Vera Kleinke, age 94, of Wadena, passed away on December 29, 2022, at Mills Manor in New York Mills. Funeral Services will be held on Monday, January 9, 2023, at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Wadena, Minnesota with Pastor Stephen Meltzer officiating. Congregational hymns will be accompanied by Jodee Severson. Pallbearers will be Mike Kleinke, Jon Kleinke, Wayne Guse, Pete Erickson, Tyler Schwartz, Brayden Kleinke, Caleb Kleinke, and Ethan Erickson. Honorary Pallbearers will be Brittani Schwartz, Bryanna Kleinke, Erin and Evan Erickson, Ciana Murphy, Ryleigh, Max and Toby Kleinke, and Bentley Schwartz. Vera will be laid to rest at Wadena Cemetery, Wadena.  

Vera Velva Neels was born on September 7, 1928, in Leaf Lake Township, Ottertail County, to John and Alena (Folkers) Neels. She attended District 185 and St. John’s Parochial School. Vera completed her GED in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, then furthered her education at Wadena Vocational Technical School, where she was the first person to enroll and graduate in the cosmetology program in 1961.  

On October 25, 1947, Vera was united in marriage to Godfrey “Jr.” Kleinke. Together they made their home in Wadena, Minnesota. Vera was employed with Modern Cleaners in Wadena before owning and operating Vera’s Beauty Salon in Wadena. Eventually, she relocated her salon to the farm where she specialized in massage therapy. She was known for her massages and reflexology. Godfrey passed away on September 10, 2015.  

Vera enjoyed deer hunting, fishing and snowmobiling. She also enjoyed crocheting, needlepoint, and gardening. Of all her hobbies and favorite things, her family was always first. She loved her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchild more than anything. Vera never missed a birthday, anniversary, or any important event. She refused to leave this life and go home to be with the Lord until she saw everyone one last time.  

Preceding Vera in death are her parents: John and Alena; husband, Godfrey; siblings: Anna, Henry, Helen, Clarence, Margaret, Martha, Ernest, Herman, John, Adolph, and Florence.  

Vera is survived by her son, David (Linda) Kleinke; grandchildren: Michael (Rhonda) Kleinke of Wadena; Amy Kleinke of Sidney, Mont.; Kim (Pete) Erickson of Sidney, Mont.; and Jon (Liz) Kleinke of Sidney, Mont.; great-grandchildren: Brittani (Tyler) Schwartz; Brayden and Bryanna Kleinke; Caleb Kleinke; Erin, Ethan, and Evan Erickson; Ciana Murphy; and Ryleigh, Max, and Toby Kleinke; great-great-grandchild: Bentley Schwartz; many other relatives and a host of friends.  

Please visit to leave memorials and condolences on Vera’s Tribute Wall.  

Arrangements provided by Karvonen Funeral & Cremation Service of Wadena.