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Loren, age 74, of Apache Junction, kicked the bucket peacefully at home on Sunday, August 22, 2021. He was born on September 21, 1946, in Hinckley, Illinois to Thomas Klene and Mary (Ritchey) Klene.
Growing up, Loren excelled in sports; this included pitching a no-hitter and setting his high school’s shot-put record, and he never failed to cause a ruckus with his brothers and friends. As a young man he enjoyed playing his Fender guitar, painting landscapes, riding his Honda Gold Wing, and nurturing his life-long love of history.
Loren was awarded a Bronze Star Medal with “V” device and two Purple Hearts while proudly serving his country in the Vietnam War as a “grunt” (a moniker he wore proudly) with the Army’s 101st Airborne Division. After sustaining a gunshot wound, he returned stateside and concluded his military service as an MP at Fort Hood.
He had a fascination with all classic cars, but Mopar muscle cars were his passion. He relished taking the scenic route, which oftentimes led him and his wife to classic car shows throughout the Southwest. His enthusiasm was unrivaled. This love led to a remarkable collection of Mopar Hot Wheels cars, many of which he received as welcome gifts from his family.
Loren faced his mortality and his death just as he did his life: matter of fact and face on, with courage, dignity, and humor. He was the cornerstone of his family, always providing a consistent voice of reason. His jokes, voice imitations, and quick wit will be deeply missed.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Ramona (Henning) Klene who he referred to as his rock. He is also survived by his four children: Jennifer Shannon, Sunshine Klene, Daman Klene and Dawn Klene; as well as 8 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren; his brother, John Klene of Sandwich, Illinois; and his sister, Constance Burks of Norfolk, Virginia; his adopted French “kid” Maud Fournier; and his treasured cat, Gray.
Loren’s wish was to be cremated. His remains will be interred with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery in 2022.