Possible changes to service times: Because of concerns over the novel coronavirus, events like visitations and services may be rescheduled or canceled. Please check with the funeral home or church before leaving to attend an event.

Looking for a particular obituary?

Obits submitted to The Gazette are published online and in the newspaper the next day.

Ernest 'Ernie' 'Bates' John Kluesner All Obituaries


Ernest "Ernie" “Bates” John Kluesner, 64, of Marion, passed away Friday, July 31, 2020, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics surrounded by his loving family. Friends and relatives may visit with the family from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, at Reiff Funeral Home in Farley, Iowa. Everyone must wear a mask to attend. Services for Ernie will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Farley, Iowa, with the Rev. Father Schuler presiding. Burial will be held at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Farley following the service. Social distancing standards will be in place. The family asks those in attendance wear a mask or facial covering as well. In true “Ernie” style, the family also kindly requests casual dress and to honor him in a special way, please wear Iowa Hawkeyes, St. Louis Cardinals, Green Bay Packers or Boston Celtics attire. Those who are unable to attend may view the live streaming services for Ernie through the St. Elizabeth Pastorate Facebook page. 

Ernie was born May 9, 1956, in Dubuque, Iowa, the son of Joseph C. and Verena R. (Wulfekuhle) Kluesner. Ernie grew up on a farm outside of Farley with his 12 siblings. He graduated from St. Joseph High School in Farley in 1974.

On Nov. 18, 1978, Ernie married the love of his life, Karen Ernzen, at St. Patrick Church in Epworth, Iowa. Ernie and Karen had four children, Kristin, Jessica, Matthew and Alisan. The family moved to Marion in 1984. Ernie was devoted to his family. He enjoyed traveling with his wife and family, cookouts and family gatherings, golfing with his son and brothers, fishing with his brothers, nephews and grandchildren, playing cards and watching sporting events. He was an avid Iowa Hawkeyes, St. Louis Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, and Boston Celtics fan, as well as any team his grandchildren were playing on.

Ernie had an adventurous spirit and never was opposed to trying new things. On his most recent vacation to the Bahamas, he enjoyed ziplining and parasailing with Karen. He was also a talented athlete. He was known as a “hot dog” to his high school basketball teammates and also excelled on his Anstoetter softball team. Ernie was a kind and selfless person. He always was available to listen, give a warm hug or help a friend in need.

He also was very hardworking and was a skilled handyman. This served him well in the many projects that his wife and children had for him as well as in his career. He enjoyed his job at D.A.D. Manufacturing, where he worked for almost 30 years.

Ernie is survived by his wife of almost 42 years, Karen; children, Kristin (Kyle) Becker of Marion, Iowa, Jessica (Joshua) Kelly of Atkins, Iowa, Matthew (Kristina) Kluesner of Cedar Falls, Iowa, and Alisan Kluesner of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; grandchildren, Andrew and Luke Becker, Aubrey and Avarie Kelly, and Madison, Alexis and Jacob Kluesner; 11 siblings, Daniel Kluesner of Farley, Dianne (Bruce) Batteram of Hazel Green, Wis., Robert (Karla) Kluesner of Farley, Vernon (Jackie) Kluesner of Dubuque, Iowa, Edwin (Mary) Kluesner of Farley, Therese (Jerry) Renz of Earlville, Iowa, Barb Kluesner of Marion, Iowa, Craig Kluesner of Farley, Cyril (Amy) Kluesner of Dubuque, Rosie (Daryl) Nurre of Petersburg, Iowa, and Lois (Rich) Wubben of Galena, Ill.; in-laws, Barbara Ernzen of Epworth, Loras (Debbie) Ernzen of Dubuque, Dianne (Daryl) Kamp of Epworth, Teresa (Patrick) Daly of Farley, Gary (Kerry) Ernzen of Epworth, Shirley (Terry) Burds of Peosta, Iowa, and Ken Ernzen of Moreno Valley, Calif.; and many nieces and nephews and step in-laws.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph C. and Verena R. (Wulfekuhle) Kluesner; brother, Allen R. Kluesner; in-laws, Raymond Ernzen, Ardella (Ernzen) Connolly and Frank Connolly; brother-in-law, Melvin Ernzen; and nephews, Ryan Wubben, John Ernzen and Daniel Lee Ernzen.

Buy flowers
Share a memory of