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Joseph John Wojtyla Klenczar

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“Capt. Klenczar was a good man. His work ethics were second to none. He always had a positive attitude and he saw the best and everyone. It was a...Read More »
1 of 12 | Posted by: Claude Davidson - Galveston, TX

“I didn't know Joe well, but we had some good encounters shortly after we'd all graduated. I remember Joe fondly--big soul. My condolences go out to...Read More »
2 of 12 | Posted by: Larry Chilton - Plantersville, TX

“Please know Joe will be sincerely missed. He always had a ready smile and such a kind disposition. We need more people like him in this world. He was...Read More »
3 of 12 | Posted by: Donna Lang - Galveston, TX

“I worked with Joe at A&M. He was always so helpful and kind and never hesitated to help when needed . Very kind and good spirited. It was a...Read More »
4 of 12 | Posted by: Geri Quintero - Galveston, TX

“Capt. Klenczar's calm, kind, and patient personality was immediately felt when speaking with him whether it be work-related or just about life in...Read More »
5 of 12 | Posted by: Donna Ferrer - Galveston, TX

“Linda and I had invited Joe to join my family, at my sisters beach house in Galveston, for a couple of holiday dinners. He said he had big family...Read More »
6 of 12 | Posted by: Buddy Fredrickson - Galveston, TX

“Capt. Joe was such a patient and accepting person. It was a pleasure sailing with him. ”
7 of 12 | Posted by: Andrew Moore - Friendswood, TX

“Joe was a very dear friend. He was a quiet, unassuming, professional mariner. His loyalty, honesty and work ethic were beyond reproach. I have met...Read More »
8 of 12 | Posted by: Scott Putty - Galveston, TX

“I count it a great treasure to have known and sailed for Capt. Joe Klenczar. He was an exceptional person -- humble, kind, and an ever-patient...Read More »
9 of 12 | Posted by: Thomas Brown - Washington, DC

“Joe and I were co-workers on board the General Rudder and became good friends. I will miss him and his dry humor as well as his intensive work ethic ”
10 of 12 | Posted by: Max Teare - Galveston, TX

“Funny the things we remember about folks: When Joe Klenczar walked into our house in April 2013, it had been 30 years since I saw him...Read More »
11 of 12 | Posted by: Carolyn Meehan Putty - TX

“I thought, when I dropped Capt. Joe off, at Houston Hobby, for his flight home to Detroit, in late August, surely he would be back soon. When I got...Read More »
12 of 12 | Posted by: Richard Chase - Vallejo, CA


Joseph J.W. Klenczar, age 60, died Monday, January 30, 2017 at St. John Providence Hospital. Joseph was born in Detroit on January 3, 1957 to the late Norman Anthony Klenczar and Delores Antionette Slezak (nee Czajkowski).

Texas A&M University at Galveston announces the passing of Captain Joseph J.W. Klenczar. Capt. Klenczar was the Master of the Texas A&M Maritime Academy training ship General Rudder. He died as a result of complications from surgery on Monday evening, Jan. 30 at the age of 60.

Capt. Klenczar was a 1979 graduate of Texas A&M at Galveston with a degree in Marine Sciences. He joined the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots immediately after graduation and sailed in all deck licensed positions including several years as master of container and RORO (roll-on/roll-off) vessels. He served as master of vessels on voyages to the Persian Gulf in support of U.S. Armed Forces during Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. He returned to the Texas A&M University Maritime Academy in 2013 as chief mate and then master of the General Rudder.

"Joe was my dear friend and I will miss him," said Capt. Scott Putty, associate professor of the Practice of Marine Transportation at Texas A&M Galveston. "Joe was a kind soul with an incredible work ethic and attention to detail. He was an excellent role model for the cadets."

"Scores of cadets will remember and benefit from the leadership of Capt. Klenczar," said Doug Palmer, interim chief operations officer at Texas A&M Galveston. "His knowledge and mastery of maritime skills have been passed on to our cadets. In that, Joe will live on in the cadets he trained and led so well."

Joe worked for many years as a captain of ocean-going ships. He had literally sailed across the world many times over delivering cargo ranging from everyday household goods to secret military cargo. Recently, he decided to plant his feet on solid ground and accepted a job with Texas A & M University where he would teach, what else...Maritime Studies. Joe was loving his new role and had made many friends with his new family at Texas A & M. This new position was truly his dream job, but unfortunately Joe would become ill in August 2016. His illness would bring him back to Michigan where his family could help him manage his health issues.

Joe leaves behind his mother, Delores Antionette Slezak and three sisters; Ann Marie Klenczar, Judith Marie Klenczar, and Diane (Dana) DeCoster.

A private family memorial service was held at the funeral home.

Please share memories of Joseph at his memory book above.