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Lew Von Kleeck

 
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Ken O



Joined: 05 Mar 2014
Posts: 112
City/Region: West Yellowstone
State or Province: MT
C-Dory Year: 1990
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Ravens' Roost
Photos: Ravens’ Roost
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2024 8:10 pm    Post subject: Lew Von Kleeck Reply with quote

We just learned that Lew Von Kleeck (Cat Claw) passed away on April 14. We are in Billings and will visit Doris later today. I do not know if Doris is monitoring Lew's C-Brats messaging, but we will send any related posts to Doris.

Ken & Claire
Ravens' Roost

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jkidd



Joined: 23 Oct 2006
Posts: 1622
City/Region: Northern, Utah
State or Province: UT
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Voyager
Photos: Voyager (JK)
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2024 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear about Lew. Rest in peace.
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colbysmith



Joined: 02 Oct 2011
Posts: 4560
City/Region: Madison
State or Province: WI
C-Dory Year: 2009
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: C-Traveler
Photos: C-Traveler and Midnight-Flyer
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2024 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our condolences to Doris and any other family members. Sad to see the passing of Lew. I first met him on the Snake and Columbia River cruise. He and I tended to travel together, both of us a little eccentric in our own ways. (Well, we were with a bunch of Californians on that trip, and were the only two not from California. Laughing ) Also traveled together on the Mississippi River. (Both these cruises hosted by Jim and Kath on Pounder.) I've also visited with him and Doris a few times when passing through Billings. He always enjoyed socializing on the dock (or at the Billings Cracker Barrel when I met them there on my trips through.) I've also visited with them some on Yellowstone Lake. Lew was an interesting character to talk to. Always current with the stock market! Just a fun guy to hang out with. RIP Lew! Colby
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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 20838
City/Region: Pensacola
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: thataway
Photos: Thataway
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2024 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ken, Thank you for letting us all know. We are so sorry to hear--and will contact Doris in the AM. We had not heard from her for some time--and were just talking about Doris and Lew a couple of days ago....

Lew was quite a guy and their company we enjoyed for many miles. What may not be known is that Lew was a DDS and gave up dentistry for On the Road trucking. He like to drive at night--sort of a "King of the Road". One of his favorite runs was basically down 395 to LA, make the delivery and turn around the same day.

I fondly remember a time when Lew could not get back aboard his boat. We "rescued him". Then a few hours (?) later he jumped in again, and thought he had it figured out--to be able to get aboard...nope, as we all (I don't remember who, but Colby may have also been involved..)circled around in our inflatables. Eventually we got him back aboard. The admonition was that he get a swim ladder. Low and behold, the next year when we met up; he had the Swim Ladder. It was a struggle to get aboard, but he made it....

He loved his boat, and he loved Montana. He will be missed.

Rest in Peace in the great sea in the sky.

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Bob Austin
Thataway
Thataway (Ex Seaweed) 2007 25 C Dory May 2018 to Oct. 2021
Thisaway 2006 22' CDory November 2011 to May 2018
Caracal 18 140 Suzuki 2007 to present
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Bluechablis



Joined: 17 Aug 2012
Posts: 173
City/Region: Redondo Beach
State or Province: CA
C-Dory Year: 2001
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Far C'r
Photos: Far C'r
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2024 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had quite a few adventures with Lew, a most interesting man and one of a kind. He lived his life to the fullest and on his own terms. It was a pleasure to have known him.
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Floyd & Eiko

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Bluechablis - 1992 NorSea 27
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Water Bill



Joined: 31 Mar 2007
Posts: 130
City/Region: Lake Keowee, SC
State or Province: SC
C-Dory Year: 2018
Vessel Name: Mystery Girl (Ranger Tug R-23)
Photos: Mystery Girl and C-Swell
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2024 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear about Lew’s passing. Quite the story teller. I spent time with Lew and Doris at Yellowstone Lake, Lake Powell and the St Johns River. We helped each other out several times. I remember eating crabs on the dock at Bridge Bay Marina that he brought back from Bellingham. I am sure he will be missed at Yellowstone.
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Mystery Girl, 2018 Ranger Tug R-23 2017 to present
C-Swell, 2003 C-Dory 22 2007 to 2017
Boston Whaler Super Sport 17 1986 to 2007
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Hunkydory



Joined: 28 Mar 2005
Posts: 2660
City/Region: Cokeville, Wyoming
State or Province: WY
C-Dory Year: 2000
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Hunkydory
Photos: Hunkydory-Jay-and-Jolee
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2024 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We first met Lew way back early in our C-Dory time, years before he finally got his Cat Claw. Lew, Yellowstone John & I had some really good times on the dock & out on Yellowstone Lake in those earlier years & then later with many of the others commenting here. He got hit by a terrible debilitating illness, but sure was lucky to have an angel in the form of Doris back in his life throughout this time. She, along with his indomitable spirit extended the life he loved to live, especially crabbing & summers at Yellowstone Lake by years longer than I & many others ever thought possible. Lew was a very unique character & will be missed greatly by many.

Doris, you have our ❤️ felt sympathy & admiration.

Jay & JoLee

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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 20838
City/Region: Pensacola
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: thataway
Photos: Thataway
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2024 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We talked with Doris this afternoon. She is keeping the boat, so it is possible we would see her at some gathering. We will be following up on that in the near future. Difficult time for her right now...
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Jim Gibson



Joined: 21 Feb 2006
Posts: 620
City/Region: Sacramento
State or Province: CA
C-Dory Year: 1998
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Pounder
Photos: Pounder
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2024 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got to know Dr. Lewis quite well. He went on all three of my expedition cruises.

• September 2021, “Mark Twain’s Big River C-Dory Cruise on the Upper Mississippi River” - Saint Paul, Minnesota to Grafton, Illinois, 24 Locks & Dams, 650 NM.

• September 2018, “The Nashville Skyline Cumberland & Tennessee Rivers C-Dory Cruise” - 300 NM down the Cumberland River and 450 NM up the Tennessee River, with a trip highlight going to Nashville by our own vessels.

• October 2017, “The Great Lewis and Clark Snake/Columbia Rivers C-Dory Cruise” - Lewiston, Idaho to Astoria, Oregon, 375 NM.

I think if I had done a fourth expedition cruise, he would have been on it also, as he was always the first to signup. Also, he was the only one who went on all three of these long-distance journeys with me.

Most recently, Lewis & Doris came on my “18th Annual Delta and Bay Extravaganza”. This was just two years ago, in May 2022.

He loved his boat, he loved Doris, and he loved Montana. He never held it against me that I was from California. He had a love/hate relationship with the Stock Market.

He was an Ivy League trained Dentist (I think from Princeton
Dental School), who instead preferred to be a long-distance, 18-wheeler truck driver. He was an independent spirit who lived on his own terms.

Dr. Lu loved cats, hence his boat name, Cat Claw.

Dr. Lu would always reach out to help me on our trips, and generously lent me equipment to fix things.

In the end, I think Parkinson’s Disease caught up with him. I was very sympathetic to his plight.

Today we just finished our 20th Delta and Bay trip, and we had our ceremonial breakfast together at the Stripper Café, in Rio Vista, California. We all had a toast in Lewis’ honor.

God Speed Doctor Lu,

Jim on M/V Pounder

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Catman



Joined: 30 Oct 2003
Posts: 1528
City/Region: Seattle
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 2017
C-Dory Model: 23 Venture
Vessel Name: Songbird (Bambina, 16')
Photos: Bambina
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2024 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I met Lew at a Bellingham gathering I think in 2017. I didn't know him well but enjoyed getting to know him that weekend. He and I had a similar affinity for cats, those fickle little buggers, and we laughed and shared a number of cat tales.

I'm saddened to learn he died. We'll miss him. My condolences to his family.
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MikeR



Joined: 21 Apr 2013
Posts: 475
City/Region: Mill Creek
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 2016
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Photos: MikeR
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2024 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haven't checked in here in ages, saddened to see this news first. I only met Lew at two of the Bellingham gatherings, where he loved to drive out during crabbing season. My parents were visiting on the dock during one of these gatherings, 2016 I believe, and also met Lew and chatted for hours. Every C-Brat event I attended after they would always ask me, "Is Lew going to be there?" To which I always replied "I sure hope so!". Thanks for the stories shared by others, my eyes were "sweating" reading them. My condolences to Doris, family and friends of Lew.
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