Eugene Lee “Gene” Klem, age 84, of Bretzville, passed away at 3:40 a.m. on Monday, July 19, 2021, at home surrounded by family.
Gene was born in Kyana, on April 3, 1937, to Joseph A. and Rosa Anna (Welp) Klem. He married Mary Ann (Voegerl) Klem on October 4, 1958, in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Jasper. She preceded him in death on April 18, 2008.
Gene, along with his wife Mary Ann, operated the Santa Claus American Legion from 1959-1960. They then owned Palm Gardens Restaurant in Bretzville from 1966-1975. Gene retired from IMI Concrete in Huntingburg, where he had been a truck driver for several years. After retirement he mowed for Cedar Crest Intermediate School.
He was a member of Divine Mercy Parish – St. Anthony Catholic Church, St. Anthony Conservation Club, the St. Anthony Community Center, and a charter member of the St. Anthony Fire Department.
He enjoyed woodworking and spending time with family and friends.
Surviving are four daughters, Rosey (Daniel) Patmore, Newburgh, Dots (Chuck) Sotzing, Bretzville, Lugene (Marvin) Merkel, Huntingburg and Catherine (Randy) Hopf, St. Anthony; one son, Thomas E. (Bonnie) Klem, Jasper; 15 grandchildren, four step-grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, 14 step-great-grandchildren and one step-great-great-granddaughter; one brother, Alvin (Vernita) Klem, St. Anthony; and two sisters-in-law, Rita Klem, St. Anthony and Dolores Klem, Ireland.
Preceding him in death besides his wife were one grandson, Benjamin Patmore; two sisters, Henrietta Ernst and Lucille Hopster; and seven brothers, Oscar, Clarence, Vic, Arnie, Walter, Art and Ray Klem.
A Mass of Christian burial for Eugene L. Klem will be held at 10 a.m. EDT on Thursday, July 22, at St. Anthony Catholic Church in St. Anthony, with burial to follow in the church cemetery.
A visitation will be held from 2-8 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 21, at the Becher-Kluesner Downtown Chapel in Jasper, and one hour before services at the church on Thursday.
Memorial contributions may be made to Divine Mercy Parish, St. Anthony Fire Department, or to a favorite charity. Condolences may be shared at www.becherkluesner.com.