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Dolores "De" Jane (Skelton) KlockeDecember 13, 1929 ~ April 3, 2017 (age 87)
Dolores Jane Klocke, 87, died peacefully Monday, April 3 at Renaissance Village nursing facility. She was the eldest daughter of Lee and Ildra Becht Skelton. Born in Geneseo, Il.,
De graduated from Port Byron high school in Illinois and earned a Bachelor's Degree from Western Illinois University. She began her career in education, teaching English at Erie High School in Erie, Il. In 1952 she flew to Honolulu to marry Edward Klocke, her college sweetheart who was stationed there, serving in the U.S. Marine corps. In 1954 they moved stateside to Blue Island, Il, Ed's hometown. While there, De taught English at Carl Sandburg High School and earned a Master of Science degree with major in counseling from Northwestern University.
The Klockes moved to Fort Wayne in 1962 where De began a 36-year career with Fort Wayne Community Schools as head of the counseling department at North Side High School. She retired from FWCS in 1998.
A professional in every respect, De served both youth and the community at large. In 1998, then Governor Frank O'Bannon honored her with a Sagamore of the Wabash award for her contributions to education. She was a longtime board member of Sister Cities International, an organization promoting positive relationships among the world's youth. She was president of the Questa Foundation for Education, a board member of the Allen County Public Library, member of Fort Wayne Art League, active in the American Association of Counseling and Development (AACD), and president of Indiana Personnel and Guidance Association (IPGA). As a result of her significant contributions to youth, AACD named her the nation's Counselor of the Year in 1982.
Throughout her career, De was an innovator, serving youth in a variety of capacities. She managed the foreign exchange program funded by the Dave Hefner Foundation for qualifying North Side students to live with families and study abroad. The Hefner program, in tandem with the national AFS (American Field Service) student exchange program, made possible some of the kinds of enriching experiences De believed important to youth. Throughout her career, hundreds of students benefitted from these exchanges. The Klockes also welcomed a number of students into their home, including those here who needed help and those visiting and studying from foreign countries.
At North Side, De created two programs--Peer Facilitators and Pursuits--that broke new territory. Peer Facilitators was an initiative aimed at helping students help each other. She trained a small group of upperclassmen to serve as Peer Facilitators. These students steered those who asked for help or direction to the community agencies and programs that could best serve them.
Developed by De and funded by the Olin B. and Desta Schwab Foundation, Pursuits was a multi-million dollar career counseling program. Based on a newspaper article about her work, Schwab asked her to create a program to help area students determine realistic and promising career paths.
De had two passions beyond her family and career. She loved her Schnauzers and she loved travel. The Klockes traveled throughout Europe, Japan, Brazil, and the Bahamas. They also traveled throughout the U.S. including a trip to Alaska. In the 1970s, De and a friend hiked a portion of the Appalachian Trail in Vermont. At home in Indiana, she enjoyed playing bridge in two bridge clubs and spending time at various Indiana lakes.
Survivors include: sister: Lucille Mumma (Carbon Cliff, IL); nieces: Beth Jasper (Eugene, Oregon), Julie Perkins (Rapid City, IL), Aimee Vermeulen and Kathy Young (Port Byron, IL), nephews: Tim Jasper (Marshall, VA), David Jasper (Cordova, IL), Jeff and Jon Mumma (Port Byron, IL) and eight grandnieces and two grandnephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, sister Catherine Jasper and brother-in-law Virgil Mumma. Her husband Edward died April 11, 2017.
A memorial service will take place in late spring with details to be announced at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made out to North Side High School Alumni Association, (with De Klocke Scholarship in memo line), 475 East State Blvd., Ft. Wayne, IN 46805. Other gifts and cards may be directed to Northern Indiana Funeral Home, 1319 Magnavox Way, Ft. Wayne, IN 46804.