Ernest (Ernie) “Bates” John Kluesner, 64, of Marion, passed away Friday, July 31, 2020, at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics surrounded by his loving family.

Friends and relatives of Ernie called from 3 — 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020 at the Reiff Funeral Home in Farley.

Services for Ernie were held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020 at the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Farley, with Rev. Father Schuler presiding.

Lector was his godchild, Molly McQuillen. Placing of the pall was done by Karen Kluenser, Kristin and Kyle Becker, Jessica and Joshua Kelly, Matthew and Kristina Kluesner and Alisan Kluenser.

Burial was held at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Farley following the service.

Casketbearers for Ernest were: his nephews, Troy Kluesner, Jayme Kluesner, Cory Kluesner, Jeff Kluesner, Brad Kluesner, Mark Kluesner and Mitchell Wubben.

Ernie was born May 9, 1956, in Dubuque, the son of Joseph C. and Verena R. (Wulfekuhle) Kluesner. Ernie grew up on a farm outside of Farley, with his 12 siblings. He graduated from St. Joseph’s High School in Farley in 1974.

On Nov. 18, 1978, Ernie married the love of his life, Karen Ernzen, at St. Patrick’s Church in Epworth. Ernie and Karen had four children, Kristin, Jessica, Matthew and Alisan. The family moved to Marion in 1984. Ernie was devoted to his family. He enjoyed traveling with his wife and family, cookouts and family gatherings, golfing with his son and brothers, fishing with his brothers, nephews, and grandchildren, playing cards, and watching sporting events. He was an avid Iowa Hawkeye, St. Louis Cardinal, Green Bay Packer, and Boston Celtic fan, as well as any team his grandchildren were playing on.

Ernie had an adventurous spirit and was never opposed to trying new things. On his most recent vacation to the Bahamas, he enjoyed ziplining and parasailing with Karen. He was also a talented athlete. He was known as a “hot dog” to his high school basketball teammates and also excelled on his Anstoetter softball team. Ernie was a kind and selfless person. He was always available to listen, give a warm hug, or help a friend in need.

He was also very hardworking and was a skilled handyman. This served him well in the many projects that his wife and children had for him as well as in his career. He enjoyed his job at D.A.D. Manufacturing where he worked for almost 30 years.

Ernie is survived by his wife, Karen, of almost 42 years; children, Kristin (Kyle) Becker of Marion, Jessica (Joshua) Kelly of Atkins, Matthew (Kristina) Kluesner of Cedar Falls, and Alisan Kluesner of Cedar Rapids; grandchildren, Andrew and Luke Becker, Aubrey and Avarie Kelly, and Madison, Alexis, and Jacob Kluesner; 11 siblings, Daniel Kluesner of Farley, Dianne (Bruce) Batteram of Hazel Green, Wis., Robert (Karla) Kluesner of Farley, Vernon (Jackie) Kluesner of Dubuque, Edwin (Mary) Kluesner of Farley, Therese (Jerry) Renz of Earlville, Barb Kluesner of Marion, Craig Kluesner of Farley, Cyril (Amy) Kluesner of Dubuque, Rosie (Daryl) Nurre of Petersburg and Lois (Rich) Wubben of Galena, Ill.; in-laws Barbara Ernzen of Epworth, Loras (Debbie) Ernzen of Dubuque, Dianne (Daryl) Kamp of Epworth, Teresa (Patrick) Daly of Farley, Gary (Kerry) Ernzen of Epworth, Shirley (Terry) Burds of Peosta and Ken Ernzen of Moreno Valley, Cailf., and many nieces and nephews and step in-laws.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph C. and Verena R. (Wulfekuhle) Kluesner, brother Allen R. Kluesner, in-laws Raymond Ernzen, Ardella (Ernzen) Connolly, Frank Connolly, brother-in-law Melvin Ernzen, and nephews Ryan Wubben, John Ernzen, and Daniel Lee Ernzen.

The family would like to thank the Marion Fire Department and paramedics for their quick response, as well as the nurses, doctors, and staff at St. Luke’s Hospital and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for their care and compassion as they worked to help Ernie.

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