Dick and Mary Lou Kleine Fund for Catholic Education


Richard (Dick) Kleine was born in Brentwood, MO near St. Louis to George and Valerie Kleine. Dick has three brothers; Bob, Gerry, and George; and one sister Mary Jean. His father George worked in sales and his mother was a devoted housewife. Dick graduated from McBride High School in St. Louis, MO and went to college at St. Louis University. He graduated with a degree in Engineering and then continued his education part time while working, to get his MBA from the University of Iowa. Dick was in the Air Force for three years and also worked at Emerson Electric before working at Deere & Company for 38 years. Before his retirement he was the General Manager at both the Harvester and Ottumwa Works and the Vice President of Quality for the company.

Mary Lou was born in Alton, Illinois to Dr. Thomas and Marie Miller. Mary Lou has a younger brother Tom and sister Annie. After her father passed on her mother re-married Richard McBride an engineer and CEO of a local manufacturing firm. Mary Lou graduated from Marquette High School where she was very athletic and involved in many sports like golf and tennis. After high school Mary Lou went on to Fontbonne College in St. Louis where she graduated with a BS in Physical Education. She later taught Physical Education at Horicon High School in Wisconsin and St. Columkilles in Dubuque, Iowa.

Dick and Mary Lou met at an ROTC ball. The three St. Louis area catholic women's colleges would select queen candidates for the annual ROTC ball in St. Louis. Mary Lou was nominated queen from Fontbonne College and she was set up on a blind date with Dick. They were married after Mary Lou graduated from college. Mary Lou and Dick have one son Mark.

Mark was born in Anchorage, AK. He received his BS in Computer Systems from St. Ambrose University. His wife, Marge, also attended SAU and the two were married after graduating from college. They have one son named Drew, who was born in Arkansas. Mark worked for Deere and Co. before leaving the company to buy his first John Deere dealership in the early nineties. Mark and his wife Marge own five John Deere dealerships in western Illinois and live in Galesburg, IL.

The Kleine’s have played integral roles in many local charitable organizations. Dick, a retired Vice President of Deere & Co. serves on a number of nonprofit boards while Mary Lou volunteers with the Catholic Service Board and the Handicapped Development Center. They have volunteered their time, talent and treasure to make a difference in the community they love.

The Kleine’s believe their lives have been very blessed and are focused on family values. They have established the Scott County K-12 Catholic Schools Fund to ensure local students continue to have access to a Catholic education. This fund is part of the Scott County’s K-12 Catholic plan to offer tuition assistance for those families wishing to attend a local Catholic school. 

"Our fund allows us to support programs that enhance the lives of children, individuals, families and businesses."

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The Teens for Tomorrow youth philanthropy program has given local students the opportunity to grant more than $70,000 to the community since the program's inception in 2002.
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