Robert Vernon Klein

May 30, 1923 – April 6, 2019


Robert Vernon Klein, 95, Teaneck, N.J., formerly of Altoona, died peacefully in his sleep on Saturday with Barbara, his wife of 70 years, by his side.

Surviving are his wife; three daughters: Ellen Weiss, Susan (Derrick Luppino) and Jodie Klein (Steve Reznikoff); five grandchildren: Ryan and Stephanie Luppino, Christopher (Weiss) Welles and Lindsay and David Krasnika; and four great-grandchildren: Sean and Tyler Luppino and Ben and Peter Krasnika.

Bob’s World War II service was a defining period and his proudest accomplishment. From ROTC at Penn State, he entered the theater as a combat infantryman in the 36th Division (Texas National Guard). He fought in the invasion of southern France, living in a foxhole for 104 days, the last 74 without a break. He received many commendations, the highest of which is the Bronze Star.

After the war, Bob returned to Penn State and served as president of Phi Epsilon Pi fraternity. He wrote many songs and shows for the Thespians and was an avid Nittany Lion fan until his final breath. Nothing gave him more pleasure (or angst) than watching Penn State football.

He owned Brett’s Depart­ment Store, a family-owned and operated institution in Altoona since the early 1900s that was founded by Barbara’s grandfather, Jacob Brett. Bob began a second career in real estate and retired at age 85.

A funeral service with military honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.