If you are a Patterson High alumnus in the last few decades, chances are you know the name David Klein.

Klein, who retired as PHS athletic director after 24 years, began his career with the school district in 1975, and stayed on as a teacher until 2011 before retiring from the profession. He remained on as athletic director until 2016.

His contributions to Patterson High as a teacher, an athletic director and coach left a legacy that will not be forgotten in Tigers lore.

The fact remains that, sadly, the Patterson community has lost one of its most treasured members.

After a battle with cancer, David Klein passed away on July 29, 2019.

Patterson Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees once said “the term ‘Tiger Pride’ is synonymous with the name David Klein” when they unanimously approved a resolution to rename the Patterson High Gym (an honor Klein himself was initially hesitant to accept) to Dave Klein Gymnasium in 2016.

To many he was a symbol of just that: Tiger Pride.

Klein had a love affair with Patterson High and its community that lasted his entire life.

“I’ve probably spent more hours in that gym than maybe even sometimes at home. I’ve seen it at its highs. I’ve seen it at its lows,” Klein said in reference to the gym being renamed in his honor in 2016.

After some convincing, Klein accepted the honor, and said at the naming ceremony in 2017 to a gym packed to the brim, “To have my name on the gym, believe me, is the ultimate respect. Every day I came to work, and I loved it. I loved my job, and you’re the reason for it.”

There is no doubting that Klein’s presence will be sorely missed.

A memorial will be held on Aug. 17 at Dave Klein Gymnasium at Patterson High School beginning at 10 a.m. The memorial is open to anyone in the community who wishes to pay their respects. To those interested in donating. the family is asking that donations instead be directed to the Patterson High Boosters Club, Sarcoma Foundation of America or the Covenant Care Hospice.

PI sports writer

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