Hans C. Kliemisch, a 10th-degree black belt who established three karate studios, died Feb. 25 of lung cancer at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. The longtime Essex resident was 84.
Mr. Kliemisch was born and raised in the Bronx, N.Y., where he attended public schools.
"He lied about his age and served in the Army during World War II," said his daughter, Kimberly Moss of Virginia Beach, Va. "He later served in the Navy during the Korean War."
In 1954, Mr. Kliemisch moved to Baltimore and went to work at Sparrows Point in Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s tin mill, from which he retired in 1999.
In the early 1960s, Mr. Kliemisch opened his first karate studio, H.C. Kliemisch Karate Self Defense, on Frankford Avenue. He later expanded to two more studios in Essex.
In 1977, Mr. Kliemisch had a role in John Waters' movie "Desperate Living."
Mr. Kliemisch closed his karate studios last year.
"Karate was his hobby. That was his love," said Ms. Moss. "No one could have found a more giving and charismatic person than Hans, who was known as 'Mr. K.,' 'The Boss,' 'Klem' or simply 'Kliemisch.' "
A celebration of Mr. Kliemisch's life will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Jim Frederick's Karate Studio, 8641 Loch Raven Blvd.
In addition to his daughter, Mr. Kliemisch is survived by two grandchildren. His marriage to Helen Brown ended in divorce.