Arthur Kohls, 96
Arthur Kohls, age 96 of Greene, died Monday, June 8, 2020, at Pinnacle Specialty Care in Cedar Falls.
Funeral Services were held at 10 a.m. Friday, June 12, 2020, at St. John’s UCC-Pleasant Hill, rural Nashua, with the Rev. Drew McHolm presiding. Interment will follow in Elgin City Cemetery.
Friends greeted the family from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 11, 2020, at the Hugeback Johnson Funeral Home and Crematory/Olson Chapel in Nashua. Visitation continued an hour prior to the service at the church on Friday. Please support the family via Facebook Live on the Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home Facebook page if you were unable to attend.
Arthur’s remarkable life began on Feb. 13, 1924, when his parents, Frank and Wilma (Hadd) Kohls, welcomed him to the world at their home near Clermont. He was one of four children, and he attended country school through the eighth grade.
He learned the value of hard work early in life, and he also knew that every dollar mattered. Still, one of the best investments he ever made was buying Gladys Miller and her date ice cream one day, and soon he was dating Gladys.
The two married on Dec. 5, 1942, but Art was only able to spend a little time with his new bride as he had enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942 during World War II. He was a mechanic with Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s army that liberated the Philippines from the Japanese.
When he returned home, Art and Gladys began their married life in earnest. They welcomed two children — Wayne and Betty — whose father epitomized a great work ethic and community involvement.
Art worked as a tractor mechanic in West Union, and in 1952, he took a job at Crooks Implement in Alta Vista. He later bought the business and renamed it Kohls Repair. He was a member of the Alta Vista Fire Department, the Paul Johann VFW Post 4069, and the EUB and Zion Lutheran churches. He volunteered his time as an EMT and was the mayor of Alta Vista for many years. He loved to bowl, fish, and get in nine holes of golf up the road in Elma.
In 1994, Gladys passed away after 52 years of marriage. Art was heartbroken but he found love again on a Christian dating site, no less. On Feb. 14, 1998, he married Edna Hauser at St. John’s United Church of Christ - Pleasant Hill. The family blended well together. Wayne and Betty were happy their father wasn’t alone anymore, and Edna’s children considered him “Dad.”
After his marriage, he retired and moved to Greene, although Art, quite honestly, wasn’t the kind of guy to just sit in a recliner. He and Edna loved to go to the casinos, and they loved to travel together. Edna was a “goer” and Art was more than willing to follow her wherever their travels took them.
Edna passed away in 2012 — they were married on the 14th and had 14 wonderful years together — but Art continued to live on his own until 2018 when he moved into an independent living community in Cedar Falls. He enjoyed lots of card playing, especially cribbage games with his stepson, Jim. Another hobby for Art was paint by number kits with many hours devoted to his paintings.
Art was many things. He was a patriot who served his country. He was a faithful servant for his town and his churches; in fact, he was a lay minister for many years. He was the kind of worker who would never even think of giving anything less than 100 percent.
But most of all, he was a family man. He was married to two special women for a total of 66 years. He was the father to his own two children, as well as Edna’s seven children. And he was a great grandpa in more than just the title to his grandchildren and his “greats.”
For 96 years, he lived a marvelous life filled with many good works, and he will be missed.
Art is survived by his daughter, Betty Heide of Waterloo; one daughter-in-law, Jeanette Kohls of Cedar Falls; seven stepchildren, JoAnn (Norman) Mest of Bettendorf, Delores (Darrell) Hillyer of Davenport, David (Carlene) Hauser of Allison, Jim (Penny) Hauser of La Porte, Minnesota, Jean O’Brien of Greene, Carol (Bob) Cole of Greene, IA, and Christal (Joe) Thiel of Bettendorf; one sister, Florence Beck of Merdian, Mississippi; 21 grandchildren; 51 great-grandchildren; 20 great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Gladys Kohls; second wife, Edna Hauser-Kohls; one son, Wayne Kohls; one stepson in law, Jim O’Brien; two brothers, Albert Kohls and Martin Kohls; one brother-in-law, Myron Beck.