Fred Jacob Klinkenberger Jr. passed away peacefully on April 21, 2023. With our hands on his heart and love in ours, wife Stephanie and children Justine, Graeme and Natalie were with him as his soul departed on a new journey.
Fred’s storied life began in Klietz, Germany where he was born Manfred Michael Wolfgang Schlameus to the late Evelyn Ursula Johanna and Friedrich Wilhelm Schlameus. Fred was adopted by the late Fred J. Klinkenberger when he was six, and he grew up living both in the USA and Germany with his Air Force family.
Fred was a devoted husband to Stephanie. He adored his children Justine Woodward and son-in-law Woody (Virginia Beach, VA), Graeme Klinkenberger (Auckland, New Zealand), and Natalie Brogan and son-in-law Bobby (Virginia Beach, VA), and his grandchildren Emerson, Dean and Liam (Woodward), and Rayner, Nina and Beau (Brogan). He is also survived by his two sisters and their families: Sylvia Covello of Denver, CO and Sylvia Rühl of Frankfurt, Germany, and his extended in-law family in New Zealand and Australia.
Fred spent 23 years proudly serving his country in the United States Navy (USN) mostly as a broadcaster, photojournalist, and writer-editor. Duty stations included Italy, Japan, Guam and the Middle East. Some Navy assignments included the Military Photojournalism Program at Syracuse University, Cuba, and even the North Pole. After retiring from the USN he continued as a writer-editor for the Navy with the Civil Service for 13 years.
Retirement life was full. Since he had more time for reading, Fred eagerly pursued his interest in World War II history. Many hours were also spent volunteering with WHRO Voice, the Virginia Air and Space Science Center and working as an usher at the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center. “Opa” was passionate about supporting his grandchildren at their school and sporting events. Most of all, he loved being with his family and friends for any occasion: cookouts, celebrations and holidays.
His spark and colorful personality are dearly missed. It is always with a smile and much laughter that we remember the stories of his memorable life.
We are deeply comforted knowing Fred’s final gift was his tissue donation to benefit others.
A Celebration of Fred’s Life will be held at Altmeyer Funeral Home Southside Chapel (5033 Rouse Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23462) on Saturday, May 13, 2023 at 2:00 p.m
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in his honor can be made to the Norfolk SPCA https://norfolkspca.com/donate-veterinary-funds/.