Thomas A. Kuempel

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It is with great sadness that the family of Thomas A. Kuempel announces his passing on Friday, March 10, 2023, at the age of 84.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, March 16, from 4-7 p.m. at Morris Funeral Home in Guttenberg.

Visitation will continue at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, from 10-11 a.m. prior to the funeral mass. Funeral services will commence at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 17, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Guttenberg. Reverend Marvin Bries will officiate. The service will also be livestreamed on St. Mary’s Facebook page.

A private family burial will be held at a later date.

Thomas “Tom” was born on Feb. 4, 1939, at the Kuempel family home in Guttenberg, which was located on the site that is now the parking lot of the Guttenberg Hospital. He was the youngest of nine children born to John T. “Jack” and Hildegarde Mary (Lake) Kuempel.

Tom attended St. Mary’s School, graduating in 1957. He also attended Loras College from 1957-1958. He served his country as a member of Company A, in the 52nd Infantry in the 1st Armor Brigade from 1961-1963. Drafted in 1961 during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Tom’s company was inspected by President John F. Kennedy on an island off of Cuba, as they would have been the first to invade Cuba in the event of war. After his military service ended, Tom returned to his hometown to work for the family business, Kuempel Hardware, in partnership with his father and his brother James. In 1995, Tom became sole owner of Kuempel True Value, retiring in 2018. In honor of his retirement and in gratitude for his 55 years of service, the City of Guttenberg signed a proclamation on March 18, 2018.

On Feb. 20, 1965, Tom married the love of his life, Helene Borcherding, at St. Mary’s Church in Guttenberg. Together they raised four children.

A lifelong resident of Guttenberg, Tom was a humble man of deep faith and a respected pillar of the community. He loved his hometown and his loyal friends and customers. Tom served on the Guttenberg Fire Department for 20 years and was an EMT for four years. While his children were in 4-H, he was a leader for the Jefferson Go Hawks 4-H Club and served on the Clayton County 4-H Youth Committee. Tom loved being on the river and took great pride in his yard and his flowers. In appreciation for his military service, Tom had the privilege of participating in an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. in 2020.

Tom will be deeply missed by his wife of 58 years; his sister, Kathleen Dunn of Bedford, Texas; children, Diane (Steve) Wagner of Elkader, Paul (Erica) Kuempel of Cedar Falls, Marc Kuempel (Jillean Harmon) of Guttenberg, and Marcia Kuempel of Garnavillo; grandchildren, Lillian (Alex Bridges), Caroline and Anna Brondyke, Sydney (Christopher Doubek) and Spencer Kuempel and Kenna Strohman; great-grandson, Cameron Alan Doubek; “bonus” grandchildren, Jacob (Meg), Kyle (Jamie), and Joe Wagner and Ryleigh Harmon. He is also survived by a brother-in-law, Milt (Ann) Borcherding; sister-in-law, Donna Borcherding; his faithful furry friend, Flossie; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; three siblings in infancy; brothers, Robert (Glee) and James (Lou) Kuempel; sisters, Sister Clara Mae Kuempel, FSPA, and Bernyce (Cyrenus) Elsinger; brothers-in-law, Albert Dunn and Norb Borcherding; nieces, Paula Dunn and Susan Kuempel; nephews, Timothy Kuempel and Michael Borcherding; and his beloved dog, Shadow.

Tom’s family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Hoffmann, the staff of the Guttenberg Hospital and the Guttenberg Care Center, home health aide Ann Steele, Father Bries for his weekly visits, son Marc and nephew Dan for all their help, and his faithful store employees and loyal customers throughout the years.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, memorials may be given in Tom’s name to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the Guttenberg Hospital, or St. Jude’s Hospital.

Memorials may be sent to Morris Funeral Home (in care of the deceased), 207 S. First Street, Guttenberg, Iowa 52052.

Information is available at

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