Like so many of our donors, Dick Kleine 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.
He 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, and Dick spent three years as an officer in the Air Force, but his learning didn’t stop there. He exited the Air Force and entered the University of Iowa, earning an MBA degree.
Nearly 40 years later, he retired as a Vice President at Deere and Company. 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 became fund holders with the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend, establishing multiple endowments, 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. He is also a member of The Legacy Society and The Endowment Society at the Community Foundation. One of his creations at the Community Foundation was our 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 also some of your time and talent to the community.”
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.
And yet, Dick has decided to return even more, and took a volunteer position with us as Director of Corporate Relations. In that role, he is visiting 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.
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