Aileen S. Klein, 70, administrative assistant for Montgomery County

December 01, 2004|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Services for Aileen S. Klein, 70, an administrative assistant whose artistic endeavors included poetry, painting, sculpture and photography, will be held at 12:30 p.m. today at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis, 333 Dubois Road.

Mrs. Klein, a longtime Pasadena resident, was on her way home from a family Thanksgiving celebration Friday evening when she was injured in a collision on Ritchie Highway. She died Saturday morning at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Aileen Sandra LeRoy was born and raised in East Orange, N.J. She attended Upsala College there and worked as a programmer for Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J., before moving to Arnold in 1975.

She earned an associate's degree in 1984 from Anne Arundel Community College and a bachelor's degree in computer science 10 years later from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Mrs. Klein had been employed for more than 15 years as an administrative assistant for the Montgomery County Health Department.

Artistically gifted, she enjoyed working in her home studio. She also was an avid hiker, camper and biker.

She found kindred spirits as a member of Poets of the Green Tables, a group that has met occasionally since 1997 at the Barnes & Noble bookstore and cafe in Annapolis. The group takes its name from the green-topped tables where they sit sipping tea or coffee and discussing their work.

Mrs. Klein took inspiration for her poetry from nature, family life and children, friends said.

"In her poems, Sandy was not afraid to go deep inside herself and explore feelings of loss, longing, old dreams. And that's what a good poem is all about ... a willingness to journey deep within," said Shirley Brewer, a retired Anne Arundel schools speech therapist who founded the poetry group.

Ms. Brewer praised her friend's work and especially liked "Spring Wind," a poem that Mrs. Klein had designed in the shape of a raindrop. "Her poems had beautiful images and were full of hope."

Mrs. Klein's poetry was unpublished, Ms. Brewer said, adding, "She wrote for the joy of writing."

She had been an active member of the Annapolis Unitarian church.

Mrs. Klein is survived by a son, Jeffrey Lee Klein of Brooklyn Park; two daughters, Jennifer Anne Weems of Huntingtown, Calvert County, and Diana Lee Klein of Annapolis; her mother, Gladys LeRoy of Osprey, Fla.; and six grandchildren. Her 26-year marriage to Richard E. Klein ended in divorce.

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