Jasper Kleinjan, Sr.
Jasper Owen Kleinjan Sr., 85, Bismarck, North Dakota, passed away on December 6, 2016, at his home
A memorial service with scattering of ashes will be held in the spring.
Jasper was born on March 29, 1931, in Bismarck, North Dakota, to John and Leota (Landis) Kleinjan.
Jasper's childhood years were spent on the farm near Bentley, North Dakota. He graduated from Lemmon High School, attended NDSU and later received his BA from SDSU.
Jasper married Colleen Huber on September 22, 1957, in Mott, North Dakota. They had three children: Jasper, Jr., Jane and Stephanie.
After several years of having a wheat farm operation, Jasper went on to manage the ND State Prison Farm for five years. He then moved into education, where, as Department Chairman, he was instrumental in developing the Automotive Technology program at Bismarck State College.
As known to all, Jasper had many passions in life, and lived life to the fullest.
Jasper served two years in the US Army, spending the majority of his career on the National All Army Rifle Team. Jasper earned his Distinguished Marksmanship Badge in 1956. Jasper qualified in rank for the President's Hundred Rifle Team six times.
In 1956, Jasper shot the national record in the 200 yard Rapid Fire High Power Service Rifle Match. In 1958, Jasper won the National Civilian Service Rifle Championship, which included the award of a Presentation Grade M-1 Grand Rifle. In 1959, Jasper won the national level National Guard High Power Service Rifle Championship, using the presentation grade M-1 rifle awarded the previous year. During the span of his marksmanship career, Jasper was also the winner of many, many rifle championships at both the state and regional level.
Jasper then further developed his love of motorcycles. During these years, he initiated many competitive events in western North Dakota. He competed in many motorcycle events around the nation, winning several of them. In 1967, Jasper won the Class A high out-of-state trophy in the two-day 500 mile Greenhorn Enduro in the California Mojave desert.
Mechanical aptitude came early in Jasper's life. At age eight, his father found him in the farm machine shop, disassembling the farm truck transmission. He was intent on seeing how the gears worked and fit together. Jasper's comment to his father was, "Don't worry, Dad, I'll put it back together." And, he did.
Jasper's love for the engine lasted his entire life, culminating in the restoration of the 1952 Fabulous' Hudson Hornet coupe, a car he enjoyed for the rest of his life.
Next to his wife, Colleen, Jasper's all-time love was music, having started that love playing music with his father in the 1940's and lasting his entire life. Jasper played in numerous jazz bands, also while hosting Prairie Public Radio's Dixieland North' for nineteen years.
Jasper is survived by his wife, Colleen, and three children: Jasper, Jr. (Delores) Kleinjan, Jane (Duane) Hampson and Stephanie Kleinjan. He is also survived by six grandchildren: Jasper Kleinjan III, Jacob Kleinjan, Marshall Hampson, Parker Hampson, Donovan Ross and Connor Ross.
Jasper was preceded in death by his parents, John and Leota Kleinjan, and his brother and sister-in-law, John, Jr. and Betty Kleinjan.
Go to www.eastgatefuneral.com to share memories of Jasper and to sign the online guestbook.