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Larkin Mortuary

Robert Walter Kleinschmidt

10/21/1927 - 08/02/2019

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Robert Walter Kleinschmidt died peacefully at home on August 2, 2019, after an extensive illness complicated by Alzheimer’s dementia.  Bob was born and raised in St. Louis, MO.  After brief service in the Army of Occupation following WWII, he attended Central College, Fayette, MO.  After graduation, he began his art teaching career in Higginsville, MO, where he met his future wife, Mary Jo Crew.  After their marriage in 1956, they taught in schools in Missouri and Illinois.  In 1962, Bob began a program in printmaking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, completing his MA in 1966.  Upon completion of his MFA in 1969, Bob accepted a teaching position at the University of Utah.  He retired as Emeritus Professor in 1999, after a 30-year tenure in the printmaking department.

Bob loved music, travels to Italy, and Italian mysteries.  He celebrated the accomplishments of his colleagues, and was grateful to his art friends, especially the Breakfast Gang, who gave him their love and support, after severe Macular Degeneration impaired his own art ability.

The family expresses gratitude to all of the medical professionals and therapists who have cared for Bob.  A very special thanks goes to our dear friend Paula Mahoney who has been a source of love and support through construction and illness for many years.

Bob is survived by his devoted wife of 62 years, his son Tom (Sheila), and grandchildren Karina and Cody.  Additional survivors include nieces and nephews James Burks (Sue), Vicki Burks (Marshall), David Burks (Sara), and Sylvia Burks (Lloyd).  He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter Kleinschmidt and Tilla Kettelkamp, and his sister, Dorothy Burks.

A Memorial Service will be held at Larkin Sunset Lawn (2350 E 1300 S, SLC) on Tuesday, August 6 for family and close friends. Visitation from 12:00 to 1:45 pm; service at 2:00 pm. A celebration of Bob’s life will be held at a later time and place to be determined. Service entrusted to Larkin Mortuary.

Contributions in Bob’s name can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association of Utah or the Macular Degeneration Research Program.

Recent Condolences

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  • My Condoleances to your family, may God rest him in peace!

    — Natalia Loll
  • The Garing family would like to extend our deepest and most heartfelt condolence and love for Mary Jo and her closest relatives. We pray for strength and peace in your grief and for Bob’s eternal rest.

    Love and prayers,
    July, Babyruth, Geno & Jj

    — Babyruth
  • Dear Mary Jo,
    I’m so sorry to have read about your dear husband’s death. Reading his obituary brought a flood of memories back from our days at Headstart.
    I treasured our friendship and your wonderful ability to guide a know – nothing graduate student.
    My thoughts are with you at this difficult time. Love, Kris

    — Kristine Olesen

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