Jerome Joshua Klein, M.D
March 19, 1931 - September 20, 2015
Jerome Joshua Klein, M.D., a gifted and caring physician to thousands of patients in the Fairfield County area during a 48-year career in medicine, died in hospice care on Sunday in Norwalk, surrounded by loved ones. His passage followed a long battle with cancer. He was 84 years old.
Dr. Klein joined the Norwalk Medical Group in 1965 as an Internist with specialties in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism—routinely making house calls to see patients. He held privileges at Norwalk Hospital, Bridgeport Hospital, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, and Yale New Haven Hospital, among others. He cared for his patients wherever they were sent, at rehab centers and skilled nursing facilities, across Fairfield County.
Working in both primary care and as a specialist, Klein soon became known as a diagnostician, galvanized by the hunt for the correct diagnosis to difficult-to-identify illnesses. “His patients adored him,” recalls son Jonathan. “As a boy, we’d be out somewhere and a patient would see dad and they’d stop to catch up. He always remembered their name and their care, even decades later. Many of them looked down at me and said ‘You know, your father saved my life.’”
Jerome Klein was born in 1931 in Brooklyn, NY to parents Esther Wohl Klein and David Klein, an accountant. An only child, Klein attended the Little Red Schoolhouse in Manhattan, and later sister school Elizabeth Erwin High School. He attended Harvard, where he played clarinet in the Harvard Band. He received his B.A. cum laude in History from there in 1953.
Opting to study medicine, he attended State University of New York Health Science Center (“SUNY Downstate”) in Brooklyn, receiving his M.D. in 1957. He completed an internship at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City a year later.
Klein then enlisted in the Air Force as a Captain, where he served for two years at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, NE. Returning to New York City afterward, he completed residencies in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center, Bellevue Hospital Center, and the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.
In 1965, Dr. Klein joined the fledgling Norwalk Medical Group, where he practiced for the next 38 years. He lived in Westport until 1983, when he moved to Weston. In 1987 he married Lynne Hummer Klein, his devoted and loving wife, and the love of his life. Dr. Klein retired from medicine in 2002 at age 72, moving with Lynne to Norwalk in 2011.
His interests were many, and included tennis, skiing, hiking, cooking, gardening, playing the clarinet, hi-fi audio (with a passion for building loudspeakers), woodworking, home repair and art, in addition to history. He loved classical music and opera and was a lifelong patron of the arts. “Growing up, there was always classical music filling the house from loudspeakers he’d built,” recalls son Dana.
Dr. Klein is survived by his wife Lynne Klein; his sons Dana Klein and his wife Sonya Klein of Darien, and Jonathan Klein and his wife Ellen Petri of Concord, MA; his step-daughters Karen Santora and her husband Jeff Santora of Ridgefield, and Cindy D’Acunto and her husband Thomas D’Acunto of Wilton. He is also survived by eight grandchildren: Rachel, Elana, Hannah and Harrison Klein, Eric Santora, Thomas and Christopher D’Acunto, and Christopher Porter. He is predeceased by his step-son Anthony Ciliberto.
Services will be held at 2pm on Friday, September 25, at Collins Funeral Home, 92 East Ave. in Norwalk. In lieu of flowers, well-wishers and loved ones are encouraged to contribute to the Whittingham Cancer Center at Norwalk Hospital, at: http://norwalkhospital.org/medical-services/cancer/ 24 Stevens St, Norwalk, CT 06850, (203) 852-2148.