RIP D. Gary Klempnauer

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We would like to express our sincere condolences to the friends and family of D. Gary Klempnauer.
Gary was a devoted supporter of The Open Shelter and even served on our Board. He will be missed.


Reverend D. Gary Klempnauer died on May 3, 2019 at the age of 84. He was a man who always greeted life and cheered it on. Irrepressible champion of his daughters, he believed they could do anything. He laughed at his grandchildren’s every joke, celebrated their accomplishments and listened intently to what they had to say. He loved to connect his friends with each other. He loved to plant seeds. After his first marriage ended, he met Nan Lorraine McCombs Yeoman one bright Sunday at church, and enjoyed a blessed marriage of 27 years. He served in the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church for 26 years where he brought his love of theater and the arts with him. He subsequently worked as a drug and alcohol counselor for the Columbus Health Department. After retiring, he was a volunteer and Board Member for the Open Shelter. He met everyone with enthusiasm, friends and strangers alike. He wanted to learn people’s stories – whether they were his neighbor, the man who sells strawberries at the farmer’s market, a hospice nurse, or a close friend. He lived by the maxim, “If some is good, more is better!” He was a man who said hello (and much more) to all he met; who loved Anderson’s Store (“It has everything!”) and Sassafras bakery; and who gushed about Tupelo doughnuts to his oncologist, because they’re just that good. His advice for good living included: Whatever you do, do it with style. Keep things in perspective. Find a good butcher. He loved playing gin rummy and Oh Sh*t. He loved to travel with Nan and spend time with good friends. He loved the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus and dancing and going out to eat. He loved turtle sundaes from Birdsall’s Ice Cream in Mason City. He loved his sweet dogs Lacey and Crocker. He loved summer thunderstorms and the sound of trains at night. He loved rearranging the plants in his garden. He loved his family and his friends. He loved to sing and he loved to laugh. He was born in 1935 in Mason City, Iowa to Daniel Gustav Klempnauer and Mary Matilda (Gregg) Klempnauer, both deceased. His sister was Donnis Joy Lawrence and his brother-in-law was Robert Lawrence, both deceased. Family includes his wife, Nan Yeoman Klempnauer; daughter, Amie Klempnauer Miller, her spouse, Jane Miller and their daughter, Hana; daughter, Stace Klempnauer, her husband, Kevin Keane and their sons, Henry and Walter; step-son, Christopher Yeoman; and step-daughter, Brittany Yeoman Haske and her daughter, Brianna. He was a much-loved son, brother and husband, a great father, a wonderful grandfather, and a cherished friend. He was a good man who lived a good life. And this is how it ends: surrounded by love, remembered in laughter. A memorial service will be held in the Potter Chapel at the Worthington United Methodist Church, 600 High St., Worthington, OH on June 15. Visitation will begin at 3 p.m with the service at 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to Worthington United Methodist Church at 600 High St., P.O. Box 307, Worthington, OH 43085 and the Open Shelter at 61 E Mound St, Columbus, OH 43215.

Published in The Columbus Dispatch from May 9 to June 10, 2019