Dr. Martin Kling, 86, of East Brunswick died Sept. 4, 2014. Born in the Bronx, he resided in Berkeley and Walnut Creek, Calif., before moving to East Brunswick 49 years ago.
Dr. Kling was professor emeritus at Rutgers University and a leader in the reading and literacy fields. He was appointed to the faculty of the Rutgers Graduate School of Education in 1965 and received tenure in 1968. He served as the Graduate School of Education’s Learning and Teaching department chair for eight years. He was a prominent scholar and active member of the International Reading Association, the National Reading Conference, and the College Reading Association. At Rutgers he mentored many young faculty members and students and was well published in the field of reading education; he also founded a reading clinic and launched the Rutgers Reading and Writing Conference, which will mark its 47th annual iteration in January 2015. He retired from Rutgers in 1991.
Before coming to Rutgers, he was a religious school principal in northern California. He also worked as a reading teacher at the University of California Extension Division, school psychologist for Oakland Public Schools, coordinating research psychologist for the Carnegie-Holmes Reading Project at the Institute for Human Development at University of California at Berkeley, and as an English and reading instructor at San Francisco State College.
He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1949 with a BA in general psychology, going on to earn his MA and PhD in educational psychology, in 1956 and 1965, respectively, from UC Berkeley as well.
He was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War, serving in the Army’s Medical Service from 1950 to 1952. He was assigned to the 14th Field Hospital. While there, he researched one of the war’s biggest scourges, frostbite, and found that soldiers were underequipped and undereducated to withstand the extreme cold. He also was asked to look into the causes of inefficient and inaccurate replenishing of troop supplies, tracing the problem to spotty literacy among order writers. He led classes to close the literacy gap.
His first language was Yiddish.
He was a former congregant of East Brunswick Jewish Center.
Predeceased by a baby daughter and his grandson, Rafael David Kling, he is survived by his wife, Roslyn Janet Sohmer, whom he married in 1958; two sons, Aaron of El Cerrito, Calif., and Larry (Elizabeth Lerman Kling) of Highland Park; and his daughter, Miriam Perkoff (Michael Grossman) of San Rafael, Calif.
Services were held Sept. 7 with arrangements by Crabiel Parkwest Funeral Chapel, New Brunswick.