The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

University community mourns the loss of James Klinges

James (Jim) Klinges, ’17, died on Aug. 27 after fighting leukemia for two years. Klinges, from Wayne, Pa., studied in the Erivan K. Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University.

On Aug. 29, the university community was notified of Klinges’ death via an email message from Campus Ministry. The message communicated the details of Klinges’ viewing and funeral mass, which were held last week.

After his diagnosis in the summer of 2014, Klinges stopped attending classes at St. Joe’s to focus on his treatment. Then, according to Allie Fanto, ’17, a friend of Klinges’ since grade school and a pallbearer at his funeral, Klinges was pronounced cancer-free in March of 2016.

“He was officially announced cancer-free March 23 of this year,” Fanto said. “And then August 3 of 2016, his cancer came back and then it was a really quick and rapid progression.”

According to his friends, Klinges maintained his unique sense of humor throughout his illness.

“He had this really fun, dry sense of humor that everybody appreciated,” Martin Farrell, ’17, recalled. Farrell knew Klinges throughout their time at Malvern Preparatory School as well as at St. Joe’s. “He always kept people honest. He would call you out if you were being an idiot or not being honest.”

Fanto agreed. “He had the driest sense of humor of all time,” Fanto said. “It was just his personality, and if you knew him well enough, all of his jokes came from a good place in his heart.”

According to Farrell, Klinges was also a serious St. Joe’s fan.

“Jim was a huge St. Joe’s fan. He absolutely loved the school and the community and the culture of it, and he loved the basketball team,” Farrell said.

Men’s basketball Head Coach Phil Martelli learned of Klinges’ illness, as well as his dedication to the basketball team, through a connection in his wife’s family. After the Hawks’ first win in the 2016 NCAA March Madness Tournament, Martelli called Klinges to speak with him personally.

“I called him [Klinges] and it was the day after we had beaten [the University of] Cincinnati, so I had a chance to speak with him, and whether he was excited or thought he was being a bother, he hung up quickly,” Martelli said. “DeAndre’ Bembry and Isaiah Miles were with me and they asked if they could speak to him, and so I put them on the phone with him. They had a long conversation and it was really touching that they would care as much and that he would engage with them.”

Fanto, who was present at Klinges’ funeral service, said that guests wore colorful clothes in remembrance of him.

“It was really good symbolism of who he was as person,” Fanto said. “Obviously people are so broken-hearted, but he wouldn’t want any mourning or anything. He would want a celebration of his life.”


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