Pictures from the past
Robert R. Kleinow, 55, of Grimes, died Saturday, July 6, 2019 at his home with his beloved wife, Sharon, at his side. He was born July 28, 1963 in Monticello, Iowa to Raymon and Patricia Carrier Kleinow. On July 25, 1992 he married Sharon Lorber of New London at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, Mt. Pleasant. Rob was a 1981 graduate of Monticello High School; received a BS in education from the University of Iowa; then received his Master's of Instructional Technology from University of Northern Iowa in 1997.
He was an avid follower of the Green Bay Packers, Iowa Hawkeyes and Baltimore Orioles. Rob and Sharon especially enjoyed attending Iowa Hawkeye football and basketball games. For 30 years, he enjoyed being a part of the Creston Fantasy Baseball League.
Besides his wife, Sharon, he is survived by his father and step-mother, Ruth of Monticello; brother Mike (Kathy) of North Liberty; sisters, Janet (Doug) Cedarholm of Rochester, MN, Barbara (Robert) Funke of Greenfield, IA, Linda Kleinow of Monticello, and Mary (Gary) Dura of Dubuque; Parents-in-law, Charles and Irma Lorber of New London and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother, Patricia Kleinow.
Rob and Sharon would like to thank Dr. Mohammed Milhem, nurses and staff at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and Unity Point Hospice in Des Moines for the tremendous care and support they provided.
Rob has requested that in lieu of flowers, any donations in his memory be directed to the family at this time.
The funeral mass will be held at 10:30 Friday at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, Mt. Pleasant. Father Paul Connolly will officiate. Private family burial will be held in Burge Cemetery following a luncheon in Manning Hall. Visitation will begin at 3 PM Thursday, at Elliott Chapel, New London with the family receiving friends from 6 - 8 PM. A prayer vigil will be held at 5:30 PM. Online condolences may be left at www.elliottfuneralchapel.com.
I’m so sorry to hear about your family’s loss and our loss to the teaching profession. I had the opportunity to work with Rob on several occasions due to his work as a science consultant. He was a great guy. Mary K Overholtzer
Two GREAT men in my life - love you!
2018 Christmas - in loving memory Robert - RIP
This past school year was my first as a teacher. Rob came into my school multiple times to help me with my curriculum and with supplies. He was supportive, patient, and knowledgeable. I owe the success of my first year to him. I'm sad to hear of his passing, and my condolences go out to his friends and family.
Rob was a roommate of mine at Iowa for two years. They were two of the most enjoyable years of my life. I'll always remember his dry wit, which was usually out of the blue, as he was a pretty quiet guy.
Unfortunately I had lost touch with Rob over the years, but I've always remembered him fondly.
I taught and coached with Rob at Fairfield. I roped Rob into several activities beyond the coaching, like competitive badminton, which often turned into screaming matches, at ourselves, when things didn't go as planned. I have to admit that we did lose control of our mouths, then look around the gym in hopes that one of the kids didn't hear the unsportsmanlike things we said.😊 We played golf and basketball with and against each other as well.
I have 3 kids that were blessed to have Mr. Kleinow for 8th grade science. They talked constantly of his humor and how he connected science in such a way as to keep everyone interested and engaged. My kids know they were blessed to have him!!
Some of our funniest moments together happened on stage at the Xmas talent shows. The boy bands were big back then and we copied the steps of groups we called "Out of Sync" and "Front alley men". We would have everything prepared, but Rob would always hold something back, just for the show.
I hurt knowing he is gone. It bothers me a lot, to be completely honest. However, I actually had the privilege to walk on this earth with him. As time moves on, and I go back in time to Rob Kleinow, I'll remember one of many incidents I got to share with him. Those lucky enough to cross paths with him are better off because of it. Rest in piece, my friend.❤
Sharon, Keith & I were so sorry to hear of the loss of Rob. Our prayers are with you & your family.
My thoughts and prayers are with the Kleinow family during this most difficult time. Mr. Kleinow was truly a fantastic teacher and mentor for us. I still remember several of his sayings and mannerisms from Middle School when he taught us in ‘93. Heck, I can still build a Lou-Vee Air Car from memory 25+ years later. Rob was a great man with a genuinely incredible legacy - thank you, sir.
My thoughts and prayers are with the Lorber and Kleinow family on this day. Sharon, I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope to see you again! Michele Krieger-Johnsen
As best I can recall, I first met Robert during the summer of 1975. That was the year my family moved into the same neighborhood in Monticello in which his already lived. Even though we were one class apart in school, he and I hit it off immediately – a friendship based mostly on a shared love of athletics and similar senses of humor.
During the years that followed, I spent a lot of time in and around the Kleinow household – welcomed with open arms by his large, generous (and boisterous) family. In fact, their house became something of a second home to me, and our friendship grew as a result. Into high school and beyond, including two or three years during the early 1980s as roomies at the University of Iowa. And even beyond that: I’m happy to have played a role in introducing Rob to Sharon in 1990; I’m honored that they were part of my wedding in 1991; and I’m humbled that my wife, Pam, and I were part of their marriage ceremony less than a year after that.
But as things sometimes go in this life, our worlds soon took us in different directions, and we just didn’t see much of each other after that. That’s one of the reasons why I was absolutely thunderstruck on Sunday afternoon when I learned of Robert’s passing. I had no idea he had been dealing with health issues, and it made me feel immediately guilty that I’d let that time slip away and distance to come between us. A painful lesson that tomorrow is promised to no one.
Nevertheless, when I think of Robert now, I am flooded with mostly happy memories. I certainly don’t want to take away the wonderful sentiments that have been expressed here relating to Robert's smarts – that was apparent from the time we were in high school and became even more obvious during his years at Iowa. In that regard, we were as different as different could be: he was an exceptional, focused student – and it sure sounds like he developed into a gifted and valued educator. But that’s just not the guy I’m going to remember.
Nope … the Robbie that'll remain in my memory from this point on was one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. Make no mistake: his intelligence fueled his sense of humor – which was as sharp, dry and wholly understated as he was. He had an amazing memory and recall and possessed impeccable timing. In my experience, most of the best and funniest comments I ever head Robert deliver were always just underneath the din of whatever room he was in – so that only a select few would be able to hear and appreciate them. I was fortunate to briefly be among that group.
To those Robert loved most – Sharon; Ray; Mike; Janet; Barbara Jean; Linda and Mary – thank you for this opportunity to remember him in this way. Pam and I wish you all Godspeed during this difficult time. We know there’s nothing anyone can say or do that will change what has happened or temper your grief. Just know that you are not alone in your pain. Your husband, your son, your brother – he will be missed by *everyone* who knew him.
Over the years, I’ve become convinced that one of the most important and meaningful things any of us can do for our friends and loved ones in this life is to simply tell them what they mean to us while we have that chance. That's why I’m so very sorry that I never took the time or made the effort to bridge the distance that had developed between Robert and me. I regret that I didn’t follow my own advice and somehow let him know how much he meant to my life back in those days when we were just a couple of shy kids wiling away the carefree hours of our youth. We thought it would never end. At least I didn't, anyway. But now it has.
It's my sincere hope that, in a world far beyond this one in a realm and dimension we cannot imagine, Robert has been granted the reward he earned for a life, one that was far too short, but extraordinarily well-lived.
Goodbye, old friend.
Truly a genuine nice guy. I probably haven't seen Robert since shortly after our high school days, but I think he was probably the type of guy you could pick right back up where you left off. Lots of fond memories of him from my high school years in Monticello. My thoughts and prayers are with all of his family. God bless.
Rob was one of the most genuinely kind consultants I had the pleasure of working with while I was the Director of Teaching and Learning in a school district. I brought science teachers from the district many times for his ongoing trainings and expertise. He was smart, funny, and humble. A truly exceptional human being! He touched so many lives, teachers and students, and will be missed by many! My sincerely condolences to his family.
So Many great memories of this guy, the dry humor, quick wit, pranks and in general fun of teaching and coaching young people. Thought and prayers to his family and especially Sharon. He made an impact on kids and people he worked with. RIP
Sharon...I am so deeply sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
So sorry for your loss. I had the privilege of learning from Rob through his work at the AEA. What a great man! I have used and continue to use many strategies that Rob introduced to our district. He will continue to impact students!
Dear Sharon and family of Rob, I extend deepest sympathy to you on the loss of Rob. I knew him as a part of the FMS family in Fairfield where he was a well respected teacher who promoted student centered learning through hands-on projects. He was also our tech guy and he was willing to use his lunch time or planning period to "fix" computer problems. He'd quietly come in the classroom, work diligently on the computer, and leave with a smile. The world is a better place because of Rob Kleinow.
Sharon and the Kleinow Family -
My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I had the pleasure of working with Rob at Heartland, and he worked with me on the Math Capacity Building Development Team as our "tech support" person, which gave him the nickname of "Total Tech Man," or TTM on our team. From the point we served on that workgroup, I don't think I ever referred to him as Rob again...to me he was always TTM. I so appreciated his humor and dedication to education. He was a great colleague and will be missed. Prayers of peace and comfort during this difficult time.
Sharon, and the Kleinow Family
My loving thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time.
Sharon, my thoughts and prayers are with you and all of Rob's family. I taught with Rob in Fairfield for several years and my son had him as a teacher and coach. Rob was an incredible science teacher and coach and a wonderful colleague. He will be missed.
So sorry to hear of Rob's passing. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Sue and Ed Howard
I can tell from reading through all of these tributes that Rob's was a life well lived!
Love to you and all of your family.
My deepest and most heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Robert. There was always a smile on Robert’s face while growing up in Monticello and I always enjoyed speaking with him. Even though we are all saddened by Robert’s passing, heaven became a bit brighter as he joined his mother Pat. My heart aches for you all and will keep you in my prayers.
Dear Sharon and family,
I was so sad to read about Mr. Kleinow's passing. He was one of the best teachers I ever had. His compassion and humor combined to leave a lasting impression on his students. Thinking of you during this time and in the days to come. Allison Foss
I am so very sorry for your loss, and I pray for your comfort in this trying time.
I've had the privilege of working directly with Rob for the last five years in his role as the science consultant for Des Moines Public Schools. He spent countless hours working with and for the teachers and students of our district, and he will be greatly missed. Rob was sneaky funny. On the surface, he seemed like a quiet and reserved guy, but his nearly encyclopedic knowledge of Seinfeld and MASH episodes fueled a sense of humor that was witty and always appreciated. Rob had a mind like a steel trap and a memory like an elephant. He was able to recall the dates and authors of scientific articles, and his knowledge of sports trivia was unparalleled. I am reasonably sure that Rob was a ringer at multiple fantasy sports. Rob maintained the perfect balance of optimism and realism in his work. Whenever we were trying a new strategy or initiative, he would always remind me that "the results will speak for themselves" in an effort to temper my expectations and remind me that change takes time. Rob and I would start every day with the same greeting. I would ask "how's it going," and he would always reply with "every day is a good day" even when I knew he was experiencing the progression of his illness. Rob was an excellent colleague, a champion of science education, a great friend, and I will miss him every day.
To the friends and family of Mr. Kleinow, I am very sorry for your loss. He was a fantastic teacher and coach that left a lasting impact on many students’ lives, including mine. Every time I vacuum I still think of his car-perimeter term for the floor area near the wall that the vacuum can’t reach.
I'm sorry for your loss! I had the opportunity over the past few years to work with Rob and learned so much from his dedication to science education in Iowa. He was so passionate about implementing the best standards and practices in classrooms in the heart of Iowa. He will certainly be missed! We are thankful for all he did!
I was shocked and saddened to hear about Rob’s passing. He was an incredible teacher and I loved working with him at Fairfield. He made everyday fun and he was just a great guy. Praying for you and your family for comfort and peace.
Heather (Wiges) Blakely and Family
Sharon, Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers in the months ahead!
Mike and Marilyn Schenck
Sharon, family and friends. So very sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers to you all!!
I worked with Rob on the Implementation of science standards for the state. His independent thinking and expertise will truly be missed. My condolences to family and close friends.
I am truly sorry for your loss Sharon. You have my prayers!
Rob will be truly missed. I am a better person and science teacher because of Rob. He pushed me to think past my level of comfort, which I will continue to do.
I am very sorry for the loss of Rob's family and all those he touched via his work as one of the best educational consultants in the state. The news of Rob's passing took me by surprise. He was truly so talented and so personal that he could work with any educator and get them excited. I remember roping him into a new online platform called ITSI and traveling with him to Kansas University for training. I was thinking at the time, I'm not sure how effective we would be convincing science teachers in Iowa to adopt this nice-but-somewhat-clunky platform to improve their classes. Well... we left it to Rob, who was able to not only recruit cohorts of teachers, but was able to help them see the potential of the platform and how it fit what they were already doing. It isn't often that you get to observe just how talented an educational consultant is, but Rob definitely was amazing.
I'm so sorry for your loss. I began my time at Heartland AEA in 2007 with Rob, had a desk located near his, and worked with him on several committees. While I enjoyed his sense of humor, I also appreciated his intellect. He often challenged my thinking as a educator, and I am a better professional as a result. Clearly Rob had a positive influence on students and teachers alike. He will be missed.
Sharon and family, so sorry for your loss. We were neighbors on Grand Park and Sharon was. Co-worker. Both my girls had Rob as a teacher and loved him! Jenny especially loved Rob’s sense of humor.
Sharon and all Robert's family are in our thoughts and prayers.
Rob brought joy and laughter to all who knew him! He even told me his wife had suggested he tone it down. He didn't. Without that humor, he wouldn't have been Rob! Rob sat behind me at the office and we had our share of fun and enlightening conversations. Of course, some conversations were serious, especially when we talked about science and student learning. Then there were his beloved Hawkeyes! Rob was a Hawkeye fan through and through. When his nephew decided to play college football for ISU, even though it pained him, he was willing to sit in Jack Trice Stadium and support the Cyclones. That was love! What a great guy and loss for all of us!
Helped me early in my life to learn to coach and manage kids and parents. Those early lessons carried on into my career as an educator, but more importantly his friendship and support were vital to me as a young adult. One of those people you wish you'd not lost track of as living life progressed. God put me in his section last Fall at an Iowa game in Minnesota where we got to catch up. Prayers for Sharon and for all of his family.
Sorry to hear about Robert. I remember him teaching at Creston and saw him several times at meetings when he was a consultant at AEA. He had a great smile and took time to visit with me. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Sharon and Don Irelan
I enjoyed working with Rob through his work as a science consultant at the AEA when I was teaching science at North High School in Des Moines. I was so sorry to hear of his passing. Keeping you in my thoughts.
Sharon, I am so sorry! I pray for you to find peace going forward in all the memories you both shared. Praying for the whole family as the days go forward!
I am so sorry for your loss. What a talented caring man I am fortunate to have called friend. I valued his opinion, humor and his willing smile. He is missed.
Sharon- The Dailey’s are praying for you during this difficult time. So sorry for your loss.
Me. Kleinow was my middle school science teacher. He was one of my most favorite teachers I’ve ever had and a friend of mine from his class just told me of his passing. Her and I both went into science and I wish I had the chance to tell Mr. Kleinperson how influential and beloved he was and has continued to be throughout my life. To his family, my deepest condolences. He was loved by his students and he made a difference in our lives.
My sincere sympathies to Rob's family. I worked with Rob at Heartland AEA. I always enjoyed his keen wit and sense of humor. I think he made me laugh every time we worked together or were sitting in a meeting. I am grateful to have known him.
Sharon and family, your loss will be felt by many. We were neighbors on Grand Park Drive. My children had Rob as their science teacher. I later became a teacher and was fortunate to work with Rob during some professional development days. He was a wonderful teacher who will be greatly missed. Prayers will continue as you walk through this difficult journey.
Deepest sympathies to Rob's family. I so appreciated his insights, discussions, and humor. He challenged me to a better science consultant. He was a champion of science in Iowa and will be deeply missed.
Lou vee air car! Great teacher great memories
Sharon and family - so sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers!
So sorry to hear about Rob’s passing. I taught with Rob in Fairfield. Not only was he a fantastic science teacher, he was also a fantastic coach.
To Barbara Jean and family ~ I am so sorry to hear of Rob's passing and send my heartfelt condolences to all of you. I hope you can find some comfort in treasured memories of your times together as you go through this difficult time. Love and hugs to you all.
So shocked and sad to hear about Rob’s passing. I taught with Rob at Fairfield Middle School. I learned so much from him, and I still quote him whenever I say, “Frustration is the point where learning occurs.” His sense of humor and commitment to the profession will never be forgotten.
Deepest sympathy to Robert's family. Hugs to each and everyone one if you
I was so saddened to hear about Rob's passing. Rob was a colleague of mine and fellow science consultant at Heartland AEA, we both started together at Heartland in 2007. His passing came as a great surprise as he never shared what he was battling with his colleagues. I will always remember Rob as a great educator, consultant, and friend dedicated to doing what was best for his students and teachers in professional development. God bless his memory, and may the Lord shine His light on Rob's family.
So sorry to hear about Robert. A genuinely good person and no doubt a great teacher. I hope somehow he is with Pat again. He will be missed.