Dr. Noah William Klein died on Sunday, July 23, 2023, in Pocatello, Idaho at the age of 83 succumbing to a long slow decline in health.
He was born in Astoria, (Queens) New York to Bertram Louis and Mary Shraberg Klein on December 22, 1939. He was raised in the city until 1948 when his family moved to Harrison, NY.
He received a B.A. degree in General Sciences from the University of Rochester in 1961 and earned his MD degree from the University of Kentucky in 1965. While studying in med school, he fell in love with "the bluest eyes I've ever seen," Beverly Ann Montgomery, who was also a student at U.K. They married on June 12, 1965 at Temple Adath Israel in Lexington, KY.
From 1966 to 1968 he served in the Epidemic Intelligence Service (CDC) of the U.S. Public Health Service, which brought him to Boise, Idaho where Bev and Noah had their first son, Benjamin Paul Klein. Noah completed his internship and residency at the Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY where their second son, Ethan Dale Klein, was born. He became a Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in 1973 after moving to Pocatello, Idaho to begin his private practice and raise his family.
Since childhood, he had a fascination with the way a body heals. He loved the science and art of medicine. His countless patients loved him, and many felt indebted to him.
Noah served as the religious leader of Temple Emanuel for the Jewish community of Pocatello, from 1977 to 1995, leading services, performing bar and bat mitzvahs (including for his sons), officiating at weddings and funerals. He had a natural, rich tenor voice that filled the synagogue.
Noah served as the team physician for Idaho State University football team from 1978-1990, traveling with the team when they won the NCAA championship in 1981. He also served as a team physician for the District 25 high school football teams from 1973-1987.
Noah was actively involved on the Human Relations Advisory Committee supporting people who are confronted with discrimination, at a time when hate groups were on the rise in northern Idaho.
His childhood experiences at his grandpa's lake cabin in Connecticut and as a camp counselor in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate N.Y. sparked a love for the woods that inspired him to eventually move to the mountains of Idaho. He purchased property in the Tetons in Wyoming in the mid-70s and built a simple log structure that became his refuge and "emotional investment" to capture the essence of his love for nature. Here he taught his sons how to build fires, wield knives, saws, and axes, how to canoe, fish, cross-country ski, how to survive and thrive in the woods. From this special place, he passed on a love of the woods and mountains that extended through his sons to his grandsons.
Noah had the spirit of a prankster that thrived on a penchant for the inappropriate. The irreverent 11-year-old boy inside him would surface, saying or doing something that would send his family and friends into fits of uncontrolled laughter. Kids loved him for this type of behavior. He had a unique gift of interacting with kids as equals. He saw them as present little beings and treated them with kindness and humor. He inspired learning. This combination of humor and connection with kids made him a superb coach and teacher. His facial expressions, verbal expressions, and timing were utterly hilarious!
He grew up playing baseball, wrestled, and played football in college, was an excellent athlete who could play any sport. He had a wickedly accurate throwing arm, could catch anything thrown his way. He learned to downhill ski, mastered it, became a member of the Ski Patrol in upstate NY and Bogus Basin in Boise. He also loved cross-country skiing.
He was always available to engage in conversation about science or philosophy or any topic. He had a brilliant mind and was incredibly insightful on many topics. He loved science and was gifted in math.
Noah was driven by an intense curiosity and a hunger to learn about the way things work, be it photography, carpentry, or the origins of the universe. He thrived on the intellectual, technical, and physical challenges of new interests.
As the very first computers became available for home use, he was immediately drawn into programming, learning multiple languages and seeking to push the boundaries with what he could accomplish with the computer. Many a morning he could be found pouring over reams of perforated computer paper, problem solving code and even coding by hand.
He taught himself wood working; a surgeon who applied his surgical skills to bring carved images from wood or experiments in joinery just to see if he could do it. The act of doing superseded the products, which were nonetheless beautiful.
Photography "opened the windows and doors into another world". His family called him Loco Ojo (crazy eye) for his unique vision of the world. He was a superb photographer, mastering the technique of a camera taking spectacular portraits of flowers, insects, and animals, all while being color blind.
After retiring in 1995 at the age of 55, he discovered a passion for scuba diving and pursued it all over the world with Bev. They both became Master Divers through training, courses, and many hours of experience in the oceans. They traveled throughout the west and Canada in their RV, loving their home on wheels.
Later he discovered flight simulators spending hours learning to fly various planes, studying books, recording detailed notes.
His hands were as fluid as a dancer. Even watching him Se shoes was a ballet of fingers. He wielded tools such as scalpels, chisels, tweezers, a carving knife at Thanksgiving, with incredible grace and precision.
He loved watching Saturday morning cartoons with his sons and eventually his grandsons.
He took great joy in watching his sons' many achievements and considered raising his two sons as one of his greatest accomplishments.
Noah loved to leave little love notes in unique, random places to be discovered by his Bev. He'd sneak one into her luggage, on a coffee pot, on the faucet of the bathtub, underneath her pillow.
It was common to see Noah practicing and preparing for upcoming events. This included late night and early morning studies of medical books in prep for complicated surgeries, or taking the time to carefully craft high-holy day services while rehearsing tricky Hebrew passages.
Noah is survived by his wife Beverly, his sons, Ben (Trace) of Bozeman, MT and Ethan (Carrie) of Boise, ID, grandsons Aspen and Everest, "who together set the sun and moon," his two younger brothers David and Jon, and their wives, sisters-in-law Nancy and Charlene, and other family members. He was preceded in death by his parents and a younger brother, Daniel.
Cremation is complete, and a Celebration of Life will be announced at a later time.
The family wishes to thank Enhabit Home Health and Hospice (especially Megan Fuller) and Copper Summit Assisted Living for their incredible compassion and care during his final journey.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Temple Emanuel, 306 N.18th Ave., Pocatello 83201.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Cornelison Funeral Home, 431 N. 15th Ave., Pocatello. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.cornelisonfh.com