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Klinstiver, county commissioner/public servant, dies

Harrison County Commissioner, long-time public servant and volunteer James (Jim) Guy Klinstiver died Sunday afternoon, May 20, 2018. He was 77.
Klinstiver, of Laconia, was serving in the final year of his second term as the District 3 commissioner and had been a member of the Harrison County Advisory Plan Commission for four decades.
Eric Wise, the county planner, described Klinstiver as a true volunteer willing to help on projects ranging from saving farms in Indiana to helping a hired hand stay out of jail.
‘It was all just in a day’s work for him,’ he said.
Wise said he always admired Klinstiver’s quest for knowledge and the way he would strike up a conversation with anyone he saw, whether it be the CEO of a major corporation or a homeless person on the corner.
‘He always seemed to learn something in the process worth passing along,’ Wise said.
Born in Harrison County in 1940, Klinstiver was married to his wife, Dixie, for 55 years.
He served eight years in the Army National Guard and worked for the Indiana Dept. of Transportation for 42 years, retiring as a project supervisor. He was a fifth-generation farmer and owned National Roadrunners Xpress Trucking for 17 years. Among his many other community and civic activities Klinstiver was a charter member of the Elizabeth Lions Club.
‘Jim was the kind of guy, and I’ve been around a lot of elected officials, he was an example of someone serving, not for personal reasons at all, but to truly serve,’ Larry Shickles, parks department board president, said. ‘He didn’t toot his own horn or have things named after him.’
Shickles said the boat ramp at Morvin’s Landing, which will be completed later this year, was Klinstiver’s idea before it became popular.
The water-well ditch issue in Elizabeth was a problem Klinstiver knew needed fixed and saw an opportunity to do so.
‘It was very personal to him; he worked tirelessly,’ Shickles said.
He said just last week Klinstiver met with the engineer on the project along with State Rep. Karen Engleman.
‘He left a thumbprint on a lot of things in Harrison County,’ Shickles said.
Harrison County Republican Party chair Scott Fluhr said Klinstiver was a great Republican and great public official.
‘But ‘ far more than that and much more importantly ‘ he was a great man, a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle and treasured friend,’ Fluhr said.
The board of commissioners, in their regularly scheduled meeting Monday night, led a moment of silence for Klinstiver. Flowers and a photo of Klinstiver were placed on his desk.
‘I think all of us here have known a lot of the things that Jim has done over the years,’ Commissioner Charlie Crawford, who also served on the Plan Commission with Klinstiver for 16 years, said. ‘He’s been on all the different boards around, and he’s just been a public servant for all the time that I’ve known him.’
Visitation will be at Seabrook Dieckmann & Naville Funeral Home on Market Street in New Albany today (Wednesday) from noon to 8 p.m. and tomorrow at The Lighthouse United Methodist Church in Elizabeth from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The funeral will be at the church tomorrow at 1 p.m. followed by burial in Rose Hill Cemetery in Elizabeth.