Phil Kuhn passed away Jan. 21, 2021, surrounded by his family.
He was the second youngest of nine children and was raised on a family farm outside Walker, Iowa. There his lifelong work ethic was instilled through the chores he shared with his siblings. His never-ending quest for fun began there too, with re-enactments of the Joie Chitwood Thrill Show and building hood boats with his dad for the two creeks that ran through the farm. He attended elementary and high school in Walker and never fessed up to his involvement in the number of shenanigans of he and his lifelong friends, one of which ultimately led to the vents in the biology lab being permanently sealed. It was at that same school where he met the love of his life, one of his best friend's sisters, Ginger Snitkey.
Phil studied economics at Loras College and proudly served with the U.S. Navy Reserves at the Coronado NAB. He and Ginger were married in Walker on Sept. 12, 1970.
They began married life in Cedar Rapids, where Phil sold real estate and started working in mortgage banking. They welcomed their son, Tim, in 1972, and their daughter, Alison, in 1974. The family relocated to Des Moines in 1983, where Phil worked for 17 years at Principal Residential Mortgage and retired as vice president in 2004. He concluded his career at Liberty Bank in 2010.
In retirement, he and Ginger split their time between Tennessee and Iowa with travel schedules built around their five grandchildren's birthdays, religious sacraments, sports and special school events. He enjoyed Tennessee "lake life," which included frequent golf outings, fishing, boating and keeping close tabs on Iowa Hawkeye football and basketball.
Above all else, Phil will be remembered for his dedication to his family. From building pinewood derby cars, to coaching, chaperoning, mentoring or cheering on his children in each of their activities, Phil always showed unwavering support. His children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews were all blessed to experience his multitude of talents, including thumb tricks, drawing challenges, storytelling and building forts with snow, blankets, boxes, pillows or whatever else was available.
He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Ginger; children, Tim (Jennifer) and Alison (Keith) Navratil; five grandchildren, Finn and Beckett Navratil, and Abby, Emma and Brice Kuhn; seven brothers and sisters, Eleanor (Walt) Cook, Lou (Kay), Russell (Marie), Cecil (Pat Prunella), Roger (Bonnie), Michael (Kathy) and Diane (Bob) Bousek; and numerous nieces and nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews.
Phil was preceded in death by his parents, Cecil and Clara; brother, Ronald; and niece, Paula Cook.
In lieu of flowers, Phil would want you to pay your kindness forward in his memory. Call someone you miss, donate to your favorite charity or pick up the bill for someone behind you in the coffee line and think of him. Funeral services at St. Francis of Assisi in West Des Moines are pending, and he will be interred at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery.