Obituary of John Thompson Klein
KLEIN, Tommy (April 20, 1995-December 13, 2023)
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our son, brother, uncle, nephew and cousin, Tommy. After a life filled with incredibly unique experiences, Tommy returned to Mother Nature peacefully at home on December 13, 2023 at 28 years old.
He is incredibly missed by his mother and father, Larry and Heather Klein, his brothers, Jamie (Shania) and Peter (Sarah), his sister, Kathleen (Steve), his Nonie, Diana Thompson, his aunts and uncles, beloved cousins on both the Klein/Hunt and Thompson/Kajiura/Wearring sides, and dear friends.
Tommy possessed a wisdom of the universe and the natural world far beyond his years. He was a researcher and lifelong learner of many, many topics. His towering intellect gave him the ability to synthesize large amounts of complex information and to distill it down so as to be able to explain it to others.
One of Tommy’s many passions and topics of deep study was the martial arts (kung fu, muay thai, jiujitsu, tai chi and chi gong, to name a few). He shared this passion with his two beloved brothers, Jamie and Peter. Peter says of Tommy that he had amassed the knowledge of a 30-year practitioner over the mere 13 years that Tommy practiced. He was a sought-after coach and instructor because of his gift for breaking down techniques and making subtle corrections to dramatically change a student’s performance.
He always had a bucket list on the go and realized several of those entries despite chronic illness since the age of 14. He travelled to China to study martial arts in the Wu Dang mountains, training with traditional masters and meeting many like-minded international friends for life. He continued his travels to Japan, Cambodia and Thailand, relishing in the anonymity and novelty of travelling abroad and soaking in the history and scenery, some of which were the lands of the birthplace of various martial arts.
He was also a gifted and intuitive athlete in hockey, football and soccer. Tommy trained his body to a high level of fitness that astounded us all, which permitted him to live a more fulsome life despite his chronic illness. He adhered to a diet of fresh organic and vegan food that he would prepare religiously for himself. He was a creative and knowledgeable cook who had a keen interest in growing his own food in the smallest of spaces, if necessary.
An intensely private person and avid writer, his family has had a glimpse of his gifted writings that he kept meticulously in journals.
Tommy had only one other passion greater than martial arts and Mother Nature and that was his twin brother Jamie, Jamie’s daughter, his older brother, Peter, and his older sister, Kathleen. Jamie is Tommy’s soul mate and confidante. Tommy admired Jamie and the life he is creating. He was a warrior fighting through adversity and pain in order to remain by Jamie’s side for as long as he did. Peter has been Tommy and Jamie’s constant companion from the very beginning of their lives. He relishes in his role as their older brother, spending as much time with them playing mini-sticks, skateboarding, “tech decks,” Mario Kart, wrestling, reading, martial arts and advising them as time allows. All three brothers began their adult lives in Ottawa in close proximity to each other. Kathleen has been his second mother from the time Tommy and Jamie came into this world together. Her devotion and relentless attention and love showered upon them every moment of every day until they were 10 years old when she left to travel and begin her university life led Larry and Heather to reflect that it was a good thing there were two babies, as one baby
wouldn’t have been able to withstand all that love and attention. Tommy was always grateful for his siblings’ support, love and understanding whenever he needed it.
Although Tommy and Jamie are individuals in their own right, they are connected in a way most of us will never understand. Tommy was so excited and proud of the gym that Jamie and his business partner, Keisha, established in North Bay at Coalition Martial Arts. He spoke highly of all the members and instructors at the gym, especially Jamie. They are a family to him as well. Tommy loved to instruct there when his health allowed, and his dream was to join them in running the gym when his health returned. The birth of Jamie and Shania’s daughter last August gave Tommy another part of Jamie to love and he would painstakingly and enthusiastically shop for and choose the most educational gifts for her that he could find. He spent many hours reading to her from books he gave her and studying her every move.
Larry and Heather had the honour of caring for their son, Tommy, at their home over the last several months. They are grateful for the many conversations with him in the small hours of the morning or driving around during the night when he couldn’t sleep. He was full of gratitude for everything that they would do for him, despite his discomfort. They will miss his quiet demeanour and his wise reflections. His loss to them and the entire family leaves an unspeakable hole in their lives and they are incredibly saddened at this time.
If you are among Tommy’s circle of friends, know well that he cherished those friendships and appreciated all of your time with him. He often wished aloud that he could have spent more time with you.
The Klein family, especially Tommy, are forever grateful to Midlothian Farms, a small family-run farm in Burk’s Falls. Tom and Brenda have provided the Klein family with fresh, organic food for many years and have been part of Tommy’s healing journey from the beginning. Tommy, of all people, appreciates the hard work that goes into farming. The Kleins want to give back to Midlothian Farms any chance they get because of the incredible impact the farm’s food has had on all their health, and especially Tommy’s.
Tommy respectfully asks that the only donations that are made on his behalf are to Midlothian Farms. Donations can be made by e-transfer to email@example.com which will go towards tending the farm, fixing farm equipment, buying supplies and ensuring generations to come can benefit from the farm’s beautiful food. Alternatively, or additionally, the farm is always in need of helping hands to tend the gardens and assist with harvesting.
Visitation will take place on Friday, December 22, 2023 at Martyn Funeral Home in North Bay from 2:00-4:00 PM and from 6:00-8:00 PM. A celebration of life will take place in late spring 2024.