HomeFebruary 2012Victor Klein, Consummate Volunteer

Victor Klein, Consummate Volunteer

Victor Klein, who died unexpectedly on January 3, 2012, can best be summed up in one phrase: a kind, enthusiastic man of many talents who gave most generously of both his time and resources.
Born in Philadelphia in 1929, Klein was an artist by training whose initial employment was in advertising and sales promotion for Caloric Corp., a company founded by his grandfather.  This led to a position with Ford Motor Co. and later with Gray Advertising, both in Michigan.  In 1986 Klein and his wife, Barbara, moved to California, where he opened an office for Gray.
The Kleins settled in Newport Beach and soon became involved in the Jewish community.  Klein helped to establish Heritage Pointe, the home for seniors living in the Jewish tradition, serving as its president for three years as well as board member and staff writer for its quarterly publication.  He was elected to University Synagogue’s board of directors many years ago and continued to contribute his marketing and promotional skills until his passing.  His latest commitment was as a volunteer in Jewish Federation & Family Service’s Reading Partners program.
In the broader community, Klein’s interests were many.  A docent at the Orange County Museum of Art for twenty-three years, he introduced thousands of schoolchildren to art and made artworks more accessible to all who took his tours.  With his wife, he underwrote several major exhibitions.  Klein served on the Dean’s Leadership Council of UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts and was also involved with the Merage Foundation.
Klein’s passions included travel, bike riding, tennis, bridge, his many friends and most of all, his family: Barbara, their son, daughter and four grandchildren, as well as their spouses.


  1. I worked with Vic Klien at Ford Motor Company in the Rennaisance Center in 1980. What a wonderful man! I was a young Ford trainee and Vic took a lot of time with me, once taking me out on his sailboat. Today, I was going through some of my collections and came upon four pencil drawings of Detroit scenes that Vic game me in 1980. I search the internet for Vic Kleing pencil artist and came upon this site. What a delight to find the photo of Vic and read about his life. I feel like a million dollars today because of having known him!!


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