By MAGGIE SCHUETTE-VOSS
"At first, I wanted to be a farmer. All my friends were farmers," said Dr. John Klobe.
But the young man from Glencoe didn't till the earth. Instead, he became a dentist.
"My father was in the banking business in Glencoe, and my dad's friends were dentists. Dr. Crowley, Dr. Jungclaus, I used to go hunting and fishing with them," Klobe said.
"When I was a junior in high school I was supposed to do a speech on what career I wanted. I decided I wanted be a dentist," he said.
Dentistry, Klobe said, is all science, "and I love science."
"It's kind of funny, I took an aptitude test and it came out the first thing I would be good at is dentistry. The second was farming," he said.
Klobe attended the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1959. While he was at the "U," Lester Prairie's dentist, Dr. Raymond Sheppard was shopping around at the dental college for a partner at his practice.
He found Klobe and took him under his wing for six weeks, but Klobe had to leave for a tour of duty in the Air Force.
Capt. Klobe practiced dentistry in the service; then joined Sheppard at his office.
"He really made it easy for me," Klobe said. "He made me full partner after two years. I was only 25."
Following in Sheppard's footsteps, Klobe has given the same opportunity to Dr. Sarah Heuer, who has purchased Klobe's practice.
Heuer had been working with Klobe for the past three years.
"She would stop in and see me. I would give her extracted teeth for her to use at school. I know she checked with other dentists, but she decided to come here," Klobe said.
It was the variety of dentistry, both the challenges and the people, that Klobe enjoyed. He could have specialized in orthodontics, but chose not to.
"I like meeting new people every day. I had patients from all over."
Over the years, Klobe has gathered many stories about his practice.
"One time there was a preacher from Glencoe. He needed new dentures made and they had to be done by Sunday. Somehow they got lost in the mail. Well, after some phone calls we got that figured out and I got a hold of the lab guy. He made a new set and met me halfway from the cities to pick them up."
With his 39 years of dentistry behind him, Klobe will spend more time with his other loves, his wife of 42 years, Janet, and his hobbies, hunting and fishing.
"I'll miss it after all these years, but I've thought about it long enough.
"All of a sudden I was 65, and I love to hunt and fish," Klobe said. While he still can, Klobe said, he thought he should do some of the other things he enjoys.