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home : obituaries : obituaries
January 24, 2021

12/21/2020 3:26:00 PM
Thomas "T.K." Kleman
b. April 22, 1955 d. Dec. 16, 2020

Thomas "T.K." Kleman, age 65 of Remer, Minnesota, passed away tragically in a one-vehicle crash December 16, 2020 on Hwy 6 near the City of Remer. Tom was able to ask the Emergency Personnel to call for his son Jacob Buerskin-Kleman to come to the scene. They did call and Jacob came right away. At the scene Law Enforcement, Remer Volunteer Fire Department and Remer Ambulance personnel were working to get Tom freed from the vehicle. Emergency Personnel were able to relay the message many times to Tom that Jacob was close by and loved him, and would be with him as soon as they could get him freed. However, when Tom was freed from the vehicle his internal injuries were too extensive and they were not able to revive him after trying everything they could. Tom passed away peacefully.

Tom was born in Hopkins, MN on April 22, 1955 to Donald and Elsie (Schoeck) Kleman. Tom attended grade school in Hopkins, MN before moving up north in 1970, he attended Junior High in Remer, MN after the family bought Kleman's Kary-All on Hwy 6 by Big Rice Lake (formerly Brigham's General Store). Tom helped at the family business, played drums at school and played Baseball. He always had a smile for everyone and helped anyone who needed anything. He always had his drumsticks with him and made use of them any chance he could! Tom graduated from Remer High School and started life on his own. He was a member of Bethany Lutheran church in Remer.

He bought land in the woods near Big Thunder Lake. His Dad(Kleman Construction), local contractors, and he built a beautiful A-Frame home in which he lived his whole adult life. He loved the peace and beauty of the north woods and passed that love on to his son.

Tom got to know all the folks on the lake through the store, school, and work. He made a great bunch of friends who he shared his life with for over 50 years. He always loved being with them and kept in close contact, which speaks to Tom's great love for friends and family. Tom was the kind of guy that would literally 'give you the shirt off his back'. His greatest joy was helping others and making people happy! Tom played drums with a local band(SunRide)and loved doing gigs with them.

Harley Davidson Motorcycles were his passion. He rode every chance he could. His dog 'Bingo' loved riding behind him on the Harley & 4 wheeler. The dog would ride on back of bike to "daycare" with his mom Elsie before work every morning! Tom loved his Harley trips. Every year for 20+ years his motorcycle group headed to Madeline Island for 5 days the end of June. One of his dreams was to see Alaska on his motorcycle! So In 1985 with his great friend Bob Peterson, they headed out from Remer on bikes for almost a month and it was a trip he'd never forget and spoke of often. Tom has wanted to go back ever since! He and a couple friends were planning another trip to Alaska in 2022!

In 2017 he bought a new Harley for the trip but that trip will sadly not be. However; his son Jacob plans to make a similar trip on one of his bikes in memorial of his father.

Tom worked for his parents at their store and later worked at Remer True Value Lumber and then Outing Lumber and Hardware. Tom joined the Remer Volunteer Fire Department. He retired from the Fire Department after 26 years of dedicated service to his community with his fellow firefighters.

Tom married Barbara Buerskin. They had one child together in 1992 - Jacob Thomas Buerskin-Kleman who is the light of their lives. Tom was also a step-dad to Jacob's older brother, Daniel E Buerskin. In 1995 Tom started working for Johnson Telephone Company as an Outside Plant Operator and was there for 25 years. He loved his job and all the people he worked with. Tom said countless times over the years how he loved working for the Johnson family. Tom was planning to retire in July 2021 to be with family and friends, assist his son Jacob in his Torque Motors business, and ride that new Harley!

Tom loved attending Remer Baseball and Football games to cheer both of the boys on in their respective years. He spent every Summer on Big Thunder Lake With family along with many wonderful friends water-skiing, tubing, wake-boarding, swimming, dirt-biking, pontooning/boating, and helping his Mom and Dad. Falls were spent on the lake until the first snow came; then it was hunting deer with bow and rifle with his family. Winters were just as fun snowmobiling, walking in the peace of the Winter woods and watching all the wildlife. A highlight one Spring was a year old bear hung out on deck of his house for over a month. It was such a gift to see nature up close. Any season of the year Tom's favorite spot was the fire pit in his yard with a 32" T.V. w/cable encased in a wooden box hanging on the big Red Pine, with a sign reading "Pine Tree Network". Many football games were enjoyed by Tom with family and friends sitting around the fire, as well as just being at one with nature. Tom had a birthday party every April around the fire. Lots of great family and friends laughing, music and delicious BBQ. Tom loved having his nieces and nephews to the house and always kept them entertained at the fire pit.

Tom is survived by his beloved family starting with his pride and joy, son Jacob Thomas Buerskin-Kleman of Remer, MN and step-son Daniel E. Buerskin of Duluth, MN; his mother Elsie Kleman in Aurora, MN; younger sister Donelle Kleman-Kortemeier with her husband Gary and their children Sophia, Connor, Lain, Megan, Jackie and Matthew of Oak Grove, MN; Former Wife/Always Friend Barbara K. Buerskin of Benson, MN; Nephew Matthew Kleman and his wife Kristy with one great nephew and two great nieces of Bozeman, MT; Niece Amy Kleman Musel with her husband Corey and two great nephews and one great niece of Ely, MN; and many beloved extended family and very dear friends.

Tom was preceded in death by his Grandparents, his father Donald C. Kleman; his brother Bradley J. Kleman; and his nephew Liam Kortemeier.

Visitation will be from 11:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. on Saturday, January 16, 2020 at Rowe Funeral Home in Grand Rapids. A memorial service will follow, beginning at noon.

Arrangements are with Rowe Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Grand Rapids, MN. To sign the online guestbook or send condolences visit


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