Dr. Charles (“Charlie”) Klein, 66, born in Frederick on June 9, 1954, died on Christmas Day in Lubbock, Texas due to complications from COVID-19 pneumonia. He died peacefully with his wife, Terrie, by his side.
Charlie attended Thomas Johnson High School (TJ) the first year it opened and graduated in 1972. While at TJ he was an All-State wrestler and football player, and was named Student Athlete of the Year by the Frederick Touchdown Club during his senior year.
He earned a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (cum laude) from the University of West Virginia in 1977 before working for landscape architecture firms in Towson and Baltimore, including the Maryland State Highway Administration.
He became the President/Owner of Treeland Nurseries, a three- generation family business in the Frederick area, in 1979. Almost twenty years later, he earned a Masters in Landscape Architecture from Morgan State University and then taught as an Adjunct Professor there.
In 2002, he made the decision to move to Lubbock, Texas to become an Assistant Professor in the Landscape Architecture Department at Texas Tech University (home of the Red Raiders!). He later became Interim Department Chair and then Associate Professor, earning a PhD in Agricultural Communication and Education from Texas Tech along the way.
Among other projects Charlie was involved with during his tenure as a professor, he was especially proud of his work with the Texas Department of State Health Services to create outdoor learning environments that address the problem of childhood obesity by encouraging children to initiate creative play. Lubbock now hosts the pilot program for this venture at the Covenant Child Center.
Charlie was the recipient of the Maryland Governor’s Volunteer Award and he was elected to the Texas Tech Teaching Academy. He also spent many years with students leading community-focused design projects Landscape Architecture concepts in the Yucatan peninsula and Merida, Mexico.
Preceded in death by:
Robert Klein, father and Edith Klein, mother
Peter Klein, brother
Charlie is survived by:
Wife, Terrie Lindsey Klein,
Children: Colin (Esther) Klein, Canberra, Australia;
Brandy Klein (Dennis Flannery) Baltimore, MD
Siblings: Alexis (Tam) Shawgo, Santa Rosa, CA; Natalie Jo (Chuck) Boyles, Buffalo Mills, PA; Robert (Diane) Klein Jr., Phoenixville, PA; Richard Klein, Salisbury, MD
3 grandchildren, 5 nieces, 5 nephews, 3 grandnieces, and 1 grandnephew
Charlie had a passion for teaching students landscape architecture, sharing his quirky sense of humor, traveling to Mexico and Australia, scuba diving, and exercising his natural curiosity about the world. Many of his Frederick friends think of him as a “Gentle Giant.” Humorous vignettes about his interpersonal interactions with people are too numerous to recount here and are held as special memories.
Family and friends would like to thank the medical team at Lubbock’s Covenant Medical Center hospital as well as nursing team, respiratory team and all caregivers for the excellent and compassionate care Charlie received during his stay there. They are a credit to their professions and helped to make a difficult process less daunting.
There will be no funeral service due to COVID-19 precautions, but a Celebration of Life is being tentatively planned for Charlie’s birthday in June 2021.
Prefer charitable donation to either Cancer Association, or Chorus of Angels fund at Joe Arrington Cancer Center in Lubbock. (This helps cancer patients who can't afford their medications with a set $ to help them out.) OR contribution to charity of choice in Charlie's honor.
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