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 Gene Klida, pictured here at a past school event, was known for her love of her family and public education.

Gene Klida, pictured here at a past school event, was known for her love of her family and public education.

Photo provided by Utica Community Schools

Former longtime UCS school board member passes away

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published October 15, 2019


The Utica Community Schools community is remembering the life of Gene Klida, who had served on the Board of Education for about two decades.

Klida, who lived in Grosse Pointe Farms, died Oct. 6 after reportedly having a hemorrhagic stroke. She was 64.

According to her obituary on the Wm. Sullivan & Son Funeral Directors website, Klida was born July 31, 1955, in Highland Park. She graduated from Michigan State University in 1978, got married in 1981 and gave birth to sons in 1983 and 1988. 

Klida’s obituary emphasized her love of her children and public education. She was first elected to the UCS Board of Education in 1998 and stayed on the board — eventually earning the title of president — until after she lost re-election in 2018. She was also an advocate for fundraising and the arts via the UCS Foundation for Educational Excellence. 

In an emailed statement, UCS Superintendent Christine Johns praised Klida’s legacy.

“Mrs. Klida was a true champion for children,” Johns said. “She dedicated her life to public service and the youth of our community. Her leadership and commitment reflect a legacy that will continue to make a difference for generations of Utica Community Schools students.”

According to the funeral home, Klida is survived by her husband, David; two sons, Michael and Patrick; and other relatives.

Klida’s memorial was scheduled for 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 19 at The Palazzo Grande banquet facility, 54660 Van Dyke Ave. in Shelby Township. The Gene Klida Memorial Educational Fund is accepting donations care of the Shelby Township Lions Club Scholarships at P.O. Box 182075, Shelby Township, MI 48313.

Find out more about Utica Community Schools by visiting or by calling (586) 797-1000.

Call Staff Writer Eric Czarnik at (586) 498-1058.