Joe Klecko’s Wife Debbie Klecko: The Woman Behind His Success

By AbigailPublished on: March 3, 2024 Updated on: March 7, 2024
Husband Joe Klecko
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Debbie Klecko is the beloved spouse of the famous former football player Joe Klecko. She gained prominent attention for her role in launching her husband’s career, as he mentioned in his Hall of Fame speech in 2023.

Throughout his decade of career in the NFL scene, mainly with the New York Jets, Debbie’s partner received many accolades and has managed to mark his name in sports history as one of the best defensive linemen.

While Joe’s career and life are interesting enough to be told again and again, in this article, we shall focus more on his spouse. Keep reading to learn about Debbie’s journey in life and her role in the initiation of Joe’s career.

Debbie Klecko grew up with her Five siblings in Pennsylvania

Debbie, born Deborah Anderson, was welcomed into the world by her parents, George Anderson and Ann Medico Anderson. She was raised in her hometown of Pennsylvania with her two sisters, George Anne Watkins, Kathleen Schatzman, and three brothers, the late Dennis Anderson, George Anderson and John Anderson.

Debbie Klecko
Debbie hails from Pennsylvania.

Sadly, her father passed away in 2005, while her mother followed him in 2020.

Although Debbie is married to a public figure, she herself likes to be out of the spotlight.

Debbie Klecko and Joe Klecko are high school sweethearts

Well, the love story of the duo started in their teenage years. Debbie attended an all-girls high school in Chester, Pennsylvania, while Joe was a student at an all-boys high school. They were introduced by a mutual friend and went to a pizza place for their initial date.

The first date turned into many more, and before they knew it, they were in love. Eventually, the two officially tied the knot, and their sweet romance turned into decades of companionship.

Having known each other since high school, the Klecko couple have spent most of their life together.

The loving pair made it official after a four-year romance

After enjoying four years of togetherness, Joe asked his then-girlfriend to marry him. The proposal was not anything grand or very romantic. It was just a simple question, most probably asked with nervousness and anticipation. Debbie said,

Actually, we were in the car in front of my mother’s house. We were about to go in the house and then he said, ‘Wait a minute.’ He had a ring, he gave it to me. He said, ‘You want to get married?’

After receiving a yes, the engaged partners started preparing for their wedding, and on July 26, 1975, the lovebirds took the vows of forever and after. Furthermore, they celebrated their 48th anniversary in 2023.

Their love is still the same, and a quick glance through Debbie’s Facebook shows how much she supports her husband.

The Klecko Couple share five children

After exchanging the rings in front of their loved ones, the Klecko duo moved forward to raise a family together. The pair have welcomed five kids into the world: Michael, Danny, Gabrielle, Joshua, and Mary Kate.

Joe Klecko and Debbie Klecko's children
The lovebirds have raised five younglings together.

They had their first child, Michael, a year after they got married. Their second son, Dan, was born on January 12, 1981, and their eldest daughter, Gabrielle, was born on October 5, 1993.

All of their younglings have followed different paths in life. The oldest Klecko works at IUOE Local 825 while Dan is a former football player.  Furthermore, Gabrielle studied nursing at Chamberlain University and currently works as an emergency room nurse. Meanwhile, their youngest majored in psychology at Georgian Court University and is a talent acquisition coordinator at T&M Associates.

Debbie currently resides in Colts Neck, New Jersey, with her beloved.

Debbie Klecko and her husband raised three athletes

Athleticism might be a family trait in the Kleckos. Debbie’s son Dan followed his father’s steps into professional football and was a football defensive tackle and fullback. He has won three Super Bowl rings throughout his career.

Along with Dan, Debbie’s younger son Josh also dipped his feet into the sports. During his high school and college years in Fordham University, he played in the defensive position in the football team.

Meanwhile, Klecko’s eldest daughter was a softball star for the duration of her high school and college years. She initially played for her high school team at Red Bank Catholic High School and later on for her alma mater, the University of Delaware. Gabrielle has received many accolades throughout her softball stint in the position of an outfielder as well.

Joe Klecko’s Wife was the one who gave him the push to follow his dreams

The former footballer credits his wife for being where he is today. Back when he was trying out for the professional league, he got a call for a tryout. Debbie was the one who drove him to the destination in Ridley Township, Pennsylvania.

However, when the car reached the field, Joe became uncertain and started making excuses about not trying. Seeing this, Debbie pulled out the keys from the ignition and threw them out of the window. In the stalemate that followed, the people in the field saw him and invited him inside.

In the end, Joe not only ended up trying out but also joining the team.

Joe Klecko and his wife Debbie Klecko at a stadium
Debbie was the one to encourage him to pursue his dreams.

In his Hall of Fame speech, the legendary athlete said to his wife,

None of this would be possible without you. Who would have thought when you threw my car keys on the Knights’ practice field exactly fifty years ago, we would end up here today? Your unconditional love and support led me down this path and made me the man I am. We’ve added another chapter to our book! I love you! I know how much you hate the spotlight, sorry honey, you can’t hide from it today.

All in all, the saying, “Behind every successful man, there is a woman,” perfectly describes Debbie and Joe’s never ending relationship.