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Morgan standing in a foggy field

In Memory: Jay Kleiber

April 17, 2024


Jay and friend, Photo © Caprice Soltice


Jay Joseph Kleiber, born November 2nd, 1955, died peacefully in his home with his partner at his side on April 9th, 2024. He was 68 years old. Jay was born in Menominee, MI, to Shirley LaPerriere and Joseph “Keith” Kleiber.

Jay had a successful career as a sales executive supporting higher education and technology sales and implementation. He also served as a pianist and organist for numerous churches, beginning in elementary school in Menominee, MI.

Jay was in the American Morgan Horse Breeders’ Hall of Fame and achieved unique accomplishments as a breeder, including several national and world titles.

Jay lived most recently in Lexington, KY, with his partner Jeffrey Nelson. Prior to Lexington, they lived in Parker and Elizabeth, CO. Jay enjoyed his role as a father to Brock Nelson (Jenny Johnston) in Kendall, WI. Jay and Jeff had many fur babies, including dogs, cats, and, of course, horses.

Jay is survived by his partner, Jeffrey Nelson, Lexington, KY; Brock Nelson, (Jenny Johnston), Kendall, WI; his mother, Shirley LaPerriere (Lusardi) of Menominee, MI; his sisters Patti Kleiber Nicklaus, (Michael), of Menominee, MI, Jill Kleiber Deschaine, (Myron), of Milwaukee, WI, and Beth Kleiber, (Alvetta Bence) of Denmark, WI, and brothers Rick LaPerriere, (Cathy) of Menominee, MI, Jeff Laperriere, (Melissa), of Marinette, WI, and Tony LaPerriere, (Sue), of Green Bay, WI, and numerous nieces and nephews. Jay also enjoyed his role as a grandfather to Elliott Nelson, (Madison, WI) and Phil Berger, (Kendall, WI). His father, Keith, and stepfather, Richard LaPerriere, preceded him in death.

Contributions in lieu of flowers can be made to Joy Lutheran Church in Parker, CO, and / or to Denver Dumb Friends League. Obituary courtesy of Jeffrey Nelson. 



Accepting the 2012 AMHA Breeder of the Year Award for Ridgewood Farm - Jay Kleiber & Julie Ouska. Jay and his breeding partner, Julie, produced two World Champion Mares (RWF Noelle, 2000, and RWF Over the Rainbow, 2006) and two World Champion Stallions (RWF Dralion, 2022, and RWF Gettysburg, 2023). They also bred performers like RWF On Display, RWF Paganini GCH, and RWF Victorious (their first world champion).