Roy Kleinfelter would be just itching to get out on the road with his motorcycle, according to his wife Evelyn. Once Kleinfelter took her on his bike to see a steep hill made of coal in Tower City.
“All of the sudden he went up that coal pile, and I was beating him on the back saying ‘no no no no,'” she said. “And he thought this was a big thrill and I was scared to death. We got to the top but I was scared to go back down.”
But at a moment’s notice, Kleinfelter would get on his bike and go way for a while. Evelyn Kleinfelter said she wouldn’t know when or where he would be going, but knew he’d just be wandering around the county.
“He loved his motorcycles, he loved his cars,” she said. “Everything he wanted to do, he would say ‘You got to do it. Life’s too short.'”
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On June 15, Kleinfelter was involved in a motorcycle accident, and pronounced dead at the Hershey Medical Center. But heavy rains Tuesday could not keep family members from giving a former 79-year-old Lebanon motorcyclist his one last ride to the Greenwood cemetery.
After his service at Rohland Funeral home, Kleinfelter was driven to the cemetery by Wrightsville resident Al Skinner. Using an unique chassis connected to his 2000 Harley Road King that he built himself, Skinner said he’s given hundreds of final rides to motorcycle riders.
“I got to thinking why wouldn’t you want to put a motorcyclist on a motorcycle?” he said. “So this way here you put them in the wind one last time.”
Kayla Kleinfelter said she’d take those long bike trips with her grandfather, finding old roads somewhere to see where they would lead.
“When I was twelve, we use to go on bike rides together,” she said. “He was a wanderer.”
Her grandfather was supposed to be escorted by his friends at the Every Tuesday Motorcycle Club, but Kayla Kleinfelter said the constant rain Tuesday morning scrapped those plans. Still, she new her grandfather would be smiling knowing that he would be taken to the cemetery in style.
“He always said that he wanted to go on the bike when he went, so this was super important to him,” she said.
A retired Reese’s maintenance worker, Roy Kleinfielder also had a convertible that he loved to show off in parades. Evelyn Kleinfelter said her husband was a bit of a show off, and would go to Maryland just to grab a hot dog and meet new people.
“If we could have put the bike in the coffin with him, he would have loved that,” she said.
Kleinfelter was considering selling his motorcycle, with it being harder for him to handle as he was getting older. But “he’s going out the way he wanted to” by having a Harley take him to the cemetery, according to his wife.
“If he could smile, he would have a smile from ear to ear,” Evelyn Kleinfelter said.
Kayla Kleinfelter described her grandfather as “a little crazy,” but said he loved everybody and really enjoyed his life.
“He wanted one last ride, and we’re going to take that one last ride out on the motorcycle with him today,” she said.
Matthew Toth is a reporter for the Lebanon Daily News. Reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter at @DAMattToth.
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