Sutton Memorial and McLaughlin Funeral Chapels /
Sutton Memorial and Mclaughlin Funeral Chapels

Kay Howard Kleinschmidt

Jul. 23, 1934 - Mar. 31, 2017

Grafton resident, Kay Howard Kleinschmidt, 82, passed away Friday, March 31, 2017, in Surprise, AZ.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, April 7, 2017, at the Federated Church in Sutton, NE with Pastor Mary Scott officiating. Burial will follow at the Grafton Cemetery in Grafton, NE. Visitation will be Thursday, April 6, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., with the family present from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., at Sutton Memorial Chapel in Sutton, NE.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Grafton Volunteer Fire Department in Grafton, NE, or the Federated Church in Sutton, NE.

Kay was born in Grafton on July 23, 1934, to Ernest and Phyllis (Mecham) Kleinschmidt. He was baptized and confirmed at the Congregational Church in Grafton. Kay completed the eighth grade at District No. 66 in Fillmore County and then graduated from Grafton High School in 1951. He was united in marriage to Donna Arp on October 4, 1953, in Sutton, NE. They were blessed with five children.
He was a lifelong farmer who loved growing crops and raising cattle. Upon graduation from high school, Kay joined his father on the family farm. He enjoyed farming and was proud to have his son, Kurt, join him at his side continuing the family operation. In his later years, Kay loved collecting and restoring John Deere 2-cylinder tractors and antique firearms.

Kay was active in his community, serving on the Grafton Volunteer Fire Department for 46 years, President of the Grafton Rural Board for 35 years, the Grafton School Board, and was a founding member of Grafton Fertilizer.

Kay’s interest in livestock began as a 4-H member and continued as a leader of the School Creek Baby Beef 4-H Club for many years. He also served on the Fillmore County Fairboard and 4-H Council. He served on the Fillmore County FSA committee and was an active member and President of the Exeter Feeders and Breeders Association.

Kay’s special interests and hobbies included bowling, coyote hunting, and following his children and grandchildren as they carried on the family tradition of showing livestock.

Kay and Donna built a winter home in Sun City Grand, Surprise, AZ in 1999. They enjoyed the warm winters there and traveling the countryside expanding their wide array of western collectibles and antiques.

He is survived by his loving wife of sixty-three years, Donna; sons, Kurt (Abbi) Kleinschmidt of Sutton and Gary Kleinschmidt of Hastings; daughters, Kim (Stan) Peterson of Grafton and Deb (Lyle) Nunnenkamp of Sutton; eleven grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Norma Finnegan of Sutton, and Joanne (Verdell) Hornbacher of York; and nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Phyllis Kleinschmidt, and daughter, Diann Kleinschmidt.


Apr. 17, 2017
Norris Frankforter
Distant relative & friend

Dear Donna and family.
We were sorry to hear of Kay's passing. Max and Norma called and also sent a copy of the obituary.
We always looked forward to our annual family reunion in McCool. Kay and I had many interesting visits over the years. We have many wonderful memories of you and your family!
You are all in our thoughts and prayers!

Apr. 10, 2017
Laurie and Barry Sheridan
family friends

Your family has our sincere sympathy. I didn't know Kay well but visited with him at sales and farm auctions in the past. He was always nice to talk to. He left a legacy of farm living, agriculture and hard work to his family. He passed on wonderful traits to his sons, daughters and grandchildren and it shows in how you all live your lives. He will be missed and you have those memories and stories to share. God Bless.

Apr. 7, 2017
Traci Parr

Thoughts and prayers are with you all, so sorry for your loss, he was a great man.

Apr. 6, 2017
Kathy Votaw Dubs

Kim, Kurt and Families: We were so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. My sister Kerri at Henderson sent me the obituary link. You and your families are in our thoughts and prayers.

Apr. 5, 2017
Helen (Softley)and Bill Moore. Nebraska City.NE
Cousin (parents double cousins)

So sorry for your loss. he certainly had lived life fully. God bless you all.

Apr. 5, 2017
Gale & Joyce Nunnenkamp

So sorry to hear of your Father's passing away Deb. Our Thoughts and Prayers are with you and your family.

Apr. 5, 2017
Kelly Thomas

Kurt and Abbi,

A father may pass on but his thoughts, hopes and dreams live on through those he touched. He will always be with you. With sympathy,

Apr. 4, 2017
Terry Scheidemann
family friend.

Our deepest sympathy for your loss. I always enjoyed talking to Kay. My father always talked highly of him. Many prayers to your family.

Apr. 4, 2017
Tish and Bill Kohler

So sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers are with you all!

Apr. 4, 2017
Greg and Darcie Girmus

So sorry to hear of Kay's passing. He was such a friendly and generous person. Always willing to lend a helping hand. I borrowed his car trailer several times. I will always think of him fondly. Our deepest sympathy to the family.

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