Harry Joseph Kluempers Jr. passed away peacefully on Saturday March 2, 2019. He was a husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. Harry was known for the twinkle in his bright blue eyes, his hearty laugh and his strong integrity. He was a devout Catholic and a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish since 1975.
The first child of Harry Kluempers Sr and Katherine (Garland) Kluempers, Harry was born on March 25, 1929 in St. Louis, Missouri. He was preceded in death by beloved sister Maury Schwer and an infant brother Garland.
In 1947 Harry graduated from high school at Christian Brothers College. During and shortly after WWII, CBC was a military school. He ran with a group of friends playing baseball and corkball (unique, it seems, to the St. Louis area). Based on quite a few stories told, it sounds as if they had a lot of fun!
Harry volunteered for the Army in 1948 and served for a year before being furloughed. Six months later he was called back when the Korean War started in 1950. He served for two more years in the Construction Battalion of the US Army and was deployed to Korea. Harry received 2 bronze stars and an honorary discharge with the rank of Corporal.
His business career started with the guidance of his Uncle Irv Wenom, leading to a position as a property & casualty insurance underwriter with USF&G in St. Louis. It was at work where Harry met the love of his life – Patricia Bommerscheim, known then as Patsy. Pat and Harry married July 9th, 1955 and celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary just prior to Pat passing away. After USF&G, Harry went on to lead several offices of the Crum & Forster Insurance Company, first in Wichita, KS and later as Manager of the Indianapolis, Indiana office.
Pat and Harry grew their family with the births of three sons – Kurt, Paul, and John. The Kluempers family resided in the St. Louis area until 1970 when they moved to Wichita, Kansas. In 1975 the family moved to a home in Carmel, Indiana where Harry had lived for 44 years until his recent move to Carmel Senior Living in January of 2019.
He took a brief break from the insurance profession as the owner of a specialty retail store Soccer Shack, which he ran in the early 1980’s. Harry continued his insurance career in Indiana working for the State of Indiana Department of Insurance before retiring in 1998.
Soccer was of special interest to Harry and he helped establish both the youth soccer organization in Wichita, KS and later was a coach in the first season of the Carmel Dad’s Club soccer in 1975. All three of his sons played soccer (poorly) and all three have reverted to playing only as goalkeepers.
However, Harry really loved baseball. Following in his father’s footsteps, he was an American Leaguer, and supported the St. Louis Browns. He spent many afternoons riding the trolley to the ballpark with his friends to watch a game. We heard many fun stories of the afternoons spent at the ball park. Beer may or may have not been involved. To Harry’s dismay, the Browns left St. Louis in 1953 after a long and not-so-storied record in St. Louis.
A love of music led Harry to learn to play the banjo and to sing in a barbershop quartet. His eldest son has picked up the singing bug and offers his skills in booming off-tune tones. His youngest is a expert with the ukulele.
Harry loved cars and always wanted to know the make and model of the cars we were driving or renting on trips. Harry had many hobbies – gardening, woodworking and reading. He also loved classic movies and comedies, and somewhat more modern comedies like Young Frankenstein and his favorite: Pink Panther movies with Peter Sellers. A special tradition was to watch an afternoon movie with the grandkids. Popcorn (sometimes burnt) and a 2 pm martini was always part of the ritual. Harry loved dogs and would always sneak food to them. He would pat them on the head with a robust greeting of “Man’s best friend”.
While infamously unfamiliar with the workings of virtually anything mechanical or technical, he was astounded by the advances of technology and adapted late in life to retrieving arcane baseball and other information with the verbal command “Okay Google”!
We will miss our Dad and Grampy. Martinis in our family will always include a toast to Harry – one of the good guys.
Harry was preceded in death by his wife Patricia (Pat) Kluempers. Harry is survived by their three sons, two daughters-in-law, numerous nieces and nephews and four grandchildren: Kurt and Terry Kluempers of Fishers Indiana, Paul Kluempers and Sarah Hanssen of Carmel, Indiana, and John Kluempers of Bonn, Germany are his sons and daughters-in-law. The grandchildren are Lindsey Kluempers of Dallas, TX, Kristen Kluempers of Denver, CO, Eric Kluempers of Chicago, IL and Jan Loehken of Bonn, Germany.
A Funeral Mass will be held Tuesday March 5, 2019 at noon at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 14598 Oak Ridge Road, Carmel, IN 46032. Visitation will occur prior to the Mass and will begin at 11:00am.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Little Sisters of the Poor, 2345 W. 86th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46260 or The Wounded Warriors Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS, 66675. Envelopes will be available at the church.
Bussell Family Funerals is privileged to assist the family with arrangments.
Wounded Warrior Project
7020 A.C. Skinner Parkway, Suite 100, Jacksonville FL 32256
Little Sisters of the Poor
2345 W. 86th Street, Indianapolis IN 46260