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Untiring man behind the scenes chosen to be parade grand marshal

The Water Ski Days committee has nominated a grand marshall for the 48th annual Water Ski Days Grand Parade. This year’s honoree will be Jim Klennert. For the last 33 years Jim Klennert has watched the Water Ski Days parade while manning his post at Lincoln High School. This year he will be treated to the best seat in the house.

Having been born to Tom and Nancy Klennert in Lake City, Jim has never felt he was doing anything special by dedicating his time to his native area.

“I don’t see why I need an award for just doing my job,” he has often said during this last year, as an induction to the Lincoln High School Hall of Fame in September kickstarted the school year for one of Lake City’s most dedicated citizens.

It was apparent during this ceremony just how impactful his service to the community has been, as fellow inductees directly accredited his selflessness as a reason why they were able to reach the heights they have achieved.

Jim began working for the Lake City School District in August of 1986, where he was hired to be the building and grounds supervisor. Thankfully the school district got much more than they bargained for, as his scope of influence has stretched far beyond the limits of the ballfields and boilers.

Lake City’s version of “Where’s Waldo”, you will be hard pressed to find an event taking place in town that Jim is not attending and aiding while sporting his standard green ISD 813 apparel in the background.

Whether it be the Lion’s Car Show, Relay for Life, or the Veterans Memorial Service to name a few, community members know that he will be your backbone when in need of a helping hand.

The origin story of this local super hero is a simple tale of a son working with his father. Jim honed his skills while working with his father at Tom’s Repair shop. By the age of 12 he had assembled his first motor and the rest is history.

Although his home can be argued as the brick and mortar structure housing the students of Lincoln High, Jim will assure you his family is his number one priority.

He and Ellen (Holz) married on Aug. 7, 1982 in Lake City. They have four children; Grant (Michele), Anthony (Courtney), Gina and Joe (Albry).  They are blessed with four grandchildren; Madi, Lincoln, Kennedy, and LuLu.

When pressed about how he manages to keep his candle lit while burning it from both ends, Cindy McGrath offered, “Jim is not pink, but he is like the Energizer Bunny; he keeps going and going for all of the citizens of Lake City.”

When the parade is done you will most likely find him back at his post and tidying up the area.

“Why not just enjoy your reward?” his family often badgers him. He likes to quote Theodore Roosevelt in his retort: “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”

The 48th annual Water Ski Days Grand Parade begins at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 30.


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The Lake City Graphic
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111 South 8th Street
Lake City, MN 55041

ISSN 2994-1059 (print)  ISSN 2994-1067 (online)