were an essential part of his spiritual journey. Tom was very proud of his Luxembourgish heritage. Tom held dual citizenship with Luxembourg as did all of his children and grandchildren.

An immediate family gathering was held to celebrate the life of a very gentle gentleman who was their husband, father, and grandfather. A celebration of his life will be announced at a later date. A private inurnment will be held at Highland Memorial Park.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Michael Malinowski and Dr. Wilson and the staff of Froedtert Hospital for the care and kindness extended to Tom.

The family respectfully requests any memorials be made to Mount Mercy University, c/o Don & Blanche Kinley Hennessey Endowed Scholarship Fund, 1330 Elmhurst Dr., Cedar Rapids, IA 52402; House of Peace (Milwaukee); or to a charity of your choice.


  1. Christine Hennessey January 19, 2023 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    Honoring the life of Uncle Tom Klein, the gentlest of gentleman. He left a legacy of education, compassion, social justice, social work and family. A life well-lived with the love of wife, sons, daughter in-laws, grandchildren, great grandchildren and extended family. Go now in peace, may the spirit of love surround you in your journey.

  2. Eileen Newby January 19, 2023 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    Truly, Tom was one of the kindest people I have ever met. Our paths crossed over the years he worked for the DHSS and DWD and I worked for Ozaukee County DHS. It was always a pleasure. My sympathy to his family and friends.

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