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Walter Kleponis

Obituary for Walter Kleponis

March 5, 1932 - November 22, 2021
Audubon, Pennsylvania | Age 89

Loving Father, Grandfather and Brother




Walter Joseph Kleponis, 89, Engineer, Community Servant, husband and father and grandfather died of heart failure at Phoenixville Hospital on
November 21 2021.

Walter had wide ranging interests that he pursued which included genealogy, history, economics, philanthropy and trains.
He was known never to be afraid to speak his mind or express his views. A Mechanical Engineer by training and profession, he was known for decades for his
expertise in the design and function of steam turbines which were largely used in power plants from the 1950's until the 1970s. In addition to steam turbines he was also an internationally known expert in power generation systems and during the course of his career traveled throughout South and East Asia advising on the construction and operations of power systems. In retirement, he acted as an "Expert Consultant & Expert Witness" for legal counsel in the hearing of cases concerning the operation or failure of various power or heating generation systems. Walter was born on March 5, 1932, in Northeast Philadelphia to Sophia Kleponis (nee Pugzlys) a Lithuanian immigrant and August Kleponis, a laborer and former coal miner.

He attended North Catholic High School and graduated at the top of his class although he was prevented from attending the graduation as he did not have the $25 fee that was owed by all graduating students. After high school he worked a variety of jobs until landing a job at Disston Saw Works where he operated a steel cutting machine. At this time the firm offered scholarships to interested and qualified employees. Walt applied and was accepted to the School of Engineering at Drexel Institute, now Drexel University. Again graduating number 1 in his class in 1953. He then won a full academic scholarship to Princeton University earning a Masters in Mechanical Engineering in 1955. He went on post graduation to work for The Westinghouse Corporation in their Steam Turbine Division rising to the post of Senior Vice President. Having never forgotten his working class roots he often shunned the executive dining room and "brown bagged" his lunches eating in the fabrication shops among the technicians. A community servant, Walt served as an Assistant Scout Master and Treasurer of Boy Scout Troop 238 of Broomall. He held these positions beyond the time his own son had progressed through the troop. Serious about education as he knew directly the opportunities it held, he ran for and was elected to the Marple Newtown School System School Board of Directors. It was his desire to help chart the course for curriculum as well as ensuring fiscal discipline. Passionate in discovering more about his roots in Lithuania, Walter traced several of
his known and even previously unknown relatives in Lithuania. On one of his trips it was arranged for him to meet the President of Lithuania and Freedom Fighter Vytautas Landsbergis. It was one of the highlights of his life. He later went on to sponsor an orphanage in Vilnius sending them generous donations and corresponding with the staff and children through the years. He was most proud of his ability to "make a difference" in young lives.

Walter always kept a jar of coal on the kitchen table and when asked about it said that it was there to remind him daily of where he came from lest he ever forget.

He is predeceased in death by his wife of 51 years, Carol Marie Kleponis (nee Messaros), sons Colonel Greg Kleponis, USAF (ret), Richard A. Kleponis,
Peter C. Kleponis, PhD and daughters Susan M. Achuff and Ellen Ganime. He was also the proud grandfather of 10.

Relatives and Friends are invited to his Viewing 10:00am -10:45 on December 8, 2021 with Funeral Service to follow 11:00 AM at the
D'Anjolell Memorial Home of Broomall 2811 West Chester Pike, Broomall, PA 19002 Interment St Peter & Paul Cemetery.

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D'Anjolell Memorial Home of Broomall

2811 West Chester Pike
Broomall, PA 19008
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