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Rolland "Zke" Klitzke
June 6, 1938 ~ October 25, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old
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Rolland Robert Klitzke “Zke” passed away peacefully on October 25, 2023. Zke was born in Fessenden, North Dakota, on June 6, 1938, but his family moved to Fargo, North Dakota, when he was four, so he grew up “running the streets” of Fargo. His family was very poor with a mother who was gone most of the time working. He, along with his two older brothers, picked up any odd jobs they could to make spending money.
Zke graduated from Fargo High School in 1956 and immediately enlisted in the United States Army. Most of his three years were spent in Ludwigsburg, Germany, where he learned a great deal about his German heritage, culture, and language. He was a very successful soldier, earning the rank of Sergeant at the age of 19, and besides being a squad leader, was S-3 in charge of all the company’s military field training logistics. He loved the Army, and his dedication to the Army way of life inspired him to write his novel “At the Break of Dawn”, which he was nearing completion and hoping to publish.
When he returned home, Zke attended Moorhead State University, where he majored in German, French, and English, earning two Bachelors of Arts and Science Degrees and a Master’s Degree. He also attended the University of North Dakota for two years, where he earned all of the necessary credits towards a Ph.D.
Zke taught in several high schools in North Dakota and Minnesota. His family finally settled in Perham, Minnesota, where both he and his wife Carolyn taught for several years. No matter where he taught, he maintained his love of the German language and always made sure he was assigned at least one German class. One of his many accomplishments was to be the first teacher in the U.S. to teach German through telecommunicating on Channel 45, a private means of simultaneously teaching student in three different school districts.
Zke always loved lake living, and everywhere he lived, he used another of his talents in building or remodeling. His last task was to build his own house on 80 acres of land, where he also showed his love for Minnesota and its trees by planting over 1,000 pine trees on his land.
Zke is survived by Carolyn, his wife of 60 years, his four children, Jolie Moberg, of Perham, Minnesota, Bob (Stacy) of Waconia, Minnesota, Kathrin (Tim) Hohenstern, of St. Stephen, Minnesota, and Rocky (Lee Ann), of Stoughton, Wisconsin, his eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.