Obituary of Marlin Frederick Klatte
Marlin Frederick Klatte, loving husband, father, and grandfather, passed away peacefully at his Simi Valley home on December 30, 2023 at the age of 69. He died due to complications associated with esophageal cancer, which he fought courageously for more than a year.
He was born in Montebello Hospital on February 8, 1954. He was the son of Joyce Baker Klatte and Albert Klatte and the younger brother of Glenn Klatte of Sunland, CA.
Marlin met his future wife, Joyce Way, in 1981 while working at the Marquardt company on the Space Shuttle program. They married on September 4th, 1982 and spent the next 41 years building a loving marriage, family and home in Southern California. Marlin was the father to two children, Marlin Jr. (46) and Nicholas (38), and grandfather to Nathan.
Marlin dedicated his career to the exploration of space, starting at the Marquardt company in the late 70s on the Shuttle program and various commercial satellite engines. He then moved to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) where he was involved in programs ranging from the Mars Sample Return, Mars Science Laboratory, Mars Exploratory Rover, Aquarius, and Mars 2020. During his time as a propulsion engineer at JPL, Marlin spent multiple six-month stints at Cape Canaveral in Florida, ensuring the successful completion of multiple missions. Despite these numerous accomplishments, perhaps the work Marlin was most proud of was mentoring JPL employees, sharing his knowledge and expertise with the next generation. He retired from JPL in January 2021, after 23 years.
Beyond his dedication to his career, Marlin was a man of many interests including fishing, camping, archery, quail hunting, oil painting, working on his home, and playing chess. Retirement allowed him more time to hone his craft in woodworking, growing and tending to his vineyard, wine making and, of course, wine drinking.
Marlin, along with his wife Joyce, was also an avid traveler. Starting with their honeymoon in Puerta Vallarta, they would go on to explore Machu Pichu in Peru, the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador and much of Europe including Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal. They took fishing trips to Scotland and Norway and drove the ring road in Iceland while visiting the country for their son, Nicholas’ wedding. Their final adventure was a road trip around France, with a special stop at Normandy beach to visit the site where Marlin’s father paradropped during D Day.
Marlin was also a lifelong explorer of his own backyard, the United States. He experienced the wonders of California, hiked Crater Lake in Oregon, fishing the Rogue River, and traveled to Yellowstone and Montana to fish and visit relatives. His love for nature led him to Cortez, Moab, Mesa Verde, the Four Corners, the Colorado River, and Death Valley.
Marlin is survived by his wife, Joyce Klatte, his two sons, Marlin Jr. and Nicholas, his grandchild, Nathan.
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