Long-Time Supporter Bud Klein Passes
May 6, 2011
Stockton, Calif. -
University of the Pacific and Stanford University philanthropist Bud Klein, whose efforts helped modernize two collegiate ballparks, passed away at his home on Thursday night. Klein was 83.
Klein was born July 28, 1927 and raised in Stockton, attending both the University of the Pacific and Stanford. He is survived by his wife, Jane, son, Tom and his wife, Kate Kelly; Kathy and her husband, Steve Jackson; son, Steve; and daughter in law, Diane. His son, Richard, proceeded him in death. He also is survived by many grandchildren.
A private family service will occur this week with a celebration of life planned at a later date early this summer.
Klein played football at Pacific for Amos Alonzo Stagg in 1946 and baseball in 1947 for the Tigers. He was then a fullback at Stanford in 1948 and 1949 and a leftfielder for the baseball team for two years. He later served on the Stanford Athletics Board from 1991 to 1994.
The 1949 football team under Marchmont Schwartz went 7-3-1. Klein earned all-conference honors in 1950 following the team's California Intercollegiate Baseball Association title under Everett Dean. Offered a contract with the Red Sox upon graduation, he instead, chose to raise a family with his wife Jane. The couple had four children, Kathy, Tom, Dick and Steve.
Both Stanford and Pacific benefited greatly from his family's generosity. The home parks for both the Tigers and Cardinal are named in the family's honor. In 2001, he set in motion Pacific's baseball field. Five years later, Klein Family Field, in 2006, opened. At Stanford, the varsity clubhouse (1996), press box (2001) and batting cages (2007) were all enhanced thanks to the family's efforts. In 2008, the Klein Family dedicated Klein Field at Sunken Diamond, in his honor.
Throughout his life, Bud and his family, never shied away from an idea. In the 1950's, he took up the sport of volleyball, a sport he never played, at the local YMCA in Stockton. He went onto win a national tournament, playing in the Pan Am Games and World Tournament in Paris.
Klein's ingenuity led to the wine cooler. The story goes, that one day, he and his friends were going to the beach during California's initial love affair with white wine. He mixed a batch of Chablis and juice and the women in the group loved it. With the main ingredient at a premium, he bought enough to fill his new company for three years. Within two years, it had 94 different flavors.
The family's roots go back to the turn of the century, when Bud's father, Sol, moved from New York City to California. Sol, came to Stockton in 1917 after growing up in an orphanage with his two brothers following the death of their mother in the Great Quake of 1906 in San Francisco. Sol established a16-team grammar school league, donated uniforms and helped found the Little League in Stockton. He was also the first president of the minor league, Stockton Ports.
"Bud had a passion for all sports," said Pacific baseball Coach Ed Sprague. "The thing about Bud is he was very successful in business, but if you ever met him, you'd never know it. He was very down-to-earth, and a very generous gentleman."