“Jehovah Has Been Very Good to Me!”
ON A very pleasant evening in March 1985, men and women in the Writing Department at the headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses in New York, U.S.A., took note of a milestone. Karl F. Klein had then served 60 years in the full-time ministry. Enthusiastically, Brother Klein said: “Jehovah has been very good to me!” He observed that Psalm 37:4 was a favorite Bible text of his. Later, he delighted all by playing his cello.
For the next 15 years, Brother Klein continued to work as a member of the writing staff and to serve on the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Then, on January 3, 2001, at the age of 95, Karl Klein faithfully completed his earthly course.
Karl was born in Germany. His family moved to the United States, and Karl grew up in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. While still young both Karl and his younger brother Ted became deeply interested in the Bible. Karl was baptized in 1918, and the thrilling things he heard at a convention of Bible Students in 1922 sparked in him a lifelong affection for the field ministry. He did not want a week to pass without sharing in the preaching work, doing so even in the final weeks of his life.
Karl became a member of the headquarters staff in 1925, working first in the printery. He had a real passion for music, and for some years he played the cello in an orchestra that was featured in Christian radio broadcasts. Thereafter, he worked in the Service Department, particularly enjoying his association with its overseer, T. J. Sullivan. Meanwhile, Ted married and with his wife, Doris, took up missionary service in Puerto Rico.
For half a century, Karl Klein worked in the Writing Department, where he made an outstanding contribution because he loved to do research and had a deep knowledge of the Bible. In 1963, Karl married Margareta, a German missionary who was serving in Bolivia. With her loving support, especially as he experienced health problems, he was able to be productive long past the age at which most retire. Karl’s natural candor, combined with a musician’s enthusiasm, contributed to memorable talks in congregations and at conventions. Not long before his death, he presided at a morning text discussion for the large New York Bethel family, to the delight and benefit of all.
Many regular readers of The Watchtower will recall Brother Klein’s life story, an appealing account of his experiences that was published in the issue of October 1, 1984. You will enjoy reading or rereading that account, bearing in mind that its writer spent yet another decade and a half as a faithful and devoted Christian.
As one of the Lord’s anointed, Brother Klein desired with all his heart to reign with Christ in heaven. We have every reason to believe that Jehovah has now fulfilled that desire.—Luke 22:28-30.
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Karl in 1943 with T. J. Sullivan and Ted and Doris
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Karl and Margareta, October 2000