Samuel Herbert Kleinman
Samuel Herbert Kleinman
  • January 7, 1924 - March 28, 2017
  • San Diego, California

Share This Obituary

Samuel Herbert Kleinman passed away in the early morning hours of March 28th, 2017, in his home in San Diego, California. He lived a full life for 93 years, and remained positive and thankful to the end. Sam was predeceased by his beloved wife, Nan, on September 18, 2014, after 61 years of marriage.

Sam was born to Samuel Kleinman and Gertrude Kleinman (Goodman) on January 7th, 1924, in Cleveland, Ohio. As he shared his father’s first name, he became known as “Herbie”. Herbie’s early years in Cleveland were full with intellectual pursuits, nature explorations, golfing with his father, his beloved dog King, cousins and family. His idyllic life changed when, at age 10, his father passed away of a sudden heart attack. Herbie then became “Sam”, in honor of his father.

Sam’s entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic began to show itself during his early adolescence, when he took on a variety of jobs, including newspaper delivery, leading outdoor road trips, and doing band performances. His musical talents and interests developed at this time – playing first the violin, then the saxophone, and eventually forming a band of jazz musicians.

Never a fan of the cold and snow, Sam moved to Berkeley, California, where he attended UC Berkeley, and worked at the shipyards in Oakland. He graduated in 1945 with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering and immediately went to work, first at a refrigeration company and then at Marchant Calculating company, where he proudly developed a mechanical patent for making the calculating machines work better.

In 1948, Sam took the “trip of his life”, one that would alter his life in immeasurable

ways. He was an explorer at heart and traveled to Lima, Peru, and then to Santiago, Chile. In Santiago, while staying at a boarding house, he found instant friendships and camaraderie with other young, adventurous engineers. He fell in love with the city, the Chilean people, the Andes Mountains, and a few years later, Nan, (Nanny) the love of his life. In Santiago, Sam began setting up shop, initially fixing refrigerators. He applied his strong work ethic, working very long hours (much to Nan’s chagrin!) and established Resco Corporation. There, he applied his engineering foundation and built cold storage rooms, and later metal lockers for schools (the first to do so in Chile). Sam and Nan’s two daughters, Carol and Patricia, were born in Chile. Sam was devoted to his family and particularly loved sharing time with them outdoors – hiking, fishing, and catching butterflies. His 'adventure' in Chile lasted 22 years!

In 1970 he moved back to the U.S. with his family and settled in San Diego - a city that he loved, and became his home for the rest of his life. Sam began his next work phase, buying Home Improver Supplies in Pacific Beach, later turning it into an Ace Hardware franchise, and growing the business. Never being one who sought the life or leisure or retirement, he worked at “the store” until a year before his passing!

Throughout his life, Sam's work never got in the way of friendships and relationships. If someone was in trouble, Sam was always there to help. He was known by all as a true gentleman and by his employees as kind, generous, and fair-minded.

Sam is survived by his daughters, Carol Feinstein, of San Diego, and Patricia Palley (and husband Larry) of Sacramento. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Jonathan, Asa, Andrea and Kyla.

If you are inspired to make a contribution in Sam’s name, the following were three of his favorite charities: The Southern Poverty Law Center, Habitat for Humanity and Doctors without Borders.