David E. Klein, MD, FACS


David E. Klein, MD, FACS


Dr. Dave Klein

Dave passed away Dec. 31, 2019, at St. Vincent Healthcare, following a long illness.

He is survived by his wife, Marilyn; children Peter (Debra) and Gretchen.

Dave was born on July 10, 1935, and grew up in Helena, the son of Dr. and Mrs. Otto Klein. He attended Dartmouth College (skiing for the freshman team), Dartmouth Medical School, transferring to and graduating from Harvard Medical School.

His postdoctoral training was a four-year surgical residency, a year at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London (Fulbright Scholar) and Medical Officer of the USS Helena, flagship for the first fleet.

He joined the Surgical Clinic in Billings, becoming an active staff member. He was Founder-Director of the Burn Team, Founder-Director with Dr. McClave of the Help Flight Program, and with extensive experience in medical record review, an early originator of the Montana Medical Legal Panel. He was a member of the S.W. Surgical Society, Western Surgical Society and President of the Montana/Wyoming Surgical Society.

Retiring in 2000 from his surgical practice, he joined the P.A. Program at Rocky as Director. He thoroughly enjoyed his students, sharing with them his passion for quality patient care.

His favorite pastimes were spent on the ski hill, planting a hybrid tea rose, reading his physicists while listening to classical music.

He was preceded in death by his brothers, Dr. Otto Klein II (Sue), John and his parents.

We thank the Sweetwater Staff for their kind care these past three years.

No services are planned at this time.

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0 thoughts on “David E. Klein, MD, FACS”

  1. I’m very sorry to read of Dr Klein’s passing. I was 28 years old when he performed a modified radical mastectomy for breast cancer. That was 32 years ago. I always told him he saved my life and I believe that to this day. I was blessed to have had him as my surgeon.

  2. Charles L. Aragon, MD

    I am very sorry to hear of Dr. Klein’s passing. I had the pleasure of working closely with David at SVH in the operating room. Dr.Klein was an excellent compassionate physician that took great care of his patients. Dr. Klein was a very interesting man, he always had something to teach. I appreciate the time I was able to spend with David . Rest In Peace my friend.

  3. I was so very sorry to hear of Dr. Klein’s passing. When I was a cook at Sweetwater he always made me laugh with his great sense of humor. Every once in awhile I would bring my labradoodle Sophie to see him and he loved petting her and talking to her. My thoughts and prayers are with Marilyn and family during this difficult time.
    Jill Campbell

  4. So sorry to learn this.. Dr. Klein was an amazing surgeon who really had a lot of compassion and cared for his patients. Started in St v’s OR in 1982 and really enjoyed working with him. We always talked about the Navy. His dedication to his fellow people was an inspiration. Rest In Peace my friend. – Mark Johnson

  5. I was privileged to practice medicine in Billings with Dave from ’72 to ’87. A brilliant man and so much more than just a physician as many in the medical community were back then. Condolences to Kitch, Gretchen and Peter.

  6. Sorry for your loss of a great man. Worked many years in the Operating Room with Dr.Klein when I started in the OR in 1974. He taught me many things about General Surgery. Hope he is having fun with is rinse pan, sponges and duck in his OR in heaven.

  7. So sorry for your loss. He was a wonderful surgeon and a pleasure to work with during my years in surgery. I was glad to have been able to visit with him this fall at Sweetwater. Prayers to you.

  8. My condolences to your family. I also had the privilege of working with Dr. Klein as a RN at Saint Vincent operating room. He took pride in providing the best of care to his patients. He treated his colleagues and staff in the operating room with respect. Dr. Klein expected the best from all on every procedure. He never missed an opportunity to teach from his wealth of experience. I became an expert at counting hundreds of sponges, needles, instruments and his special tools. When he retired from the O.R. he gave me one of his favorite scissors.

  9. Dr. Vicki Burford

    I worked with Dave when I was the social worker on the burn team that he helped establish. He was a great leader in getting that team started along with Dr. Sloan.

  10. Robert Hylton, MD

    It is sad to hear of Dave’s passing. Twentyone years of operating room time together left me with respect for his surgical talents and judgement and an appreciation of his friendship.

  11. Oh, how my dad loved Dave’s company and conversation in the good old days of their friendship. My brothers and I have so many fond memories of bumming weekend rides to Red Lodge to ski with Dr. and Mrs. Klein, the never-ending gardening and yard work on hot summer days. We send along our prayers and fond memories.

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