Richard (“Dick”) Vernon Klatte was a beloved grandfather, father, and husband during his incredible 84 years of life. We announce with great sadness that he passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and friends, in the late afternoon of Saturday, November 11, 2023, at the Arbors at Delaware.
Born in Columbus, Ohio, on October 28, 1939, Dick joined the Ohio National Guard in 1957 after completing 10th grade. He served six months in Ft. Knox, Kentucky – left the service and went back to High School. He graduated in May 1960 from Oak Hill High School. From an early age, Dick kept an active life – from winning awards delivering newspapers on the Hilltop to multiple years hitting over 100 home runs on the baseball diamond.
After finishing high school, Dick re-enlisted in the Army for three more years. He met the love of his life, Joyce, on a blind date just five days before leaving for Korea in 1962. He served 14 months in Korea and returned to the States on active duty stationed at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. Dick received an honorable discharge from the US Army in 1963 and married Joyce on February 28, 1964, at Westgate United Methodist Church in Columbus, Ohio. According to Dick, the plan was to marry on February 29 (leap year) to stay young with Joyce, but the pastor was out of town on that day, so they settled for a “normal” February 28th wedding.
He gave his life to God in 1964 and joined General Motors the same year with a starting salary of $2.50 per hour. Joyce and Dick bought their first home in 1965 in Hilliard, and months later, Rick was born. Deron was born in 1967, and Tim followed in 1972. Raising three boys and happily married to Joyce, Dick became active in the church and found his calling to be a greeter – welcoming thousands of families each Sunday for over four decades. His infectious smile and outgoing style brought comfort to all around him. Whether it was talking about the Buckeyes wins or the Reds losses, Dick had a way of making all who knew him beam with happiness.
He touched so many lives and loved to watch and play sports. In the 70’s and 80’s, he coached little league baseball and played left field in the church softball leagues. In the 90’s, one sunny day, he shot a hole-in-one on a long Par 3 hole at Minerva Lake. He has also been known to bowl several 300 games at the alley and even made a half-court shot at one of Tim’s high school basketball games to the amazement of all watching, including the teams. Finally, you will not find a more devoted Reds fan than Dick Klatte.
Dick was a man of God and treasured the 58+ years of marriage before Joyce went to be with the Lord in February 2022. He always spoke about how blessed he was and how he knew Joyce was his soulmate from the moment he laid eyes on her in 1962.
Dick is survived by Deron (Nichole) and Tim (Rebekah) and his granddaughters (Olivia & Hannah), as well as his extended family and an abundance of friends. He is preceded in death by his wife, Joyce, and oldest son, Rick.
There will be a Celebration of Life held in his honor at the Tidd Funeral Home, located at 9720 OH-161, Plain City, Ohio, on Friday, December 8th. The service will be from 5:00-6:00pm, followed by ballpark food and fellowship until 8:00pm. Please join the family to celebrate a life well-lived.