by Idaho Reports staff
Former state Rep. Hy Kloc, D-Boise, passed away Tuesday night following a heart attack.
Kloc served three terms in the Idaho House after winning his first election in 2012, and was a current member of the Greater Boise Auditorium District. He was born in 1947 in a displaced persons camp in Germany to Polish Holocaust survivors left homeless by World War II.
Earlier this year, Idaho Public Television produced a short documentary about Kloc’s life. The story was screened in September in conjunction with the Ken Burns documentary The U.S. and the Holocaust.
“I’m the last generation that’s directly connected with the Holocaust, and one of the things that I would hate to see happen – but happens all too often – is history gets twisted and rewritten,” Kloc told IdahoPTV. “The more I see going on today, the more dire I think the situation is. You can’t just turn your head away and say, ‘Well, that’s nothing.’ You have a duty to help.”
No public memorial service is planned, according to the Idaho Democratic legislative caucus. Kloc’s family requests that any donations in his memory be made to the Idaho Humane Society.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 7, 2022
BOISE – It is with great sadness that Idaho’s Democratic caucus announces the passing of widely beloved former Representative Hy Kloc.
Hy was the son of Polish Holocaust survivors. In 1947, he was born in a displaced persons camp in Essen, Germany. Much of his family lost their lives in the Holocaust. In 1950, his family emigrated to the United States and settled in Brooklyn. He attended New York City Community College and Western Michigan University, and had a distinguished media career prior to entering public office, including working for public radio both in Idaho and in Detroit, public television and the Grammys. In 1983, Hy married the love of his life, Joan Wallace, and in 2000 they moved to Idaho where he served as the development director for Boise Public Radio.
In his new home, Hy soon gravitated to public service, chairing the Boise Census Committee in 2010. He was elected to the board of the Greater Boise Auditorium District in 2011 and again in 2017, serving as the chair from 2011 to 2014. In 2012, he was elected to represent District 16 (West Boise and Garden City) in the Idaho House of Representatives, a position he held until retiring in 2018. Hy was a steadfast champion of early childhood education, introducing bipartisan legislation seeking to end Idaho’s status as one of the few states lacking public pre-k. As the son of Holocaust survivors, he was an unfailing advocate for refugees and the most vulnerable members of society, sponsoring Add the Words legislation every year and vigorously opposing all legislation he saw as discriminatory.
Hy and his wife Joan were devoted dog lovers, and Hy was a vocal champion for the humane treatment of animals. He led the successful effort to establish Idaho’s “Pet Friendly” license plate, which has generated over $100,000 to benefit the Idaho Humane Society in providing veterinary services for low-income Idaho residents and spay and neuter services.
On the night of December 6, 2022, Hy suffered an unexpected heart attack and passed away at St. Alphonsus Hospital. Our hearts are with Joan at this difficult time. We are thankful to have worked with Hy and that Idaho reaped the benefits of his compassion, hard work and dedication to service. We ask that any donations in honor of the remarkable Hy Kloc be made to the Idaho Humane Society. Each time you see a Pet-Friendly license plate, thank Hy, and hug your loved ones and your pets a little closer in his memory.