Funeral services for James Kiel, age 74, of Milaca, will be held Saturday, October 6, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. at the Christian Reformed Church in Pease with Rev. David Smit officiating. Visitation will be held Friday, October 5, 2012 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at the Christian Reformed Church in Pease and also one hour prior to services. Interment will be held in the Pease Cemetery. Music will be provided by Shelly Ash and Dorothy Brink. Casketbearers will be his grandchildren, Grant Ruis, Greg Ruis, Jason Bultje, Erin Bultje, Cohl Bultje, Kayla Kiel and Devin Kiel. Honorary casketbearers will include the Minnesota Tournament Trail, the Hardees gang, John Goslinga, Jay Goslinga, Mark Baas, Justin Krominga and Julian Baas.
James Gerrit Kiel was born March 14, 1938 in Pease, MN to Gerrit and Theresa (Rindels) Kiel. He was raised on the family farm near Pease and attended the Pease Christian School. Jim graduated from Milaca High School in 1955. After high school, he worked at the Pease Produce for two years. He married Gertrude Rudisill on May 24, 1957. They made their home in Pease and owned and operated a milk route for twenty-nine years. After selling the milk route, he managed the Princeton/Milaca Insurance Agency in Milaca with his wife, Gert.
Jim was a life-long member of the Christian Reformed Church in Pease, where he had served as an elder and was involved in the church choir, the Outdoorsman Club and the 4th of July fireworks where he received a fifty year distinguished service award. Jim was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying God’s creation, through fishing, hunting and trapping.
He enjoyed traveling and family was one of his high priorities. He was also a fast pitch softball umpire after he retired from his playing days. Over the last ten years, Jim developed a passion for fishing Walleye Tournaments with his son, Mike, and daughter, Pam, as his partners. He made life-long friends fishing in the M.T.T. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him. Jim passed away on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 after a long and courageous battle with cancer, surrounded by his family at his home.
He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Gert; 3 children, Pam (Bill) Ruis of Princeton, Sarah (Tony) Bailey of Scottsdale, AZ and Mike Kiel of Zimmerman; 7 grandchildren, Grant and Greg Ruis, Jason, Cohl and Erin Bultje and Kayla and Devin Kiel; sisters, Joanne (Jim) Vedders of Milaca, LaVonne (Ken) Veltkamp of Manhattan, MT, Cheryl Dejong of Marysville, WA and Linda (Tim) Ribbens of Bloomington; also by many wonderful relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Betty Geurkink and Elaine Bekius and children, Greg, Julie and Kathy Kiel.