Norman Lee Kling, 86, of Shenandoah, Iowa, passed away Friday, July 20, at Westview Care Center in Indianola surrounded by his children. Norman was born Jan. 26, 1926, in Council Bluffs to Martin Luther Kling and Ellen Kling. He grew up on a farm near Emerson and moved to Shenandoah while in the eighth grade. When Norman's dad died in 1940, he went to work at Colonial Poultry Farms hatchery at the age of 16 to support his mother and himself. It was at the hatchery when he first dated Margaret Greenwalt.
Norman enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1944 and attended the Great Lakes Naval Academy in Chicago and then radio school at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. It was here when Norman chose to become a submariner. After submarine school he completed his radar schooling (which at that time was top secret) in the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. He continued his education in San Diego at sonar school aboard the U.S.S. Tautog. Kling was assigned to the U.S.S. Sirago in Portsmouth N.H. They slept beside the sub as it was being constructed.
After he was discharged from the Navy, Norman returned to Shenandoah and married his longtime sweetheart, Margaret Greenwalt, June 12, 1946, in Shenandoah where they proudly raised their family. He began his long-time career as a broadcast engineer at KMA radio in 1949 and also sold and repaired televisions at Kling/Lund Television for many years. Norman also recorded and dubbed tapes for Kitchen Klatter, which was the longest-running homemaker show in U.S. radio history. He retired from KMA radio as chief engineer in 1989.
Norman was an amateur ham radio operator with the call sign of W0JGN and was also an avid hunter, trapper, fisherman and loved spending time at the 22 Gun Club farm. He was an excellent trap shooter and traveled throughout Iowa competing. He shared his love of fishing with his wife Margaret whom he helped up and down the banks of the Nishnabotna. Norman was a member of the First Christian Church in Shenandoah and a member of the American Legion since 1946.
A year after Margaret's death, Norman moved to Westview Care Center in Indianola. Although he only lived a short time in Indianola, he loved the care he received at Westview.
Norman is survived his children, Benny (Nancy) Kling of Bloomfield, N.M.; Bob (Susan J.) Kling of Indianola; and Carolea (Mark) Miller of Le Mars; six grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild; nieces, nephews, one brother-in-law, Harley Greenwalt and many, many friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Margaret; his parents; one brother, Elder Kling; and sisters Velma and Mildred Kling and one great-grandchild, James Kling.
Memorials may be made to the Shenandoah American Legion. Visitation for friends and family is from 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, July 24, at Hackett-Livingston Funeral Home. The funeral is at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, July 25, also at Hackett-Livingston Funeral Home followed by military graveside services at Rose Hill Cemetary. A luncheon will follow at the First Christian Church in Shenandoah.