Friday, September 14, 2001

Educator committed life to
helping improve others



By Lisa Asato

Evelyn Klinckmann, a former state Department of Education official and assistant to former Lt. Gov. Jean King, died Aug. 26 at her Bainbridge Island, Wash., home. She was 75.

Born in Elmhurst, Ill., in 1926, Klinckmann was an educator by training.

She earned a Ph.D. in philosophy and education in 1975 at the University of Chicago and taught at the University of Wyoming and the San Francisco College for Women.

In 1982, while serving as King's administrative assistant, Klinckmann was appointed to assistant superintendent of the Office of Instructional Services by schools Superintendent Donnis Thompson.

She was an "outstanding educator," said Thompson, Klinckmann's former student at George Williams College at the University of Chicago.

"I always admired her in terms of her knowledge of education and commitment to education, quality of life and quality of life for her students in general," Thompson said.

As assistant superintendent, Klinckmann was developing a multifaceted approach to education that emphasized the learner, learning environment, resources and facilities, Thompson said.

Klinckmann went on to serve as the administrative officer of the Environment and Policy Institute at the East-West Center from 1984 to 1992.

Former colleague Terry Rambo remembers Klinckmann as an organizer with diplomatic skills.

"Without her the system would have literally ground to a halt," said Rambo, who was Klinckmann's boss for several months before she retired.

She served during "quite a difficult period," said Rambo, a professor at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Kyoto University in Japan.

"She managed to a walk a difficult line between power holders and people working for them and managed to keep both satisfied -- not an easy job."

Klinckmann was also an environmentalist who participated in Earth Day and played a key role in establishing a recycling program at the East-West Center, he said.

After retiring in 1982, Klinckmann moved to Bainbridge Island, where she served as chairwoman of the planning commission, among other civic activities.

Klinckmann is survived by sisters Muriel Klinckmann and Dorothy Mock; nieces Kathy Klein, Cindy Shuttleworth and Liz Hoecker; and nephew Douglas Mock.

Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Sept. 23 at Eagle Harbor Congregational Church on Bainbridge Island. Donations may be made to the Northwest Environment Watch Positive Futures Network and Hospice of Kitsap County.

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