Dale Klitzke has started a new leg of his career at a point when most would be thinking about retirement.

Klitzke is the new priest-in-charge at St. Augustine of Canterbury and hadn’t planned on continuing to serve when retiring to Aiken. But, while he and his wife were packing, the call came from his bishop.

“I am blessed to be able to minister at this stage in my life,” said Klitzke, who added it is not about beefing up his resume or impressing the bishop. “It’s entirely about serving God.”

Klitzke is a native of Wisconsin and lived there since birth with the exception of the time he spent in the U.S. Army.

He and his wife, Linda, decided to move to Aiken to be closer to family. Klitzke’s daughter, Heather, is married to Father Grant Wiseman, rector at St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church.

The priesthood is a later-in-life vocation for Klitzke. He started out as a businessman, and at one point, owned a large grocery store.

“The story I tell is, God appeared to me and said, ‘Feed my people.’ So, I built a large grocery store,” he said. But, he added, “feed my people” was not to be taken literally, but spiritually.

Klitzke attended seminary at Nashotah House, and now he’s in Aiken at St. Augustine of Canterbury.

“I love these people. They’re here because they want to be here. I am absolutely blessed,” he said. “It has lifted up my faith and spirit be being in their midst.”

Not only is his son-in-law an Episcopalian priest, Klitzke has a son in Minneapolis and a son in Hawaii who are Episcopalian priests, too. He credits his wife with supporting and inspiring them all.

St. Augustine of Canterbury is located at 1630 Silver Bluff Road and can be reached at 641-1913.