- Published on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 00:24
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Elizabeth Jeanne Matthes Kling, 80, of Heathsville, immediate past president of the Lancaster-Northumberland Interfaith Service Council and past-chairman of the Northumberland County Republican Committee, passed away Saturday (March 9) at the Medical College of VA in Richmond.
The cause of Mrs. Kling’s death was a severe head trauma suffered when she collapsed at her home Friday (March 8) as a result of multiple myeloma, for which she had been receiving chemotherapy for several years.
Known by all as Jeannie, Mrs. Kling also was called “Miss Jeannie” by many Northern Neck residents who received assistance from the Interfaith Service Council through her guidance. She was born in St. Louis, MO., on December 29, 1932, the daughter of Alfred R. and Elizabeth Marsden Matthes, of Festus, MO. For 36 years, she was the beloved life companion and wife of William Holt Kling, with whom she moved to the Northern Neck from Northern Virginia in 2002.
Mrs. Kling was the mother of Marc Joseph Flora, of Coleville, WA; Elizabeth Quinn Miller, of Magnolia, DE; Catherine Denise Miller Domby, of Columbia, MD; Richard Dennis Miller, of Elon, NC.; Carolyn Jeanne Miller, of Clarksville, TN, Anselm Dennis Miller, III, of Leola, PA; and Mary Alexandra Miller Arvai, of Stafford, VA.
She was the step-mother of Susan Carol Kling Monroe, of Northampton, PA; Kathy Nell Kling Pugh, of Baltimore, MD; Barbara Louise Kling, of Allentown, PA; Elizabeth Harper Kling, of South Charleston, WV; and William Holt Kling, Jr., of Saint Albans, WV. She had 11 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, 10 step-grandchildren; and a step-great-grandchild. One grandchild pre-deceased her in death. She also is survived by two sisters: Carol Lee Matthes Mallette, of Webster Groves, MO, and Trudy Matthes Barksdale, of Columbia, MD.
Last November, Northern Neck members of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary organization for women educators, honored Mrs. Kling with an Excellence in Service Award for establishing the Interfaith Service Council’s summer food program for children qualifying during the rest of the year for free or low-cost meals in the public schools of Northumberland and Lancaster Counties.
Ordained an elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Mrs. Kling had served on the Session of Clifton Presbyterian Church in Fairfax County. She was a member of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Kilmarnock, where she sang in the choir and served on the church’s Mission Outreach Committee. She also sang with The Chesapeake Chorale for one season, as well as for several years with The Community Singers in Burgess.
Mrs. Kling’s professional career was in government and politics. She was a former secretary of the10th Congressional District Republican Committee in Northern Virginia; had been a Capitol Hill legislative correspondent for then-Congressman Paul S. Trible (R., Va.) and managed his successful 1978 re-election campaign; served as the Capitol Hill administrative assistant for now-former Congressman Edward F. Weber (R., Ohio); and was a legislation specialist for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture in Washington. She was a partner with her husband in Kling USA Political Communications, a consultancy with clients across the United States and in several South American countries.
Mrs. Kling was a Family Life Benefactor Member of The Izaak Walton League of America, one of the world’s oldest conservation organizations, and was a former League national director for Virginia. She had served as secretary both of the League’s Virginia Division and its Arlington-Fairfax Chapter in Centreville and of the League’s Virginia Division. She devoted much of her time and energy to feeding birds and other wildlife in the woods at the Kling home on Conditt Pond, formed from a small tributary stream where the Potomac River meets the Chesapeake Bay.
Friends may call at 1 p.m. Saturday Mar. 16, 2013 at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 235 E. Church St., Kilmarnock, where a memorial service for Mrs. Kling will be held at 2 p.m. with the Rev. Dr. Thomas R. Coye, St. Andrews’ pastor, and the Rev. Dr., Judith E. Thomson, the church’s minister for congregational development, officiating. The St. Andrews Choir will participate.
Inurnment will be in St. Andrews’ Memorial Garden immediately after the service, followed by a reception for family and friends in St. Andrews’ Fellowship Hall.
In lieu of flowers, tax-deductible contributions in Mrs. Kling’s memory may be sent to the Lancaster-Northumberland Interfaith Service Council, P.O. Box 868, Kilmarnock, VA, 22482.