(GALVESTON, Texas) — It is with deep sadness that Texas A&M University at Galveston announces the passing of Capt. Joseph J.W. Klenczar. Klenczar was the master of the Texas A&M Maritime Academy training ship General Rudder. He passed away as a result of complications from surgery on Monday evening, Jan. 30.
Klenczar was a 1979 graduate of Texas A&M at Galveston with a degree in marine sciences. He joined the International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots immediately after graduation and sailed in all deck licensed positions, including several years as master of container and roll-on/roll-off vessels. He served as master of vessels on voyages to the Persian Gulf in support of U.S. armed forces during Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. He returned to the Texas A&M University Maritime Academy in 2013 as chief mate and then master of General Rudder.
“Joe was my dear friend and I will miss him,” said Capt. Scott Putty, associate professor of the practice of marine transportation at Texas A&M Galveston. “Joe was a kind soul with an incredible work ethic and attention to detail. He was an excellent role model for the cadets.”
“Scores of cadets will remember and benefit from the leadership of Capt. Klenczar," said Dr. Doug Palmer, interim chief operations officer at Texas A&M Galveston. “His knowledge and mastery of maritime skills have been passed on to our cadets. In that, Joe will live on in the cadets he trained and led so well.”
Services are pending at this time.