Born on May 12, 1923 in Kensal, North Dakota, the sixth of seven children in a Polish immigrant family, Lillian Stawarz Kline, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and
noted local artist, died in Pasadena, California on November 25, 2012.
Lillian was raised in Chicago and was a graduate of Steinmetz High School, Class of
1941. During World War II, Lillian attended Northwestern University and took classes
at the Chicago Art Institute, where she began her career as an artist.
In 1946, Lillian married her Steinmetz classmate, Glenn Kline. The marriage lasted
sixty-one years, ending with Glenn’s death in 2007. In 1952, Lillian and Glenn moved
to California, eventually settling in La Canada Flintridge, where they lived until 2006.
Lillian and Glenn raised three sons, Craig, Brant and Adam. Lillian was a committed,
loving mother who was also a driving force for her husband’s business success.
Lillian continued her art activities both in La Canada Flintridge and in Laguna Beach,
where she and Glenn had a second home. In Laguna, Lillian studied with noted
California regional artists, including Rex Brandt and Phil Dike. Her works, particularly
in watercolor, were shown in the major Laguna galleries for many years. In La Canada
Flintridge, Lillian taught art at the La Canada Youth House for over thirty years and
had many devoted students.
Lillian was close to her large family of brothers and sisters, some of whom followed
her out to California. Both Lillian and Glenn maintained strong ties to Chicago,
spending large amounts of time there for most of their lives. She was also a favorite
aunt to her many nieces and nephews both in Chicago and California.
In an era where options were more limited for women, Lillian managed to maintain
a good balance between family and career. While her commitment to family was
paramount, Lillian had independent interests that enriched her life and that of others.
As her family increased through the addition of grandchildren and two great
grandchildren, Lillian remained devoted to family matters. While she slowed down
in her last years, Lillian remained deeply loved by her family and extended family for
her affection, creativity and intellect.
In addition to Craig, Brant and Adam, Lillian is survived by daughters-in-law Sharon
and Kate. Her grandchildren, Angela, Andrew, Ariel, Abigail and Audrey also survive
her, in addition to her two great-grandsons, Ayden and Ashton. Her devoted sisters,
Helen Stawarz, Virginia Heineman and Evelyn Hadrick, along with many nieces and
nephews also survive her.
Lillian was a bright, ambitious woman, who rose from humble beginnings to lead
a rich full life. In many ways, her life was emblematic of the postwar world, where
expanded opportunities gave her the ability to accomplish much and to benefit others.
A memorial service will be held in La Canada Flintridge after the New Year.