Eugene Lee “Gene” Klem, 84, Bretzville

Eugene Lee “Gene” Klem, 84, of Bretzville, died Monday, July 19, at his home. He was born in Kyana April 3, 1937, to Joseph A. and Rosa Anna (Welp) Klem. He married Mary Ann Voegerl October 4, 1958, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jasper. She died April 18, 2008.

Gene and his wife Mary Ann operated the Santa Claus American Legion from 1959 to 1960. They owned Palm Gardens Restaurant in Bretzville from 1966 to 1975. Gene retired from IMI Concrete in Huntingburg, where he was 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, the St. Anthony Conservation Club, the St. Anthony Community Center, and was a charter member of the St. Anthony Fire Department. He enjoyed woodworking and spending time with family and friends.

He is survived by four daughters, Rosey Patmore and husband David, Newburgh, Dots Sotzing and husband Chuck, Bretzville, Lugene Merkel and husband Marvin, Huntingburg, and Catherine Hopf and husband Randy, St. Anthony; one son, Thomas E. Klem and wife Bonnie, Jasper; 15 grandchildren; four step grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; 14 step great-grandchildren; one step great- great-granddaughter; one brother, Alvin Klem and wife Vernita, St. Anthony; and sisters-in-law Rita Klem, St. Anthony, and Dolores Klem, Ireland.

In addition to his parents and wife he was preceded in death by one grandson, Benjamin Patmore, two sisters, Henrietta Ernst and Lucille Hopster, and seven brothers, Oscar, Clarence, Vic, Arnie, Walter, Art, and Ray Klem.

Friends may call from 2-8 p.m. Wednesday at the Becher-Kluesner Downtown Chapel in Jasper and from 9-10 a.m. Thursday at St. Anthony Church. The Indiana Volunteer Firefighters Association will conduct a memorial service at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. Memorial contributions can be made to Divine Mercy Parish, the St. Anthony Fire Department, or to a favorite charity. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherkluesner.com. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at the church with burial following in the church cemetery.

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