John Foster "Jack" Kling, 88, Altoona, died Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, at UPMC Altoona after a brief illness. He was an Altoona mechanical contractor whose company helped construct the Penn State Altoona chapel and many other commercial and industrial facilities across central Pennsylvania.
He was born in Altoona, son of the late Paul and Elizabeth (Shoop) Kling. He married Evelyn Marie Western in 1947 in Washington, D.C.
Surviving are his wife; four children: Susan Bay and husband, Thomas, of Harrisburg, David and wife, Rosina, of Vienna, Va., Joyce Slaten and husband, Andrew, of Montgomery Village, Md., and Michael and wife, Catherine, of Indianapolis, Ind.; eight grandchildren: Katherine and Sarah Bay, Cristina and Jack Kling, Emily and Anna Slaten and Matthew and Rachel Kling; and a brother, Donald and wife, Dorothy, of Altoona.
Jack was a 1944 graduate of Altoona High School, and he served in the U.S. Navy during WWII as a petty officer and submarine draftsman at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.
The John F. Kling Co., which employed 27 union mechanics and other workers at its height, specialized in complex process piping systems and was responsible for plumbing, heating and air conditioning construction projects at Schwarzenbach-Huber/Bomont Mills, the Veterans Administration Hospital and Penn Central Railroad, among other industrial and commercial properties in Altoona. The firm, which operated from 1963 through 1987, also completed major projects at the Westvaco Corp. in Tyrone and Pennsylvania Glass Sand in Mount Union and had a prominent role in the Raystown Dam construction. Mr. Kling's company conducted ongoing process piping work at Owens Corning Fiberglass Corp. in Huntingdon from 1963-76.
Jack, a longtime member of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters and a registered master plumber since 1953, began his trade with Mulch Brothers, a former Hollidaysburg firm.
Upon retiring his business, he was employed for several years by McCarl's Inc., a Beaver Falls-based mechanical contractor, where he served as foreman for major projects at Appleton Papers Inc. in Roaring Spring and at Penn State's University Park campus. Since 1991, he worked part time at Suter's Hardware & Mason's Locks in Altoona.
He served on the City of Altoona Plumbing Board from 1981-84 and on the Altoona Area School District's Vo-Tech School Advisory Committee for more than 30 years. He also taught evenings for the Altoona Vo-Tech program. He was a "cradle roll" member of Second Avenue United Methodist Church, Altoona, and had previously served on its board of trustees. He was a member of Logan Lodge 490, F&AM; Valley of Altoona, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite bodies; and Jaffa Shrine. He was an avid Penn State sports fan and enjoyed golf and various activities with his family.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at Myers-Somers Funeral Home Inc., 501 Sixth Ave., Altoona, where a Masonic funeral service will be held at 7 p.m. Friends will also be received from 10 until the 11 a.m. funeral service Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, at Second Avenue United Methodist Church, Altoona, the Rev. Greg Johnson officiating. Interment will be made at Alto-Reste Park Cemetery.
Memorial contributions in Mr. Kling's name may be made to Second Avenue United Methodist Church, 130 Second Ave., Altoona, PA 16602, or Home Nursing Agency, 201 Chestnut Ave., P.O. Box 352, Altoona, PA 16603.