Cyril “Peanuts” Klimesh

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 6:27 pm

Cyril “Peanuts” Klimesh died of pneumonia March 2, 2015 in his home in Grants Pass, Ore. Memorial services are March 28, in Grants Pass, Ore., and again in the summer at his final resting place, St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Spillville.

Cyril was born in a two-story house on Main Street in Spillville Jan. 20, 1917. Growing up, Cyril worked six days a week and every other Sunday for 10 cents an hour at the family Ford dealership. He fished. He hunted. He pulled his wagon to the Spillville Mill to get bags of flour for his mother, who baked bread every morning and settled her bill with the mill once each year on New Years Day. When Cyril was old enough, he hitchhiked to Washington to pick apples. He wanted to see the world; eventually, he would get his wish. In 1940, Cyril and three friends drove to Des Moines to enlist in the navy. They hoped they would be assigned to a battleship because they wanted to shoot “the big guns.” The three friends enlisted in the navy as planned, but Cyril was turned down because of a hunting wound to his shin. The recruiter seemed to think it would give him problems going up and down ship ladders, so Cyril went across the hall and enlisted in the army. His three friends ended up on battleships in Hawaii, but they never saw much of the war. Their lives ended when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Cyril served with the Red Raiders – Fifth Army Air Corps, 22nd Bomb Group – as a bombardier in the Pacific during WWII. He spent his honeymoon in occupied Japan and was later stationed in South Korea. During peacetime, he worked as the base photographer at Hamilton Air Force Base. After 25 years in the Air Force, Cyril worked for Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif. until he retired to Sonoma County. Cyril married Irene Violet “Susy” Dolan, R.N., of Calmar May 8, 1948. Irene and Cyril raised six children: Bruce, Maureen, Michael, Michelle, Monica and Patrick. Cyril was the final surviving member of a generation of 70-plus first cousins who sprang from grandparents Jan and Anna (Mikota) Klimesh. His hobbies included mushrooming, abalone hunting, traveling and researching his family tree. Cyril traced his genealogy back into the 1600s in Bohemia and seemed to understand the intricate connections of every family in Spillville. 

Cyril is survived by all six children, nine grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert Alois Klimesh and Maria Elizabeth (Andera) Klimesh; his wife, Irene; and by his seven siblings: Robert, Karel (Charles), Otilia, Zdenka (Sidonia), Celestine, Emil and Bohimir (Godfrey).

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