John Joseph “Joe” Kleiderlein Sr., the retired manager of the Genstar Stone Products plant in White Marsh, died of complications of a fall Friday. He was a resident of Manor Care Rossville and was 88.
He lived in Rossville in Baltimore County.
Born in Baltimore and raised on Barclay Street and later on Alhambra Avenue, he was the son of George Kleiderlein, a Baltimore Transit Co. streetcar motorman, and his wife, Dorothy Twele. He attended Blessed Sacrament School and City College.
As a boy, Mr. Kleiderlein belonged to a Boy Scout troop at St. Ann’s Church on Greenmount Avenue. He recalled collecting scraps of metal, paper and rubber for a World War II scrap drive.
At 20 he enlisted in the Marine Corps. After his training at Parris Island, he was assigned to Korea, where he became a water supply engineer. According to Marine records, on June 30, 1954, while developing a water purification system for the troops, he was injured when a steel culvert fell on him. He was flown to a hospital in Inchon, Korea, where he was treated, released and sent back to active duty. He served in the Marines for eight years.
In 1960 he joined what was then Harry T. Campbell & Sons and remained with the firm when it became Genstar Stone Products. He attended the Johns Hopkins University’s McCoy College and studied engineering. In 1995 he retired as plant manager of Genstar’s White Marsh operation.
He met his future wife, Patricia Ann Raborg, at a shore party on the Magothy River. They were introduced by his sister.
Mr. Kleiderlein belonged to the American Legion, the Knights of Columbus and the Rossville Club. He later became active in the Boy Scouts and served on a Rossville Cub Scout committee. He was also a scoutmaster.
He was also involved with a Rosedale Girl Scout troop and was a softball coach at the Rosedale Recreation Council.
“My father was a man of few words. He was a hard worker, and there was a quiet strength about him,” said his daughter, JoAnne Scarpa of Haddonfield, New Jersey. “As a father, he was always right there for us.”
Family members said he enjoyed years of ocean fishing at Assateague Island. He initially went with his brothers and brothers-in-law and later added his son, sons-in-laws, nephews and grandsons.
He owned a boat he kept at his home and launched in eastern Baltimore County. He took his family on trips to Hart-Miller Island, where they crabbed and fished. He also taught his children to water ski. He regularly vacationed in Ocean City, in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, or in Florida.
He enjoyed woodworking and home do-it-yourself projects. He constructed a fireplace and a patio. As a young man he set up an annual Christmas train garden with streets made of gravel and telephone poles strung with wire.
Mr. Kleiderlein ended his day by reading and was a devoted fan of Tom Clancy novels. Family members said he read his favorite titles more than once. He began his day with a morning newspaper and a cup of coffee.
He brought a series of jigsaw puzzles to family vacations and completed them before going home. He was a daily morning walker at the White Marsh Mall, where he met up with retirees from Genstar or members of the American Legion.
A devoted grandfather. Mr. Kleiderlein attended his grandsons’ baseball and football games. He also traveled to New Jersey to see his youngest grandson perform with the Philadelphia Boys Choir.
“Joe loved his family first and foremost, his country and the Marines,” his daughter said.
A funeral Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Church of the Annunciation, 5212 McCormick Ave., where he was a member.
In addition to his daughter, survivors include his wife of 58 years, a retired Niles, Barton & Wilmer legal secretary; a son, John J. Kleiderlein Jr. of Rossville; another daughter, Susan Sikorski of Bel Air; two brothers, George Kleiderlein and Richard Kleiderlein, both of Baltimore; three sisters, Anne Butcher of York, Pennsylvania, Dorothy Jacob of Pittsburgh and Isabelle Allanach of Topsail, North Carolina; and three grandsons.