Sue and Tom Klebold grew up in Ohio, but their childhoods were hardly similar.
Sue knew privilege, Tom knew tragedy.
Susan Frances Yassenoff lived in the well-to-do suburb of Bexley outside Columbus. The name Yassenoff means something in Columbus. Her grandfather, Leo Yassenoff, was a prominent developer and philanthropist who left his $13 million estate to charity. The Jewish community center in Columbus is named after him. Sue’s father, Milton, was Jewish; her mother, Charlene, was not. Sue attended Temple Israel, said Solly Yassenoff, a distant cousin.
After high school, Sue studied art and math at Ohio State University.
Thomas Ernest Klebold was born in the Toledo area. His mother died when he was 6, his father when he was 12. His half brother, Donald, who was 18 years older, raised him. Tom attended a small college in Springfield, Ohio, for two years before transferring to Ohio State, where he majored in sculpting and fell in love with another art student.
Tom and Sue were married in 1971.
Tom was the thinker, the more reserved partner. Sue was artsy and extroverted and sensitive.
The Klebolds searched for a spiritual niche and considered themselves liberal. Because of their Jewish and Christian backgrounds, the family celebrated both Hanukkah and Christmas.
Tom and Sue imposed strict limits on how much money they spent on their kids. These kids were not spoiled Tom and Sue wanted their boys to know the value of money and work.
One Christmas, Sue fretted because Dylan wanted a collectible baseball card that cost as much as she had planned to spend on all his gifts. She worried about only having one gift under the tree. But that’s what Dylan wanted, and that’s all he got.
The Klebolds moved to Milwaukee where Tom got a graduate degree in geophysics from Marquette University. The oil-and-gas industry took them to Oklahoma City in the mid-1970s, and then to Colorado. In the early 1980s, the Klebolds moved from Lakewood to a neighborhood just southeast of Columbine.
Sue worked at Arapahoe Community College. Sue’s job was to make sure disabled students had access. She moved on to the same position with the state consortium of community colleges.
Tom, predicting the fallout in the oil-and-gas business, started looking for another career. He started his Fountain real estate mortgage-management business. One of the rental properties he and Sue own is in Denver – on Columbine Street.
In 1989, Tom and Sue paid $250,000 for a stunning 3,528-square-foot home tucked between two red rock outcroppings on Cougar Road in Deer Creek Canyon. They’ve lived in this home ever since, determined to stay and live out the rest of their lives there despite the massacre.
Beautiful morning dog walk along Cougar Creek in Canmore. I had to stop and take some of the fall colours reflected in the creek. This is shot on the Canon 5D Mark II with the EF 17-40 f/4L USM. Looking forward to seeing the other fall colours that our staff shoot!