Memorial Day service to be held May 29


Andrew Klem
Donald Peek

JASPER — The Dubois County Veterans Council’s annual Memorial Day observance will honor all present veterans and those who have passed away in the past year. It will be May 29 at 10 a.m. on the west side of the Dubois County Courthouse at the veteran’s memorial and fountain.

All veterans organizations of Dubois County will be represented. The flag will be lowered to half mast by the Marine Corp League and the national anthem will be sung by Bernie Jeffries and the Recycled Teenagers. DCVC President Chris Knies, who is also the senior vice commander of VFW Post 11365 and American Legion Post 124, will be the master of ceremonies.

Father Anthony Govind of the Christ the King Parish of Ferdinand and St. Henry will be the presiding chaplain. Steve Bartels from the American Legion Riders will conduct the POW/MIA ceremony. Dan Hollinden, chaplain of Navy Club Ship 90, will lead a ritual remembering sailors and those lost at sea. Taps will be played by Sen. Mark Messmer, R-Jasper, after the 21-gun salute given under the command of Charlie Dupps of American Legion Post 147. The Honor Guard will consist of veterans from posts and organizations throughout the county honoring deceased veterans.

Andrew C. Klem of St. Anthony is this year’s veteran to be remembered. After eighth grade, Klem took over his family’s farm, as his father died when he was 10. Klem entered the army at 20 and was sent to Japan with the Occupational Forces, where he was in charge of Japanese personnel who handled rations and supplies along with the unloading of cargo ships.

When he returned home, Klem married Valada Barlley on Aug. 28, 1947, and started Klem Construction Company. He was known for building more than 300 homes with his company.

Klem was a member of VFW Post 673 in Jasper and American Legion Post 493 in St. Anthony. He was also an active member of St. Anthony Catholic Church and the Holy Name Society, and he was a past-president of the St. Anthony Community Center and the St. Anthony Water Utility Company. He also served on the advisory board of the former Dubois County Bank and the St. Anthony Investment Organization. He was also a longstanding member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and received the Brute Award with his wife from the St. Anthony parish.

Klem passed away Dec. 14, 2018, with his wife preceding him in death on March 8, 2010.

Donald D. Peek Jr., former state commander of the Disabled American Veterans of Indiana, will be this year’s guest speaker. He served in the army from 1970 to 1973 and has roots in Dubois County, as his great aunt and uncle were Pete and Edna Buechlein. He retired from Allison Transmission after 41 years of service and has been active in helping veterans with employment and disability compensations since.

The Jasper Park and Recreation Department will provide temporary bleachers for the event, but is encouraging visitors to bring their own lawn chairs. Bottled water will also be available.

American Legion Post 147 of Jasper will host a reception for the family and friends of Andrew Klem along with those participating in the event. In case of inclement weather, all events will be held at the American Legion Post.

Knies can be contacted for more information at 812-639-8603.

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