- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 8, 2002

John J. Klocko III, a lawyer and two-term member of the Anne Arundel County Council, was killed in a two-car crash Saturday in rural Utah while he was traveling to a mountain-biking camp. He was 45.
"It's certainly a shock to the council and the county to lose Mr. Klocko," said council Chairman Bill D. Burlison, Odenton Democrat. "We certainly offer our deepest condolences to his family and friends."
According to the Utah Highway Patrol, the accident occurred about 10:20 a.m. local time on Interstate 15 near Cedar City. The driver of a southbound vehicle drifted across the median into the northbound lane and struck Mr. Klocko's vehicle.
The southbound driver Victor Josue Torres, 19, of Los Angeles suffered cuts and bruises and was taken to Valley View Medical Center in Cedar Creek, according to a report filed by Highway Patrol Trooper Larry W. Orton. No charges have yet been filed against Mr. Torres, pending completion of an investigation.
Karen Klocko said her husband was traveling alone to Moab to attend a mountain-biking camp a gift from his three teenage daughters. "He was an avid mountain biker and liked to ride off trail," she said, adding that Mr. Klocko was also an avid downhill skier.
Mrs. Klocko said her husband had flown to Las Vegas on Wednesday and rented a car to drive to the mountain-biking camp, his first trip to the recreational site.
A popular and respected Crofton lawyer, Mr. Klocko was completing his second and final term as a County Council member. Term limits prevented him from seeking a third term. Mrs. Klocko said he was considering an eventual campaign for county executive, but believed his council service was "the end of the line in politics for him."
"He was only interested in county issues," Mrs. Klocko said, explaining his reluctance to seek a seat in the General Assembly or other higher office.
"John Klocko was an outstanding representative on behalf of his constituents," County Executive Janet Owens said in a statement. "And as county executive, I can tell everyone that his wife and three daughters were the light of his life. We extend our condolences and heartfelt sympathies to his family."
Mr. Burlison noted that Mr. Klocko's death "is the second loss to the council this session."
Cliff R. Roop died of a heart attack during a council meeting in January 2000. He also was 45.
"Both [Mr. Klocko and Mr. Roop] were valued for their contributions to the county and the council and both will be enormously missed," said Mr. Burlison, the council chairman.
Mr. Klocko received a bachelor's degree in geology from the University of Maryland and his law degree from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.
In addition to his private law practice, the Crofton Republican was vice president and general counsel of Professional Community Management Inc.
He was involved in community service, having been chairman of the Anne Arundel County Amusement Licensing Commission, chairman of the Anne Arundel County Eastern Bypass Task Force, founder and president of the Greater Crofton Council, and a board member of the Crofton Chamber of Commerce.
He is survived by his wife and daughters Caroline, 18, Mary-Katherine, 15, and Elizabeth, 13.
Visiting hours are scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at Evans Funeral Home, 16000 Annapolis Road in Bowie.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, 1800 Seton Drive in Crofton.
Memorial donations may be made to Philmont Scout Ranch, RR1, Box 35, Cimarron, NM 87714.

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