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Jacob Klessens
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Born in Red Lodge, Montana on January 28, 1926, he graduated from Carbon County High School and served in the Navy during WWII - Pacific Theater. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Carroll College in Helena, Montana, a Master of Education from the University of Montana in Missoula. He did his graduate work from the Gregorian University in Rome, Italy, Northeastern University in Boston, Mass., Chapman College in Merced and Stanislaus State in Turlock.

Mr. Klessens was a teacher of English and Speech and an Educational Administrator from 1954-1961 in Ipswich, S.D. and a teacher of English and Speech at Escalon High School from 1961-1966, an assistant Superintendent and Superintendent for Escalon Unified School District from 1966-1987. During this time he was also the first principal of El Portal Middle School from 1971-1972. He retired in October 1987, but was a consultant for EUSD from 1987 to 2006.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Ann Imberi, whom he married in 1956; his children, Jennifer Klessens of Modesto, Christopher Klessens of Joliet, MT, Martha Nelson of Stockton, Tim Klessens of Hickman, David Klessens of Rio Rancho, NM, Joanne Bettencourt of Ripon, Richard Klessens of Springfield, MO, Matthew Klessens of Taylors, S.C., and Christine Berhorst of Escalon. He also leaves seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren, brothers, Frank, Edwin, and James Klessens of Luther, MT; and sister Pauline Long of Billings, MT.

He received the Golden Apple Award in 1971 from the San Joaquin CTA Coordinating Council and was inducted into the Escalon Unified Hall of Fame in 1987. He was a member of the California Teachers Association, Knights of Columbus, Escalon Kiwanis Club and a parishioner of St. Patrick's Catholic Church.

A Rosary was held at St. Patrick's Catholic Church on Monday, April 20 with Mass at St. Patrick's Catholic Church on Tuesday April 21. Burial followed at St. John's Catholic Cemetery.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jacob C. Klessens Scholarship Fund, Career Center, Escalon High School, or to the Father O'Dwyer Foundation- St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Escalon, CA or to the Hospice of San Joaquin.

Arrangements are under the direction of Deegan Funeral Chapel. Sign online guestbook at

The Escalon (Calif.) Times

April 22, 2009