The former Ella E. Heuertz was born March 22, 1911, at Granville, the daughter of Michael and Ella (VanSteenwyk) Heuertz. On April 25, 1935, she married Albert Kurtzhals at Oyens. Following their marriage the couple lived in Le Mars and then moved to the Kurtzhals' home place just west of Le Mars. They lived there until Albert died in 1967. For several years after Albert's death, Ella ran the trucking business. In 1972 Ella married Walt Kounkel and moved to a farm west of Neptune. Walt died in 1980 and Ella moved to an apartment in Le Mars. She had lived in Le Mars since, most recently at Prime Living Apartments.
Mrs. Kounkel was a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church and the Ladies Guild. She was also a member of the Christian Mothers Society and was a member of the Catholic Daughters of America for more than 50 years.
She made quilts for the missions and had sewn hundreds of aprons for the Hospital Auxiliary. Ella enjoyed fishing in Canada and Minnesota and loved playing bridge, pinochle and bingo and putting together jigsaw puzzles.
Survivors include four children: Arlene Miller of Olathe, Kan., Allen Kurtzhals and his wife Linda of Sioux City, Rose Ann Kurtzhals of Orange City, and Doris Beitelspacher and her husband Ed of Le Mars; a son-in-law Fred Haring of Le Mars; seven grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; three stepchildren: Shyril Schroeder and her husband Jim of Hinton, Judy Hegstrom and her husband Paul of Lawton, and Terry Kounkel and his wife Jane of Spirit Lake; a step son-in-law Phil Osborne and his wife Lyn of Sioux City; 14 stepgrandchildren; 19 stepgreat-grandchildren; a brother Stanley Heuertz and his wife Frances of Le Mars; a sister-in-law Lillian Heuertz of Le Mars; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; both husbands; a son-in-law, Ronald Miller; a stepdaughter Regene Osborne; a sister Viola Peterson; and two brothers: Victor and Wilbur Heuertz.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Le Mars, with the Rev. Kevin Richter officiating. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery. Visitation will be after 3 p.m. Thursday at the Feuerstein Funeral Home in Le Mars. A combined rosary by the Christian Mothers and Catholic Daughters will be at 4 p.m. and the Scriptural wake service at 7 p.m. at the funeral home on Thursday.