March 18, 1999 - Passing of Robert Klug
Robert Klug passed into Eternal Life on March 18, 1999, one day before the Feast of Saint Joseph. There was no question that Robert Klug’s life epitomized the qualities that Saint Joseph was known for: steadfast Faith in God, humility, and unwavering love and devotion to his wife and family.
Throughout his 52-year marriage to Mother Frances, he accepted all that God asked her to accomplish and endure for the sake of Souls through The Miracle of Saint Joseph. His death from a heart condition at age 74 was heartbreaking for Mother Frances, their children and grandchildren.
Robert Klug was born on September 4, 1924, in Park Ridge, Illinois – a suburb of Chicago. His parents were Frederick and Adelaide (Dee-Dee) Klug and he had one older sister, Adele. He was baptized in the Christian faith as Robert Ferdinand Klug. While Frances Klug was raised in the hustle and bustle of a big city with buses, streetcars, trains, taxis, and busy streets, Robert Klug’s hometown was more serene.
In 1926, when Robert Klug was two years old, an extremely contagious, deadly outbreak of black diphtheria spread throughout Chicago and the surrounding areas. Children were passing the deadly disease to each other in school and bringing it into their homes, and Robert contracted the disease from his sister. Although she had a very mild case, Robert’s condition was far more serious.
The Klug family was placed under quarantine. No one was to come in or out of the house, except a doctor or personnel from the health department. Because Robert’s condition continued to decline, the family doctor called for the health department to transport him to the hospital. When the health department personnel arrived, one of them turned to Frederick and Dee-Dee and said, “Don’t expect him to come home.”
Thinking it may be the last time they’d see their little boy, Frederick and Dee-Dee were devastated when he was driven away in the ambulance. His condition was so critical that they were not allowed to visit him, and they were kept under quarantine. All they could do was pray for their baby.
According to the accounts that the Klugs received from the nurses, Robert would lie in his little bed day after day, unresponsive. The newspapers were reporting deaths from the disease on the rise, and the family feared the worst. Then one day, a nurse went to check on him. He looked up at her, and very quietly and unexpectedly said, “milk.” The shocked nurse ran down the hall shouting, “Miracle, Miracle, he’s awake, he’s alive… it’s a Miracle!” The local newspapers picked up the story and wrote about The Miracle Baby of Chicago who unexpectedly survived a nearly fatal case of black diphtheria.
Robert returned home to recover and enjoyed an otherwise healthy childhood. Later he became an excellent student and accomplished athlete in track and field, as well as golf. After high school, he attended The Citadel in South Carolina and enlisted in the Army Air Forces, where he was assigned to the Weather Division.
After his honorable discharge from the Army Air Forces in 1946, while preparing to finish his education at DePaul University, Robert met his future wife, Frances Kinsch, while taking ballroom dance classes in Chicago. For the full story, see Marriage to Robert Klug.