ALTON—Marie Ellen Klein, 84, of Alton, IA, died Thursday, June 13, 2019, at Good Samaritan Society in Le Mars, IA.

Mass of Christian burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday, June 17, from St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alton, IA, with Father Daniel Greving officiating. Burial will follow in the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Alton, IA. Visitation with family present will be 4-7 p.m. Sunday, June 16, with a parish rosary and vigil prayer service at 5 p.m., at the church. Visitation will resume one hour prior to the service on Monday.

Services have been entrusted to Fisch Funeral Home & Monument of Remsen, IA. Condolences may be sent online to

Marie was born to Clemens Henry and Edna Valeria (Healy) Freking on Feb. 4, 1935, at home on a farm southeast of Hospers. She grew up on the farm and graduated as salutatorian from St Mary’s Academy, Alton, IA. She attended Briar Cliff College in Sioux City.

Marie Ellen Freking and Oscar Michael Klein married on Jan. 19, 1957, at St Anthony’s Catholic Church in Hospers, Iowa. They lived in Hospers until moving to a farm near Ashton in 1959. In 1963, they moved to a farm southeast of Alton. In 1985 they moved to an acreage near Carnes until moving into Alton in June 2006, where Oscar passed away on Nov. 16, 2011.

Marie worked for the FSA (Farm Services Agency) and its various predecessors starting in 1953 and retired in 1996. Her 22 years of combined service was interrupted by the 20-year span when she focused on raising her family. A true homemaker she had large vegetable and flower gardens, sewed clothes and did the many other tasks needed to raise seven children.

Marie also found time to be very involved in her faith. An avid musician she was in church choirs and played the organ from 1949-2009. From 1983-2009 she was the primary organist, choir director and cantor at St Mary’s in Alton. She was an active member and assumed various leadership roles in: the St. Mary’s Rosary Society, St Mary’s Parish, the Council of Catholic Women and the American Legion Auxiliary. She was commissioned as a “Befriender” for St. Mary’s in 1999. She served on the Alton St. Mary’s Elementary School Board and the Spalding Catholic High School Board.

An avid genealogist she gathered information covering many generations of both her and Oscar’s families. Music was a great joy and she loved to sing and play the piano. An avid game player she enjoyed both board and card games. She really enjoyed family gatherings and even tolerated sports when her children or grandchildren were playing. In her down time she could usually be found reading.

Survivors include: five sons, Mark (Jolene) Klein of Wakefield, NE, Mike Klein of Denver, NC, Steve Klein of Frisco, TX, Dan (Wendy) Klein of Sioux Falls, SD, and Kevin Klein of New York City, NY; eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren: Eric (Danielle) Klein (Carter, Blake, Kendall, and Taylor) of Wayne, NE, Aaron Klein of Buffalo, NY, Joshua Klein and Molly Anderson (Oliver) of Harrisburg, SD, Stephanie (John) Russell (Nehemiah and Eliakim) of Windsor, CO, Ryan (Erin) Klein of Columbus, OH, Marcus Klein of Sioux Falls, SD, Rebecca Klein of Sioux Falls, SD, Benjamin Klein of Wayne, NE; one brother, Leo (Karen) Freking of Hospers, IA, four sisters, Sister Edwardine Freking OSF of Dubuque, IA, Catharine Portz of Sanborn, IA, Sister Angeline Freking OSF of Dubuque, IA, and Louise Auchstetter of Hospers, IA; and many nieces and nephews. Other in-laws include: Agnes (Leo) Vortherms of Westbrook, MN, Bob McCoy, of Mountain Home, ID, Marilyn Klein of Hospers, IA, Joan (Norbert) Klein of Sanborn, IA, and Arthur Klein of Ames, IA.

Preceded by: her husband Oscar; her parents; two daughters, Patricia Ann Klein and Rose Marie Klein; and multiple in-laws: Leonard Klein, Ambrose (Blanche) Klein, Mildred (Linus) Goebel, Bernard Portz, Germaine McCoy, Vincent Klein, Norbert Klein, and Jim Auchstetter.

Casket bearers will be Marie’s grandchildren: Eric, Aaron, Joshua, Stephanie, Ryan, Marcus, Rebecca, and Ben.