Merlin “Pete” Kiekhaefer, 88

Merlin “Pete” Kiekhaefer, 88, of Horicon, passed away Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, at Matthew’s of Horicon. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, at Zion Lutheran Church in Horicon, with the Rev. Mark Hasty officiating. A visitation will be held from 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, at Koepsell-Murray Funeral Home in Horicon, and also Wednesday, Jan. 13, from 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. service at the church. Burial will take place at Oakhill Cemetery in Horicon.

Merlin was born to Berthold and Verna (Schoeffel) Kiekhaefer on Oct. 26, 1927, in Theresa. In 1932, the family moved to the Kiekhaefer estate farm on Highway 33 in the township of Oak Grove. Pete attended Warden Public School for eight years. At age 13, he quit school and worked as a hired hand on the 160-acre family farm. At age 22, he started working at John Deere Van Brunt and was there until retiring in 1985. Following retirement, Pete worked as a tour guide for John Deere for 17 years. He worked a total of 52 years at John Deere. Pete was united in marriage to Evelyn Schindel on April 11, 1947. He later married Florine Freeman on April 27, 1963.

Pete was a member of Zion Lutheran Church of Horicon. He served on the church council, served as an usher and loved decorating the church Christmas tree. Pete was a member of the Rat Club and was a volunteer at the Clearview Holiday meals. He enjoyed watching the Milwaukee Brewers and Green Bay Packers. Pete always had a smile on his face. He loved spending time with his family and grandchildren. Pete is survived by his children, William (Penny) Kiekhaefer of Horicon, Terrance (Michelle) Kiekhaefer of West Bend, Jeff (Jennie) Kohman of Beaver Dam, Mary (John) Hughes of Beaver Dam and John Kiekhaefer of Horicon; his sister, Carol Jean (special friend Richie) McDowell of Juneau; his brother, Frank (Corinne) Kiekhaefer of Beaver Dam; his grandchildren, Shannon, Billye, Jennifer, Lori, Donna, Travis, Grant, Lauren, April, Amy, Arik, Tim, Amanda, Christopher and Sean; his 14 great-grandchildren; and nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Pete is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Florine; two sons, Robert “Mayor Bob” and Charlie; and his sisters, Shirley and Adeline.

For the last 22 years, Pete was a regular at the Rock River Tap in Horicon where he will be sadly missed by his friends. He was truly one of a kind.

Memorials may be made to Zion Lutheran Church of Horicon.

The family would like to give a special thanks to the staff of Matthew’s of Horicon Senior Living, Chaplain James Mallman and Generations Home Care and Hospice.

Koepsell-Murray Funeral Home in Horicon is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at www.koepsellfh.com.