Kleine Family Foundation Endowment


They say that a satisfying life has three phases – Learn, Earn, and Return. If that is true, Dick Kleine has lived a three dimensional life and our community is stronger because of it. Dick believes that his family has gathered many blessings in life, those blessings have grown over time, and as a result, it’s their responsibility to return blessings to others.

In the first phase of his life, Dick grew up in St. Louis and got a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from St. Louis University. Among the blessings at that time was a blind date with Mary Lou Miller, a queen candidate at the ROTC Ball from Fontbonne College. After she graduated, they were married.

Dick spent three years as an officer in the Air Force, but his learning wasn’t complete. He exited the Air Force and entered the University of Iowa, earning an MBA. It was time for the second phase of his life, and he went to work for Deere and Company.

Nearly 40 years later, he retired as a Vice President at Deere. As his achievements grew over the years, so did his involvement in the community.

He and Mary Lou have served on a number of boards and committees of charitable organizations and were also very active in their church, St. John Vianney. They also became fund holders with the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend, establishing Donor-Advised Funds and the Kleine Family Endowment, which will be directed by his son Mark and grandson Drew when Dick is gone.

Sadly, Mary Lou passed away in 2008, but Dick continues to build the legacy that they began together. He has served on CFGRB’s Board of Directors, including a term as Board Chair.  One of his creations was the Caring Award, presented each year at our annual Celebration to outstanding volunteers nominated by the nonprofits they serve. It’s not a coincidence that Dick was interested in honoring those who give their time and energy to good causes.

“When you get to the phase in your life when it’s time to return,” Dick says, “the Community Foundation can help you return not only treasure, but giving back some of your talent to the community as well.”

In 2010, he helped launch Achieve Quad Cities, a community partnership aimed at raising the high school graduation rate. He understands very well that education – learning – is essential to ensure that the second and third phases of life are more easily achieved.

In 2011, Dick decided to return even more, and took a volunteer position with the Community Foundation as Director of Corporate Relations. In that role, he is calling on corporations to discuss how they can give back and make the community a better place to live.

It’s a subject he knows quite well.

"Mary and I have been interested in the issue of hunger in the Quad Cities for many, many years. It is great to be able to have an impact."

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