Hunefeld to retire as county councilman



After 46 years serving Dubois County as a councilman, Jerry Hunefeld is planning to step down at the end of the year.

Hunefeld, 82, announced his decision at the end of Monday’s Dubois County Council meeting.

“Significant changes have occurred in my life the last two years, and I feel compelled to step down,” he said. “My hearing loss continues to get worse and face masks take away lip reading. This became painfully clear during the budget hearing in August. There were times that I was completely lost in the conversation.

“This can’t happen,” Hunefeld said. “And so it has pushed me to this painful decision.”

Hunefeld joined the council in 1974. He was vice president of the council for years before becoming president in 2017. He was named the Association of Indiana Counties’ Outstanding County Council Member in 2019 and received the Sagamore of the Wabash award in 2014.

Hunefeld, who has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Indiana State University, was an educator in the Southwest Dubois County School Corporation. He worked for 41 years as a high school teacher, first at Holland High School, then at Southridge High School. He retired in 2001, but still helped as a substitute teacher.

He is a member and past president of the Huntingburg Optimist Club and a member of the Holland Kiwanis Club, the Dubois County Community Corrections Advisory Board, the Dubois County Community Foundation and the Dubois County and Indiana State Teachers Association.

Hunefeld and his wife, Jane, live in rural Holland.

The other council members thanked him for his leadership.

“We’ve all learned so much from you,” Councilman Craig Greulich said. “We have become better council members because of you. Thank you for everything that you have done.”

“Jerry, there will be some very, very, very, very big shoes to fill with your absence,” Councilman Doug Uebelhor said.

Hunefeld said that he will miss being on the council. “But it’s getting to the point that it’s very difficult for me to follow," he said. "Even tonight, certain voices I just can’t hear."

But he is confident that the Dubois County Council will continue to work hard to serve the constituents.

“Each year brings new challenges, and I know the next couple of years are going to bring lots of challenges. I can see that on the horizon,” Hunefeld said. “But I am very comfortable, looking at the six that are here, that any one of you could step into my position easily, and there wouldn’t be any problems with going forward.”

A caucus of Republican committeemen will meet in December to choose someone to finish the last two years of Hunefeld’s term, County Republican Chairman Mark Messmer said.

More on