Julian “Larry” Klein, 93, passed away June 13, 2018 at his home in Apopka, FL.
Larry Klein was a pilot and a combat veteran of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. He was also co-founder of Ryko Manufacturing Company in Iowa. Jim Nelson and Larry Klein started Ryko in May 1973. Nelson and Klein decided to develop and manufacture car wash equipment capable of operating completely automatically, without an attendant or coins/tokens. By August 1973 the company was in the process of manufacturing its first all-aluminum rollover automatic car wash in its first facility in Des Moines, IA. With two additional employees, Ryko was capable of producing one new car wash every 60 days.
By the end of that year, Ryko moved to Bondurant, IA, where it grew to 21 employees and manufactured five car wash machines per month. In July 1975, Ryko moved back to Des Moines to accomodate its growing operation and remained at that location until April 1984, by which time the company had expanded to 200 employees manufacturing 32 rollovers per month, and added new product lines including wand-self-service equipment, air dryers, and water treatment equipment. In 1984, Ryko moved into an abandoned brick factory building it had purchased and refurbished in Grimes IA.
After nearly 30 years of service, Klein retired from Ryko on January 1, 2003.
Larry Klein is survived by his wife of 67 years, Gwyneth, and his two sons, Robert and Michael. He also leaves four grandchildren, a sister, Bernice Baer, and two nephews.