Longtime North Side High School guidance coordinator De Klocke never accepted failure, and she always worked tirelessly to help every student succeed, a friend said.“She loved making a difference in their lives,” said Dana Wichern, a friend who taught with Klocke and served as dean of students at North Side before moving into an administrative job with Fort Wayne Community Schools.
Klocke, 87, died April 3 at the Renaissance Village nursing home off Indiana 14 west of Fort Wayne, where she and her husband, Ed, had both been in hospice care, Wichern said. Ed Klocke, who also became an avid North Side supporter through his wife, died April 11.
A memorial service for the couple tentatively is being planned for early June. For updates, check local newspaper obituary listings or the North Side Alumni Association’s website, www.nsalumni.org, or Facebook page at www.facebook.com/North-Side-High-School-Alumni-Asso ciation-128647640483766.De Klocke began her 36-year career at North Side in 1962 as an English teacher, Wichern said. She moved the next year to serving as a guidance counselor, and a few years later became the school’s guidance coordinator, a post she held until retiring in 1998.
“I think primarily she was an excellent listener,” Wichern said. “It was always about the person in the office and never about her.”
Klocke helped students both while in school and to prepare for life after North Side.
Sometimes Klocke would get students’ parents involved in the guidance counseling meetings, which was rare at the time, Wichern said.
“She helped students find and define their interests and then find a way to get there,” Wichern said. That effort didn’t mean every student had to go to college.
“Her goal was to get people into meaningful pathways that made them happy and fulfilled,” she said.
That included creating a peer facilitator program at North Side, where students with questions or concerns about a range of needs or concerns could speak with other students who were trained in basic counseling skills and about resources available in the community, Wichern said. The peer facilitators could refer students to a program or agency best able to help them with their need or concern.
Klocke’s work resulted in her being named national Counselor of the Year in 1982 by the American Association of Counseling and Development, Wichern said. Klocke also was presented in 1998 with a Sagamore of the Wabash award, which is the highest honor presented by Indiana’s governor and recognizes a person for distinguished service to the state or governor.
The national counseling award led to Klocke being contacted by Fort Wayne businessman Olin B. Schwab, who wanted her to set up a program to help students determine and pursue promising career paths. Klocke created the Pursuits program, which Schwab funded through the Olin B. and Desta Schwab Foundation.
Klocke, who was born in Geneseo, Ill., wasn’t afraid to take chances, Wichern said.
For example, she packed a wedding dress in a suitcase in 1952 and flew off to Hawaii — with her father’s permission — to marry Ed, her college sweetheart, who was stationed there with the U.S. Marines, Wichern said.
The Klockes also loved to travel, and De was active for many years with Fort Wayne Sister Cities International, including serving as board president, said Robert Anweiler, current Fort Wayne Sister Cities board president. Most of De’s work with Sister Cities focused on student exchange programs.
She also served on the Allen County Public Library board of trustees, was a member of the Fort Wayne Art League, and was president of the Questa Foundation for Education.
“She was just the nicest lady you’d ever want to meet,” Anweiler said.
A memorial service for De and Ed Klocke tentatively is being planned for early June. For updates, check local newspaper obituary listings or the North Side Alumni Association’s website at www.nsalumni.org or Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/North-Side-High-School-Alumni-Association-128647640483766.