Gregory H. Kuennen
Gregory H. Kuennen, age 85 of Waucoma, died Monday, Dec. 12, 2022, at New Hampton Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in New Hampton.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 19, 2022 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Waucoma, with the Rev. Nick Radloff celebrating the Mass.
If unable to attend the Funeral Mass please join the family via livestream at https://foveo.stream/hugeback-johnson/gregory-h-kuennen
Friends may greet the family from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Waucoma, where there will be a 5 p.m. Parish Scripture Service. Visitation continues an hour prior to the Mass on Monday at the church.
Arrangments are entrusted with Hugeback Johnson Funeral Home.
Greg was born on May 24, 1937, to Frank and Elizabeth (Meyer) Kuennen on the family farm near St. Lucas.
He was the sixth of the couple’s 13 children, and, like his siblings, spent his childhood helping his parents with various chores on the farm.
He received his education at St. Luke’s Catholic School, and was the first of his siblings to graduate from high school as a member of St. Luke’s Class of 1955.
After graduating from high school, he continued to work on the Kuennen farm until he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving his country from 1959-1961. He received his training at Fort Carson and Fort Leavenworth in Kansas before he was posted to Fort Knox in Kentucky.
After receiving his honorable discharge, Greg returned home and began a long career as a farm mechanic, specifically working on combines. He spent the bulk of his career at John Deere dealers in Fort Atkinson and Lawler, and it would be hard to find a harder and more dedicated worker than Greg was.
In 1963, he attended a dance at the Inwood Ballroom in Spillville, where his brother, Francis Kuennen and Francis’ wife Darlene, introduced Greg to Darlene’s cousin, Rosemary Bruening. It was virtually love at first sight as they two danced the night away. They began dating, fell in love and were married on Aug. 8, 1964, at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Calmar.
The young couple settled on a farm near Waucoma and welcomed three children — Steven, Earl and Patty — and the Kuennen kids had a father who had a work ethic that served as an example to them. One of his sons remembers going on service calls with dad, and all of his children, just like his grandchildren in later years, knew Greg was always there for them.
Greg had a strong faith and was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, where he was in the Knights of Columbus and Catholic Forester. He joined Rosemary in helping start and run the softball league in town and was a longtime member of the Waucoma Legion.
He liked to fix things, go to farm sales and auction and collect John Deere memorabilia. Greg and Rosemary enjoyed their card club, where they played 500 and euchre with their friends.
In later life, he loved going to his grandkids’ sporting events and taking care of them, watching the RFD channel and listening to polka music, especially the “Big Joe Polka Show.”
Greg wasn’t the retiring type, and even after he retired as a farm mechanic, he worked for Bodensteiner Implement as a parts deliveryman, working until he was almost 80.
He lost his beloved Rosemary this past June, and as hard as it is to say goodbye to this hard-working man, his family and friends know that today he is smiling and reunited with the love of his life.
Gregory is survived by two sons, Steven Kuennen of Fredericksburg, and Earl Kuennen of Fredericksburg; one daughter, Patty (Jon) Grow of Buford, Georgia; six grandchildren, Travis (Lindsey) Kuennen of Westby, Wisconsin, Justin Kuennen of Spokane, Washington, Jessica Kuennen of New Hampton, Stephanie Grow (Kit Ortmann) of Chicago, Elizabeth Grow of Buford, Georgia, and Matthew Grow of Buford, Georgia; two great-grandchildren, Karsin and Bradley Kuennen of Westby, Wisconsin; two brothers, Henry (Arlene) Kuennen of Cresco, and Martin Kuennen of West Union; four sisters, Helen (Fred) Williams of Mabel, Minnesota, Laura (Art) Matt of Clermont, Margaret (Gerald) Kuennen of Waucoma, and Kathy (Dennis) Russler of Prior Lake, Minnesota; two sisters-in-law, Delores Kuennen of Sumner and Elaine Kuennen of West Union; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Rosemary in June 2022; siblings, Norbert Kuennen, Luke Kuennen, Neil (Irma) Kuennen, Francis (Darlene) Kuennen, David Kuennen and Mary Ann (James) Kuhn; and in-laws, Robert Kuhn, Carol Kuennen and Edward Hovorka.