Kenneth Paul Gaumnitz, 91, of Merrill, died Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, at his home in Merrill.
Kenneth Paul Gaumnitz was born in Plymouth County, Iowa Aug. 10, 1920, to parents, Paul Otto Gaumnitz and Mathilda Schultz Gaumnitz, the third of five children.
He married L. Laurene Kehrberg May 2, 1952, at the Stanton EUB Church in rural Plymouth County. They celebrated 59 years together and their family included four children, eight grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
Kenneth lived his entire life in Plymouth County, with the exception of a stint in the U.S. Army from 1945 to 1946 which was spent in Iceland. He was awarded an honorary high school diploma in recognition of military service to Iowa and the United States of America during World War II.
He was a self-educated man and he valued education.
He began working as a farm laborer at age 13. He rented several farms in Plymouth County. Then in 1958, he rented a 160-acre farm one mile east of Merrill, that he and his wife eventually owned. He farmed that land until he retired at 80 years of age.
During that time, he operated a corn shelling business and was also involved with home construction in Merrill. He remodeled his boyhood home and built three others. The last house that was built has been his home since 1994.
He was an active member of the Stanton United Methodist Church until it closed in 1971. He transferred his membership to the Merrill United Methodist Church where he sang in the choir. He was also active in Lions Club for a number of years.
He was known for his hard work, dedication to his family and church, and his friendly personality. He loved to travel and read about the world and had a kind heart.
He will be missed by his family and friends.
He is survived by his wife, L. Laurene Gaumnitz, and their children: Anita Delutri of Merrill, Gene Gaumnitz and his wife, Linda, of Le Mars, Lorna Gaumnitz-Garcia and her husband, Pete, of Richland, Wash., and Bernie Gaumnitz and his wife, Lori, of Le Mars. He is also survived by his brother, Arnold Gaumnitz, of Lee Summit, Mo., and his grandchildren: Melissa Charlson, Seth Delutri, Joslyn Delutri, Tiffany Kayser, Nichole Gaumnitz-Chada, Kristen Garcia, Jessica Garcia, and Kori Luschen; and his great-grandchildren: Noah, Mia, and Aidan Charlson, McKenna and Makaiya Chada, and Mia Kayser.
Kenneth was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Mathilda Gaumnitz; his brothers, Eldon Gaumnitz of Merrill, and Donald Gaumnitz of Washington, N.C.; his sister, Dorothy Quinn of Carroll, and his grandson, Nicholas Gaumnitz.
Private services will be held for family members and close friends. Arrangements are with the Carlsen Funeral Home in Le Mars.
Expressions of sympathy can be extended to the family through www.carlsenfuneralhome.com or sent to Carlsen Funeral Home, PO Box 711, Le Mars, Iowa 51031.