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Harold Klinzman

Posted January 30, 2013 in Clive, Obituaries

July 4, 1926 – January 28, 2013

Harold Klinzman

Harold Klinzman

Harold Lloyd Klinzman, 86 years young, of Clive died from complications due to cancer at the Des Moines Veterans’ Medical Center Monday, January 28, 2013. Lloyd’s productive life of accomplishments will be celebrated by a memorial service at West Des Moines Christian Church, 4501 Mills Civic Parkway, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 23. The memorial service will be preceded by a visitation for Lloyd’s friends and family which begins at 9 a.m.

Born July 4, 1926, to Jesse and Edna (Husted) Klinzman of Bagley, Iowa, Lloyd was indeed a “firecracker.” Lloyd was one of five brothers, and joined Elmer, Earl, Russ and Bill in working the family farm near Bagley. There were brotherly hijinks: brother Bill once drove the family car behind Lloyd while he was riding his pony, Minnie, sounded the horn, and spooked Minnie, who threw Lloyd into the ditch. Both brothers enjoyed sharing that story, and laughed retelling it. There were the hardships of growing up on an Iowa farm during the Great Depression, but Lloyd enjoyed recounting his experiences hitching a team of horses to the family sleigh, riding over fields covered in snow, using the family’s horses to work the farm, and of the lessons he learned about hard work and perseverance.

Lloyd attended Bagley High School, excelling in his studies and at athletics, graduating in 1944. Lloyd served his country in the United States Army Air Force from 1944 to 1946, helping guide homebound aircrew to safe landings while stationed in Hawaii. Lloyd earned an honorable discharge with the rank of Staff Sergeant. Using the benefits he had earned under the G.I. Bill of Rights, Lloyd attended the University of Iowa, and like so many of his generation, brought his work ethic to bear in helping change American higher education. Lloyd earned his Bachelor’s degree in only three years, graduating with the class of 1950, a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Inspired to emulate the example of his older brother Earl, Lloyd spent his entire professional life as a teacher, coach, and administrator in Iowa public schools. Lloyd taught history and social studies, and coached baseball, basketball and football. His first stop, from 1950-52, was Van Horne, where he coached baseball and boys’ and girls’ basketball. Lloyd’s Van Horne teams were a power in Benton County boys’ basketball. Lloyd’s next stop was Anamosa, where he was head coach of boys’ basketball and baseball, and assistant football coach, from 1952 to 1954. Lloyd then served as an assistant coach of football and boys’ basketball, and as head baseball coach, at Cedar Rapids Franklin High School from 1954 to 1957.

Lloyd’s career culminated in Des Moines, where he moved with his family in 1957. He taught driver’s education at North High, and was an assistant football coach at Lincoln High from 1957 to 1960. The apex of Lloyd’s coaching career came when he became Lincoln’s head coach, from 1960 to 1970. Lloyd was a football innovator, bringing the split-T offense and “monster” defense to the Metro Conference. Lloyd’s Lincoln teams made the old City Series competition between Lincoln, East, North, Tech, and Roosevelt compelling by ending the domination of East and Roosevelt. Lloyd was proud of his Railsplitters teams, praising them as “hard-nosed football players.”

The final stage of his education career began in 1970, when Lloyd left teaching and coaching to become an administrator. As preparation, Lloyd earned his Master’s degree at Northwest Missouri State University at Kirksville. Lloyd was Vice Principal at Wilson Junior High from 1970 to 1973, then North High from 1973 to 1979, and finally East High from 1980 to 1988. Lloyd ended a long, remarkable career with his retirement in 1988. Whether it was in a direct role as teacher and coach, or as a vice principal who helped teachers and students succeed, Lloyd influenced thousands during his career. Lloyd was recognized for his coaching when he was inducted into the Lincoln Athletics Hall of Fame, and for his support of East High wrestling.

During his long career as a teacher, coach, and administrator, Lloyd also helped raise a family. He married Annetta May (Fleming) in 1950. His two sons, Steven (1951) and Jeffrey (1956) were born in Cedar Rapids. Daughter Janna (1953) was born in Anamosa. Lloyd and May’s youngest, Beth (1959), was born in Des Moines. One of the family’s highlights came in the summer of 1967, when Lloyd and May loaded the children into the family’s 1964 Mercury Monterrey for a road trip to Lake Vermillion in Minnesota, joined by some of Lloyd’s coaching colleagues. Lloyd also joined some of his colleagues in renting a farm near Winterset. While not a commercial success, Lloyd shared his love of the land and working with horses and other livestock with his children. Lloyd was an avid bowler and golfer, and was a member of the Ankeny Golf and Country Club for many years, scoring a hole-in-one on the club’s course.

Lloyd divorced May in 1969; shortly after that, he met Sharon Kay Cochran at the old Val Air Ballroom in West Des Moines. Sharon taught kindergarten, and she and Lloyd shared a passion for ballroom dancing. They married February 14, 1970, and remained together as husband and wife for the rest of Lloyd’s life. Lloyd and Sharon enjoyed traveling, taking a trip to the United Kingdom, a cruise of Alaska, and sharing a cruise with son Jeff and his wife Donna of the Eastern Caribbean. Lloyd loved car vacations, although his children teased him about the time he drove himself and Sharon to California to visit daughter Janna and her husband Todd Barnes, only to stay for two days before returning to Des Moines. Lloyd spent many a Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday in Kansas City with son Steve and his wife Betty. Daughter Beth enjoyed the summer gatherings at Margo Frankel State Park to celebrate Lloyd’s birthday, the one occasion where his children were allowed to drink soda pop!

Sharon’s devotion never waned, and she was with her beloved husband at the very end. He is survived by Sharon, his first wife May, his four children, eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren, who all cherish his memory and strive to follow his example. Lloyd Klinzman spent his life teaching the joy of responsibility, and served well in the roles of son, brother, husband, father, uncle, grandfather, and great-grandfather. His family and friends will keep his memory alive by living responsibly, and working to achieve our greatest potential. We will never forget him.

The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made either in the Lloyd Klinzman Memorial Fund at the Grinnell State Bank branch of Johnston, Iowa, or to the West Des Moines Christian Church, which was Lloyds’ spiritual family. Proceeds from the Lloyd Klinzman Memorial Fund will be donated to the Des Moines Independent Community School District. Online condolences may be sent to

Information provided by:
Iles Funeral Homes
Westover Chapel
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA 50322

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