Carl John Kuhlers, two months shy of 103, Belmond, died Aug. 16, 2019 at the Rehabilitation Center in Belmond. Services were held Aug. 20 at Immanuel Reformed Church, with burial at the church cemetery.
Carl, the eighth of nine children of Albert and Greitje Kuhlers, was born Oct. 15, 1916 north of Meservey. That day was also the day of his parent's anniversary. He grew up on the family farm and attended a nearby country school.
Carl married Shirley Grace Halfpap on June 13, 1941 in Princeton, MO with Leland and Alverda Koenen as their witnesses. To this union three children were born: Terry, Wil and Penny. They farmed at several locations near Thornton, Meservey, and for over 50 years east of Belmond where Shirley was born. They lived at the Belmond Community Apartments for several years, and in 2013 Carl moved to the Rehabilitation Center of Belmond shortly after Shirley’s death, and after he broke his hip. They were married one week short of 72 years.
Carl, a quiet and soft-spoken person, started farming with horses. He always had a special love for horses and anything Western, especially vests, belt buckles, and caps. He was basically a cowboy at heart. He had many interests besides farming, including grain hauling for local farmers and attending auctions and sales. He especially liked "rescuing" and displaying antiques and old things before they were junked. He constructed several floats with engines running various machines and appliances for demonstrations and in parades. Carl especially enjoyed having a hand in establishing the Prairie Homestead Antique Power and Country Craft Show. For many years he demonstrated rope-making for kids at shows and fairs, along with making miniature hay bales from small balers he designed and built. He was inventive and talented in determining solutions to problems, and fixing things.
Most of all he enjoyed reunions and visits with family and friends, any time and any place. Carl was a good man, and it showed in being a good husband, father, loyal friend, and a hardworking Christian man who loved and honored God. He was always ready and willing to help others with their needs.
He was preceded in death by his sweetheart wife Shirley; and eight brothers and sisters and their spouses.
Carl will be greatly missed by his family and friends, and is survived by son Terry (Eileen) of Eagle River, WI, son Wil of Belmond, and daughter Penny (Jeff) Fitzgerald of Newhall; grandsons Todd, Matthew, Keith (Mindy) and Jeff (Shree) Kuhlers, and Joel (Jackie) and Paul Fitzgerald: great-grandchildren Mia, Leighton, Kajin, Emory and Kennedy Kuhlers, Benjamin Fitzgerald, Adalyn Holland, and Kaylee Hodge; and sisters-in-law Ruth Pals and Muriel Halfpap of Belmond.