Plant Memorial Trees
Saturday, January 20, 2024
2:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)
Johannes Werner Klein, 57 of Advance, began the next chapter of his life on Sunday, January 14, 2024, at Kate B. Reynolds Hospice House of Winston-Salem surrounded by “all his girls.”
Hannes was born on October 10, 1966, in Bamberg, Germany, to Werner and Rosemarie Klein, but spent most of his childhood living in Darmstadt. From a young age he embraced a life of the mind, reading every book in the local library but having a special fascination for physics, space travel, and computers. His excitement knew no bounds when he saved up enough money to purchase a Commodore 64, the first personal home computer, much to the annoyance of his two younger siblings because of its impact on the use of the phone line.
Hannes knew from an early age that he wanted to be an aerospace engineer. He made and launched his first rocket at age seven with a payload of two terrified ants. It went 70 feet into the air. After the completion of secondary school, he attended the Technical University of Munich to study mechanical and aerospace engineering. As part of that seven-year program, he was one of two students selected to complete a master’s thesis at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Much to his surprise, within a month of arriving in Cambridge and beginning his work designing the tethered satellite system, his whole universe expanded when he opened the door of the Day Street apartment house to Anita Rayburn, who had arrived after a 17-hour drive from Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, to continue her college education. One look at Hannes, with his round black glasses and piercing blue eyes, and Anita was over the moon.
A gentleman from the moment he met her, offering to help her bring her belongings in, Hannes eventually worked up the courage to ask Anita out for a drink, and the rest, as they say, is history. Less than a year later he planned the most romantic marriage proposal imaginable in Paris with the help of his dearest lifelong friend, Lothar. On a little island in the middle of the Seine with the towers of Notre Dame Cathedral in the background, Anita replied to the proposal with an emphatic YES! Just this past December, to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary, Hannes thoughtfully recreated that special moment by transforming the Klein home into a Parisian city scene replete with an eight-foot, illuminated Eiffel Tower. They were just as much in love in their kitchen thirty years later as they were in France on that summer day, maybe even more so.
As a married couple, Hannes and Anita lived in Boston and later New Hampshire for almost 13 years, welcoming oldest daughter Hannah in 2000 and her younger sister, Ava, in 2006 after the family had relocated to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Whether in New England or in North Carolina, Hannes enjoyed every aspect of his very successful 30+-year career in the world of engineering, and as he transitioned into management for Amphenol TCS, he served as a beloved and inspiring role model and colleague who is remembered for his positive, kind, and helpful demeanor, in addition to his dry sense of humor and famous April Fools’ Day emails. Hannes greatly valued the relationships he forged throughout his work life with so many wonderful individuals, and his family wishes to thank his colleagues for the wonderful memories of him that they have shared.
Modest to a fault, Hannes would never proclaim his professional accomplishments, but he would puff with pride about what he treasured most: being a husband to Anita and a father to Hannah and Ava. There quite simply was nothing more important to him than his family, and their love sustained him through life’s most challenging circumstances.
Hannes is survived by his wife, Anita Rayburn Klein; daughters, Hannah Rose Klein and Ava Grace Klein; sister, Sabine Klein; brother, Markus Klein,his wife, Manuela,and their son, Paul; and numerous cousins in Germany.
A visitation for family and friends will be held from 2:00 to 4:00 PM Saturday, January 20, 2024, at Hayworth-Miller Kinderton Chapel. In lieu of flowers, or for those who wish to make a donation in memory of Johannes, please consider Westchester Country Day School in High Point, North Carolina, YMCA Camp Cheerio in Glade Valley, North Carolina, or Kate B. Reynolds Hospice House in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Kleins wish to thank all of these organizations for the happy memories and support they have provided to the family.