Paul Kluk died May 9, 2011, in Grass Valley.
Paul was a generous and genial man who made friends everywhere he went. He was an avid gardener, and often shared the bounty of his gardens with friends and neighbors.
Paul was born in Hudson, Pa., on February 29, 1920, to Sebastian and Julia Kluk. He was one of 16 children. Upon completion of high school, he was given a football scholarship to the University of Georgia. He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox as a catcher in 1942 and played that summer in their farm system. He graduated in 1943. As he often put it, he received his diploma in one hand and his Navy orders in the other.
For the last two years of WWII, he served in the Pacific on destroyers as a fighter director, earning the rank of lieutenant. At the close of the war, he married Dorothy Oliver, a registered nurse, in Hawaii. Their marriage lasted 51 years until her death in 1996.
Following the war, Paul taught high school and played professional baseball in the minor leagues for three years. He and Dorothy then travelled west and settled in Eureka. He worked in lumber mills for 13 years, working his way up from sweeping the floor to foreman. He returned to teaching in 1963 and taught high school math and coached football and baseball for 21 years in Albany, Ore., and Crescent City.
After he retired, the couple moved to Davis to be near their son Michael and his family. He moved to Grass Valley with his son and daughter-in-law in 2008.
He is survived by his son Michael; daughter-in-law Susan Nelson-Kluk; granddaughter Amanda Kluk of Belmont; granddaughter Sonya Redican and great-grandson Nathaniel Redican of San Diego; sister Anna Schwalb of Tom’s River, N.J.; and numerous nephews and nieces.
He was a devoted Catholic all of his life. A mass and celebration of his life will be offered on Saturday, June 25, at Saint James Catholic Church in Davis. The family asks that any contributions in his name be made to the Catholic Relief Services at http://www.crs.org/donate or P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21203-7090.