Art Klein, longtime East Hampton resident, died at his home in Acra, NY, on Sunday, June 10, from lung cancer. He was 77 years old.
Art was born to Louis and Miriam Klein on August 2, 1940. He grew up in Harrison, NY, alongside his two sisters, Honie Ann and Toby Jo.
For much of the 1960s and ‘70s, Klein had a diverse career as a writer and marketing executive for organizations such as IBM, J. Walter Thompson, Scholastic, and The New York Times. He wrote humor essays for publications including Bill Buckley’s National Review and Al Goldstein’s Screw.
In 1982, Klein moved to East Hampton with his wife at the time, writer Dava Sobel, where they raised their two children, Zoë and Isaac. In 1996, he founded the non-profit Good Fathers are Good Men, which strove to give a stronger voice to fathers. Approximately half a million “Good Fathers are Good Men” bumper stickers were distributed without charge, and some can still be seen on cars riding around in East Hampton.
In 1992, Klein fell in love with visual artist Pat Feinman, whom he married in 1997. From 1998 to 2015 they ran Functional Sculpture, a tile and kitchen cabinet business on Main Street in Catskill, NY. Their business was pivotal in turning Catskill around to become a successful renaissance village. In 2014, they founded their online business, The Younger Looking Beard.
Klein loved humor. At the age of 60, he tried his hand at standup comedy and won the Insult Comedy Olympics at Caroline’s on Broadway.
Klein had a passion for learning, and he never stopped. In 2004, after a life as a Jewish atheist, he became fascinated with Jesus and Christian theology. In 2008, he received his Master of Ministry from American Mission Teams.
He wrote the books Dad and Son, Proof That Jesus is God, Spinning Jesus, and Chronic Pain: The Complete Guide to Relief. He co-wrote a series of books with Sobel about arthritis and back pain relief, including Backache: The Complete Guide to Relief, which was a Book of the Month Club selection. At the time of his death, he was writing two books, one about the “violent side” of Jesus, and one about anti-Semitism.
Klein is survived by his wife Pat, his sister Honie Ann, his children Isaac and Zoë, his stepsons Luke and David, David’s son Eli, and numerous friends and family. Art left behind a legacy of love and he will be deeply missed.
A memorial service was held at Bates & Anderson – Redmond & Keeler Funeral Home in Hudson, NY on Saturday, June 16. Those who remember him fondly and wish to honor him are encouraged to make a gift to his favorite charity, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.