SCVNews.com | Charlotte Kleeman, longtime community leader, dies at 85
Charlotte Kaup Kleeman, 1996 Santa Clarita Valley Woman of the Year, died on Thursday May 19, 2022 in Valencia. She was 85 years old.
Kleeman was born outside of Chicago on February 15, 1937, to Walter H. Kaup, who was a locksmith, and Beulah M. Kaup. The family moved to North Hollywood where Charlotte attended school. She then graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles. Kleeman was employed as a social worker before earning two teaching degrees.
In 1961, she married Frank L. Kleeman, who was an attorney and later a workers’ compensation judge. The couple moved to the Santa Clarita Valley in 1965 and made Newhall their home.
Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste remembers Kleeman as a tireless worker, who continued to give back no matter how many awards she won.
“You know, some people, once they’re recognized, they’re done with the job. They just stop. said Weste. “Not Charlotte. The more awards she received, the more accolades she received, and she had many, the harder she worked and the more she gave back. That’s what made her so exceptional.
Weste described Kleeman as a very quiet and humble woman, who didn’t like to talk about herself. But he was someone who was extremely generous with his time and with her husband Frank who died in 2016, the couple helped so many in the arts, education and local nonprofits.
“You know, you can’t mention Charlotte without mentioning Frank. They were just a remarkable couple, who worked extraordinarily hard to make this community a better place,” Weste said. “Even after Frank died, she continued to work hard and give back and be relevant. You know it must have been really hard for her given the circumstances. We were really lucky to have her and she will be greatly missed.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Kleeman served on the board and executive council of the Boys and Girls Club of SCV where she was active in fundraising for the club. She also chaired the Ambassadors program of the SCV Chamber of Commerce.
Jim Ventress remembers Kleeman on the board that hired him as executive director of the SCV Boys and Girls Club in 1985.
“They had a lot of questions and I had questions,” Ventress said Thursday. “It turned out to be a good choice for me and the club.”
In his 29 years at the helm of the club, Ventress recalls the first auction he attended at CalArts.
“Charlotte was an excellent volunteer and put in many hours,” he said. “She was just real and had a caring soul. The number of hours she put in simply cannot be measured.
Carol Rock, who has volunteered with Kleeman at these auctions, said Kleeman was someone who was dedicated to his community.
“Charlotte was a lovely woman, generous with her time and talents,” said Carol Rock, another Boys and Girls Club auction volunteer. “It was always for the benefit of his community. She will be missed.
By the mid-1990s, Kleeman had joined the board of directors of the SCV Child & Family Center, the Santa Clarita Arts Council, the board of directors of the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center, AAUW, and College of the Canyons. Foundation where she served on numerous foundations. committees.
Kleeman also served as president of Taste of the Town, the SCV Child & Family Center’s primary fundraiser; served on the board of the SCV Repertory Theatre; and was Chairman of the Board of the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center for two years. She has also served on the board of the Children’s Dental Health Foundation.
In 2002, Charlotte and her husband Frank were voted “Philanthropists of the Year” by the California Community College System. In 2005, Charlotte and Frank were honored as recipients of the COC’s Silver Spur Community Service Award. She was also elected to the Board of Governors of Occidental College Alumni.
Gloria Mercado-Fortine, a friend and volunteer by her side for many SCV nonprofits, said Charlotte and her husband “are a great team. They were so generous and gave of their time and effort.
“The whole community loved them, they touched so many organizations,” Mercado-Fortine said. “She was a caring and wonderful volunteer in the community. She also had a great sense of humor and loved to have a good time.
She was predeceased by her husband Frank in 2016. She is survived by her son Jeff, her daughters Shari, Robin and Suzette and numerous grandchildren.
Staff writer Pearl Obispo contributed to this story.