Alfred J. Kerkenbush

  • Born: May 15, 1925
  • Died: July 30, 2018
  • Location: Dubuque, Iowa

Behr's Funeral Home

1491 Main Street
(563) 582-3297
Dubuque, IA 52001

behrfuneralhome@gmail.com
Tel. (563) 582-3297

Tribute & Message From The Family


Alfred J. Kerkenbush, age 93, of Dubuque, was called home peacefully at 9:50 p.m. on Monday, July 30, 2018, at UnityPoint Health Finley Hospital, surrounded by his loving family. To honor Al's life, funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., on Friday, August 3, 2018, at St. Columbkille's Church, 1230 Rush Street, with Rev. Thomas J. McDermott officiating. To celebrate Al's life, family and friends may visit from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., on Thursday, August 2, 2018, at Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, where there will be a parish wake service held at 4:30 p.m. Burial will be in Dubuque Memorial Gardens, where full military rites will be accorded by the Dubuque Marine Corps League.

Al was born on May 15, 1925, in Cuba City, Wisconsin, son of William L. and Adeline (Meoska) Kerkenbush.

Alfred Kerkenbush died peacefully with his brother, Roger, by his side . He was a fiercely loyal man deeply dedicated to his family and Catholic faith. Coming from modest beginnings, the eldest boy in a family of 7 hailing from Tennyson, Wisconsin. He answered his call to service in World War II as a member of the U.S Navy. He then met and married Erma Margan, his devoted and loving wife of 63 years before her passing in 2010. Al and Erma had 7 children together (Shirley, Tommy, Patty, Denise, Donna, Julie and Sarah). While Tommy passed in his infancy, the six girls grew to be beautiful adults, each with families of their own totaling 12 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. Al's daughters and other family members were in Dubuque when he passed. He worked at the Dubuque Packing House, retiring after over 40 years of service. He enjoyed time on and near the Mississippi whether it was helping to build and maintain The Margan Family Cottage, driving his speedboat, teaching all his girls to water ski or fishing on her shores. He lived in Dubuque for 70 years, spending most of those, raising his family on Levi Street where he enjoyed time outside feeding and watching the birds, in his workshop and doing projects around the house. He was an avid CUBS fan! He was often heard, especially in his later years, expressing deep gratitude for all the gifts God bestowed upon him. He is so deeply loved by so many. He was truly the rock upon which his family was built. He will be dearly missed. His family will forever be grateful for his love as that was one thing that never wavered as life presented its many challenges. Rest In Peace Dad, Brother, Grandpa, Great Grandpa and Uncle. We love and thank you.

Those left to cherish Al's memory include

his 6 daughters,
Shirley (John) Copeland, Sumter, SC,
Patricia "Patti Jo" Hodge, Akron, OH,
Denise (David) Parochetti, LeClaire, IA,
Donna (Michael) O'Brien, McHenry, IL,
Julie Stumpf, Iowa City, IA
and Sara (Eric) Fisher, Ridgecrest, CA;

11 grandchildren,
Laura Bellcase, Craig (Kristin) Parisot, Rachel Stumpf, Calla (Matt) Parochetti-Poulter, Kyle Parochetti, Alyssa (Brian) Jones, Megan Hodge, Aaron and Alex O'Brien, and Ivan and Shane Fisher;

6 great-grandchildren,
Leah, Jake, Jackson, Conner, Avery and Cora;

and his siblings,
Roger (Frankie) Kerkenbush, Monroe, MI
and Marie Capesius, Key West, IA.

Al was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Erma Kerkenbush; a son, Thomas "Tommy" Kerkenbush; a granddaughter, Samantha Stumpf; 3 sisters, Virginia "Ginny" (Jim) Droessler, Eileen (Harlan) Droeszler and Betty (Calvin) Lindecker; a brother, Gerald "Gerry" Kerkenbush; and a brother-in-law, Paul Capesius.

Al's family would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at Finley Hospital, and Eagle Point Place, for all of their wonderful care and support during these difficult days.