Luverne "Coach" Klar, age 92, entered into eternal rest on Saturday March 11th surrounded by family and friends at Pathstone Living Mankato.
There will be a private family service at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Mankato. Burial with military honors will be in Woodland Hills Memorial Park, Mankato. A Public Celebration of Luverne's Life will be held at a later date, to be announced in a future edition of the Free Press. Mankato Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. www.mankatomortuary.com
Born in Osage Iowa on June 1st 1924, Luverne was the only son of Martin and Grace (Kelly) Klar. He grew up on the family farm he enjoyed so much, and later maintained those skills in his garden in West Mankato. Luverne graduated from Osage High School in 1941, where he was a member of a Wrestling team that never lost a dual meet during his tenure there. He went to college at UNI (University of Northern Iowa) where he met his future wife Darlene Hemann, whom he married on 8-12-51. While there he was a member of the 1950 National Championship Wrestling team, after they all came back from being deployed during WW2. Luverne served in the Armed forces in Japan. He graduated with a degree in teaching, and was hired by Louie Todnem to come to Mankato High School to start the Wrestling program, and coach Baseball in 1951. During his 36 years at Mankato High/Mankato West - he taught Health, Phy Ed, and Drivers Ed. Luverne was proud to be a "Scarlet" and loved going to work each day, where he had a profound impact on so many young adults throughout his time there. In return, he met so many wonderful individuals who became lifelong friends of the Klar family. Luverne and Darlene lived in West Mankato in the same house for over 50 years. He earned a Masters of Education from Mankato State Teachers College in the early 1960's.
Luverne was a humble man, but he had tremendous success as a coach and established many records and milestones throughout his career. He earned numerous awards over the years including being inducted into the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame, The National Wresting Hall of Fame, and the Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Mankato West Hall of Fame in 2015. He was a proud member of the American Legion, VFW, Elks Club, Y's Men, and Kiwanis club. He volunteered for Meals on Wheels and the food shelf. Luverne enjoyed his summers spent working at Northland Beverage Company where he traveled to county fairs etc.
He cherished his time spent out at the family cabin on Lake Washington, where he patiently taught many kids how to waterski. He took great pride in his later years by having the opportunity to watch his grandchildren participate in all their sports and activities.
Luverne will certainly be remembered for his bright smile, his calm, happy demeanor, and for his great sense of humor. He loved to tell stories and those who knew him well, probably heard them more than once. Many of these traits stuck with him until the end, where he continued to have a lasting impact on staff and friends at Pathstone.
Luverne is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Steve and Roberta (Seifert) Klar of Palm Harbor, Florida, daughter and son-in-law, Sue and John Ries of Eagle Lake; grandchildren, Taylor Ries and Nicole (Coley) Ries, an older sister, Jean Lathrop, of Osage IA, and several nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the Madigan brothers and families, especially Scott for all his help over the years.
Luverne was preceded in death by his parents; in-laws; his wife, Darlene in 1990; a sister, Darlene, 3 brothers-in-law; 1 sister-in-law; special family friend, Marie Reimer, and his beloved dog, Boz.
Published on March 13, 2017