Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Frank Kleeman
Judge, Workers Compensation Appeals Board
2002 SCV Man of the Year

Close friends and family have reported that Frank Kleeman, former SCV Man of the Year, died from conjestive heart failure early Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, at the UCLA Medical Center.

Kleeman, 82, was named Philanthropist of the Year for the Network of California Community Colleges and SCV Man of the Year in 2002.

"Frank was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend, and tireless supporter of virtually every charity in the SCV," his family said in statement through a close family friend, attorney Jeff Hacker. "He leaves a void, the depth of which, is immeasurable and irreplaceable. The family makes no further comment at this time and requests that their privacy be respected in their hour of grief. Funeral arrangements are pending."

Kleeman reportedly cherished the SCV Man of the Year award the most out of all his accomplishments.

In a bio from the SCV Man of the Year awards website, he said: "It has been a most meaningful award. It was recognition of years of silent service to the community. It was completely unexpected and I have great pride in joining the ranks of distinguished honorees before me."

Kleeman's widow, Charlotte, was the 1996 SCV Woman of the Year. Both were recipients in 2005 of College of the Canyons' annual award for philanthropy, the Silver Spur.

"College of the Canyons has lost an amazing friend with Frank's passing," said COC Chancellor Dianne G. Van Hook. "His belief in the power of education to change lives, and his integrity, characterized his more than 20 years of service on our Foundation Board of Directors.

"One could tell by seeing the twinkle in his eyes that he was committed to helping others and creating opportunities for our students to realize their dreams," Van Hook said. "He gave of himself and shared his expertise wherever it was needed. Whether it was starting the Library Associates, chairing the Scholarly Presentation Committee, developing our scholarship program, supporting the performing arts or tutoring and mentoring students; Frank valued people and relationships. He always left what he was involved with better than he found it. He was a great man.

"We will miss his passion, his dedication, his sincerity, his spirit and most of all, his mischievous wit."

Phil Ellis of the Newhall School Board chaired the city of Santa Clarita's Newhall Redevelopment Committee when Kleeman was a council-appointed member of it.

"It was joyful to have a fellow legal beagle on the committee," said Ellis, who is an attorney. "He loved this community, and I was always running into him and Charlotte at every charitable function."

Born March 20, 1933, Frank Kleeman grew up in Los Angeles and he served in the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Air Force and as a Los Angeles County deputy sheriff. In 1965 he and his wife moved to Santa Clarita while he worked as an insurance investigator.

In 1972 he joined the SCV Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors and chaired the club's 1974 benefit auction. He was also formerly an active member of the Santa Clarita Repertory Theatre board.

Kleeman ended up attending law school and becoming an attorney. In the early 1980s, he was named a Workers Compensation Appeals Board judge and worked as an arbitrator and mediator in a special program.

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