It was complications from cancer treatment that claimed him but long-time Wood Mountain Mayor Michael Klein, who died on Thursday, Sept. 21, was no stranger to fighting even against impossible odds. While few battles ended in outright victory he rarely lost simply because Michael refused to give up.
He fought to save the rail line and the steel rails still run from one end of Wood Mountain to the other, although they are gone on either side of his village. He fought to save the school he used to teach at and when the board still shut it down he fought to repurpose the building bringing various enterprises to the community. It still stands ready.
He fought to save Wood Mountain’s water source through multiple correspondence with the provincial government. He guarded the community as fire chief, training new fire fighters. He fought for Saskatchewan’s native grass as an original member of the committee to establish the national park. He fought for the federal and provincial Liberal Parties, as a candidate and volunteer, driving thousands of miles and attending countless meetings and events, never giving up.
Whether it was tilling his garden in his own corner of paradise, fixing computers in his basement, tinkering with tractors in his garage, or solar panels in his yard, Michael was determined to help neighbours, his students, his community, his province and his planet. He couldn’t pass an animal in distress without helping or a case of injustice or incongruous government policy that didn’t cause Michael to grab his lance and charge off to battle.
Michael was first of seven children born in Lafleche to William and Margaret (Dumelie) Klein on May 16, 1946 and was married 39 years to Edith (Thomas). He is also survived by his sons John (Jerilyn Nixon/Dominic and Maxim), Brian (Karen [Sawyer]/Micah and Judah) and his daughter Angela Carnall (Jay/Lydia). Prayers were held on Monday, Sept. 25 at 7:00 p.m. Funeral Mass was celebrated on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. at Ste Radegonde Roman Catholic Church in Lafleche.