Cleon Eugene Klemish was born in Audubon County, Iowa, on May 21, 1941, to Georgia and Leon Klemish. He attended Adair High School, where he played football as a Rocket and was one of the first classes to graduate as a Bomber from the combined Adair-Casey High School.
Following graduation, he joined the Iowa Army National Guard where he attended basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, and was stationed for 6 months at Ft. Dix, NJ. After returning home he began farming on the family farm and met the love of his life, Mary Kaye Van Aernam, shortly thereafter.
They were married in Stuart, IA on July 13, 1963, and would have celebrated their 60th anniversary this summer. They farmed northwest of Adair for a short time and then moved south of town and have farmed in that area ever since. Their farming operation included cattle, hogs, and grain. Cleon and Kaye enjoyed traveling to Alaska, and Ireland and winter trips to Arizona and Texas to visit friends.
God graced their marriage with 2 children, James was born in 1966 and Mary Beth in 1969. Later in life, he became a grandpa to Jacob in 2003 and Joseph in 2005. He was able to give many tractor, combine, gator, and go-cart rides to his grandsons. As they got older, they attended many of their sports activities and vocal concerts.
Cleon was involved in the community in a variety of ways. He was a member of the St. John’s Catholic Church, a 50-year Adair Lion’s Club member, and on the Summit County board of trustees. He held several positions including President of the Southwest Iowa Bookkeeping Association. For 20 years he worked as a part-time hail and multiperil crop adjuster for Farmer’s Mutual Hail Insurance company.
To him the only brands to drive were Chevrolet and John Deere. He loved driving through various farm implement yards and checking out the equipment. His knowledge of maps and road names were impressive and you were likely asked “Did you take to get there?” while in conversation with him. This expanded even more after he started his hail adjusting travels. There wasn’t a person or dog he wouldn’t talk to, and he loved taking care of his neighbors by mowing ditches and moving snow for everyone nearby.
He passed away on Friday, January 6, 2023, at the age of 81 years and 7 months. Surviving him are his wife, Kaye; son James Klemish (Amy); daughter, Mary Beth Martin (Donny) and grandsons, Jacob Martin and Joseph Martin; and sister, Carol Bower (Tom); brother Joel Klemish (Nancy) and several nieces and nephews. Preceding him in death were his parents, Leon and Georgia Klemish.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m., on Wednesday, January 11, 2023, at St. John’s Catholic Church in Adair, IA. Interment will be held following the mass at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery. A luncheon will be hosted at St. John’s Catholic Hall following the committal.
Public visitation with the family will be held from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m., with a prayer service at 6:30 p.m., on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, at St. John’s Catholic Church in Adair.
Arrangements are handled with the Schmidt Family Funeral Home in Adair, IA.