This Boise Democrat and former KBSU exec has cancer, will retire from Legislature

Hy Kloc called Dec. 25 “the Christmas that I will always remember.” He was released from the hospital that day after having a cancerous kidney and adrenal gland removed.

The night before, his wife brought him Chinese food, keeping a family tradition alive.

“Life changes in a flash, in a second,” Kloc, 71, of Boise, said Friday of the moment he learned he had cancer.

Though his prognosis is good, the third-term state representative’s priorities have shifted. Struggling as a Democrat through Republican-dominated legislative sessions isn’t as important anymore. Kloc announced to his constituents March 12 that he would retire from the Legislature after his term ends late this year to focus on his health.

He said he will start chemotherapy treatments Sunday. Already, his days are governed by the routine of medical care.

“It’s a lot of going to doctors’ offices and getting blood work done and getting scans done,” Kloc said. “That’s the new normal, and it really sucks.”

Kloc was born in a Displaced Persons Camp in Essen, Germany, at the end of World War II. His parents and brother were Holocaust survivors. His family emigrated to the United States when he was a child. He moved to Boise in 2001 and went to work as an executive for Boise State Public Radio. He retired in 2010. In 2012, he was elected to the Legislature from District 16, which includes Northwest Boise and Garden City.

Kloc said he’ll stay on the governing board of the Greater Boise Auditorium District, which owns and operates Boise Centre, a convention venue, and uses money from a 5 percent tax on hotel room rentals to support projects aimed at improving the local economy. Kloc has served on the board since 2011.

“I wish him well and hope that he wins the battle,” said Judy Peavey-Derr, a former fellow board member.

Kloc, who was re-elected last May to a term that ends in 2023, has been a vocal supporter of a proposal to build a stadium in Downtown Boise. The status of that proposal is unclear. He said Friday he hasn’t been to a board meeting since November, when he was diagnosed with cancer, but plans to return soon.

He said his role on the district’s board is more influential than his role in the Legislature. “That’s why I’m staying on,” he said.