Remembering Dr. Caroline Klein

The UNC Department of Neurology is deeply saddened by the loss of Dr. Caroline Klein, who died on April 27.

Remembering Dr. Caroline Klein click to enlarge Caroline M. Klein, MD, PhD

The Department of Neurology mourns the passing of a colleague and a friend, Dr. Caroline Klein. The following obituary was provided by her family.

Caroline Marie Klein, M.D., Ph.D., of Chapel Hill, NC, age 56, passed away on April 27, 2017, at the Hospice Home in Burlington, NC, following a courageous six-year battle with cancer. Dr. Klein was born on August 5, 1960, in Rochester, NH to the late Grover Hugh Klein and Sara Elizabeth Edwards Klein. A native of Asheville, NC, she received her BA degree [Medieval-Renaissance Studies & Physiology (dual major)] from Duke University, her PhD [Anatomy and Cell Biology] from East Carolina University in 1988 and her MD degree from UT-Galveston in 1994 with AOA honors. In addition she was a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Neurobiology at the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY.  

She received her neurological training at the University of Virginia (1995 – 1998) and then completed three fellowships at Mayo Clinic-Rochester in peripheral nerve, EMG and clinical autonomic research before joining the neuromuscular section of the Department of Neurology at Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. In 2003, she joined the neuromuscular section of the Department of Neurology at UNC-Chapel Hill to direct and build the neuropathy and autonomic programs. She retired due to her illness a few years ago.

She was an active member of numerous neurological-related organizations, participated in peer review for several medical journals, and served as a member of the editorial board of Neurology. Dr. Klein also authored or co-authored many scholarly peer-reviewed publications related to her extensive research throughout the years. As was so aptly stated by a colleague, she was a “neurologist’s neurologist with every ‘i’ dotted and every ‘t’ crossed.” Her patients adored her and it will never be known how many lives she has touched through her practice of medicine as well as teaching and mentoring students and residents. 

Dr. Klein attended the Gathering Church of Durham, NC, and was a part of the women’s Bible study group that met weekly, though in recent months she was unable to attend because of her health. She loved animals (especially cats), going to the beach, spending time with her family, reading, and Duke University basketball.

Dr. Klein was preceded in death by her parents, aunts and uncles: Jim and Francis Evans of Aiken, SC; Ed and Marian Dukes of Asheville, NC; Val and Polly Timson of Boston, MA; and cousins Norman and Bill Dukes. She is survived by her brothers, Jack and his wife Ruth Ann Klein of Leicester, NC; Mark and his wife Mandy Klein of Kingsport, TN; and Joseph and his wife Jocelyn Klein of Arden, NC; her nephews and niece, Jeffrey Klein, Christian Klein, Benjamin Klein and Beth Klein; her cousins Anne, Jean, Mary, Margie, and Chris Timson of Boston, MA, and their extended families; and her beloved cat, Sunny. In addition, she will be lovingly missed by numerous colleagues and friends throughout the United States. Dr. Klein was also preceded in death by her much loved cats, Charlie, Muffin and Shadow.

The Klein family will receive family and friends for a visitation on Saturday, May 6, at 1 p.m. at Walker’s Funeral Home in Chapel Hill with the funeral service to follow in the chapel at 2 p.m. A graveside service followed by interment will take place on Monday, May 8, at 2 p.m. in Green Hills Cemetery in Asheville, NC.  Both services will be officiated by Reverend Mark Acuff.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Dr. Klein’s favorite charity, Safe Haven for Cats, of Raleigh, NC – www.safehavenforcats.org.

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