Jim Kuempel

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Jim Kuempel of Guttenberg passed away Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, at the Hiawatha Care Center in Hiawatha.

Funeral services were Wednesday, Feb. 24, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Guttenberg, conducted by Rev. Marvin Bries. Visitation was before services at the church.

Interment was at Mt. Olivet Catholic Cemetery, Guttenberg.

Arrangements were handled by Tuecke-Allyn Funeral Home, Guttenberg.

Jim was born on Aug. 5, 1927, in Guttenberg to John T. and Hilda Kuempel.

He graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Guttenberg and attended the University of Iowa and Loras College. Jim served two years in the United States Navy and was honorably discharged in 1945, after which he began working at Kuempel and Lake Hardware in Guttenberg. In 1961, Jim partnered with his father and purchased half the business which became Kuempel Hardware. Jim, along with his brother, Tom, purchased the other half from their father in 1968 and Tom became sole owner in 1995 when Jim retired.

In June 1950 Jim married Lou Gilchrist. He loved Guttenberg where he spent all but his last few years and served the community through many organizations including Rotary, Guttenberg Fire Department, lifetime member of St. Mary’s Parish, member of the St. Mary’s Choir, Knights of Columbus, over 60 years as a member of the American Legion, member of 40 & 8 and the Guttenberg German Band. He was very proud of the contribution made as a member of the Guttenberg Municipal Hospital board for 36 years. Aside from his civic contributions, Jim enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time with his family. 

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Lou; sons, Mike (Marla), Dan (Deena); daughter, Jeanne; seven grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; sisters, Kathleen Dunn, Sr. Clara Mae Kuempel and brother, Tom.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Bob; sister, Bernyce Elsinger, and three siblings who died in infancy.

Memorials can be made in Jim’s name to the Guttenberg Municipal Hospital or St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

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