CINCINNATI — Ken Klosterman, the owner and CEO of Klosterman Baking Company and a renowned magic collector, died Wednesday at the age of 87.
Klosterman, who grew up in Northern Kentucky, graduated from Beechwood High School and Bucknell University before becoming a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
In the late 1950s, Klosterman joined the family baking business, which has origins traced to Germany in the 1800s. When his father retired, Klosterman took over as chairman and CEO from 1968-2009. As CEO, he expanded Klosterman Baking Company into one of the largest family-owned bakeries in the region.
He is credited with many local and national “firsts” in the baking business, including the first plastic bags on products, the first Pullman loaf in the area, the Coney bun, foot-long hotdog bun and the first half-loaves. For his baking innovations, he was inducted into the American Society of Baking's Hall of Fame in 2011.
Klosterman's favorite hobby was performing magic, and he would do so for almost anyone he met, including President George W. Bush. He often performed on local television and in commercials. He also fooled contestants on the national program “To Tell the Truth.” In the player below, watch Klosterman treat WCPO reporter Michael Flannery and photograper Terry Helmer to a tour of his magic collection in 2001.
He also used his magic connections to benefit the community through the fundraiser ABRACADABRA at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, featuring the industry's top magic talent. Klosterman was elected president of the International Brotherhood of Magicians in 1995.
Klosternman is survived by his children, Kimberly Klosterman (Michael Lowe), Kenneth “Chip” Fuller Klosterman, Jr., Jayme Klosterman (Carl Shapiro); grandchildren, Katie Klosterman O’Shaughnessy, Ellen Klosterman and Olivia Klosterman; great granddaughter, Georgia. He was preceded in death by his wife, Judith Klosterman (nee Lang).
Private services will be held for the family.
Memorial contributions are suggested to Hospice of Cincinnati c/o Bethesda Foundation, 10500 Montgomery Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45242 and/or Lindner Center of HOPE Attn: Development Office, 4075 Old Western Row Road, Mason, Ohio 45040 and/or SPCA Cincinnati Attn: Development Department, 11900 Conrey Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45249.
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