Cooper Landing and longtime Kenai resident Caroline G. Kleineick died Sunday, July 3, 2005, at her home in Cooper Landing. She was 100.
A celebration of her life and potluck will be held 2 p.m., Tuesday at the Cooper Landing Community Center in Cooper Landing.
Mrs. Kleineick was born Nov. 8, 1904, in Newark, N.J., to Joseph P. Siedler and Mary Palkowitz Siedler. She was the oldest of four and grew up in various farming communities in and around Union, N.J. Caroline helped her parents on the farm before and after school and even later on while working a full-time job, as the times were hard and the contributions were necessary. Caroline remembered her mother sifting wood ashes to add to soil.
Caroline married Ernest Kleineick on September 30, 1935, at the St. Michael's Church in Union, N.J. Together they had one son, Ernest Kleineick Jr., who was born January 16, 1939. Caroline worked as a farm hand, homemaker, and cutlery and surgical instrument inspector throughout her life to help her family and to provide for her son after her husband's death. She worked so much that she didn't have much time to travel.
Caroline flew to Alaska September 30, 1970, to live with her son. She volunteered with the Kenai Senior Center by baking hundreds of cookies, making Afghans, crocheting and knitting. She also worked as an attendant at the Fort Kenay Museum in Old Town Kenai.
In 1989, Caroline was one of five senior volunteers nationwide to be honored at the Older American Month Ceremonies in Washington, D.C. She and her son moved to Cooper Landing in February of 1997. There she joined the efforts of the Sexy Senior Dumpster Cleaners. Caroline made many pant and vest outfits for herself during her sewing years and was always color coordinated and very colorful with her outfits. Her son gave her a beaver hat and muff to keep her warm and accent her outfits. She was named the best dressed Sexy Senior Dumpster Cleaner. Caroline was their recorder and kept records of the conditions of the transfer sites, recycle bins and dumpsters. Her other responsibility was to honk the horn to warn the crew of the danger of bears in the area while they were working.
The highlight of her career occurred in August of 2004, when she had to scare off a young grizzly bear that tried to break into her house in Cooper Landing.
"Caroline will be remembered for her friendliness and her great sense of humor. We will remember Caroline for her special inspiration, encouragement and interest in getting the Senior Center started in Cooper Landing," her family said.
Caroline was preceded in death by her husband, Ernest Kleineick; parents, Joseph and Mary Siedler; brothers, Frank and Joseph Siedler; and sister, Ethel Steinbrenner. She is survived by her son, Ernie Kleineick of Cooper Landing; cousins, John and Francis Schwartz and their families of Wasilla; and nephew, Richard Steinbrenner and his family of New Jersey.
Arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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