Eugene F. Kliegl, 88, of Twin Falls, died on January 7, 2015. His successes were many, whether it was playing cards, landing a whopper of a fish, or outsmarting the bad guys; he was always able to beat the odds and come out on top.
Gene was the fourth of seven children, born to George and Pauline Kliegl in Cylinder, Iowa on July 19, 1926. He left the family farm at age 17 to join the Navy and served during WWII as a Gunner's Mate, 1st Class on the USS Belleau Wood, earning 8 Battle Stars and a Presidential Citation. After serving for two years, he met his sweetheart, Shirley M. Noon, on Christmas Eve 1946. It was love at first sight and they were married on February 12, 1947. Together they raised four children, Thomas, Debi, Timothy and Steven.
Gene's career was long and he was adventurous in his choices. He often joked that he had joined the Navy to get out of school, but spent more time in the classroom in training for the Navy. All of the training eventually led to him becoming a police officer and detective for the Alhambra, California Police Department. Gene prided himself on finishing at the top of his class, no matter what he was learning. After retiring from police work, he worked in the supermarket industry in security. He would eventually become Senior VP of Security for Smith's Food King in Utah. Upon his "retirement" he purchased a grocery store in Buhl, ID and called it Kliegl's IGA. He was active in the community, as a member of the Catholic Church, Knight of Columbus, American Legion and the VFW.
He and Shirley lived a rich and full life, making friends wherever they traveled. One of his favorite pastimes was traveling to Nevada to play the odds at the casinos. He was a sharp card player and could play several hands of blackjack, as well as offering choice advice to the other players at the table. He was a skilled fisherman and hunter, equally content to spend hours floating the lake on a steamy day or crouched in a frozen marsh waiting for the birds to fly.
Gene is proceeded in death by his parents and siblings; George, Evelyn, Dorothy and Lloyd.
He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Shirley; his brother, Richard Kliegl; sister, Juanita Kelly; children, Tom (Carol) Kliegl, Debi (Brad) Greene, Tim (Deb) Kliegl, and Steven (Celia) Kliegl; 13 grandchildren, and 30 great-grandchildren.
A rosary will be said at 7 p.m., Monday, Jan. 12, 2015 at Farmer Funeral Chapel in Buhl. A funeral Mass will be said at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015 at St. Edward's Catholic Church in Twin Falls. Interment will follow at Buhl's West End Cemetery. Following the service, a meal will be served at the parish hall at Immaculate Conception Parish in Buhl.
The family would like to thank Theresa of Idaho Home Health & Hospice for her care and support. Also, the caregivers from A Caring Hand Home Health, especially Leslie and Shannon.