Kilian P. Bodensteiner

Monday, February 13, 2017 7:33 pm

Kilian P. Bodensteiner of St. Lucas, 84, died peacefully at his home Feb. 7, 2017, surrounded by his loving family. A Mass of Christian Burial was at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 13, at St. Luke’s Catholic Church (307 East Main St.) in St. Lucas, with Rev. Joseph Hauer and Rev. Kyle Digmann celebrating the Mass. The pall was placed by Kilian’s wife, Elaine, and his children. Lectors were grandchildren Cara Howe and Zac Reicks. Offertory gifts were presented by Elizabeth Bodensteiner, Emily Ungerer and Darci (Jirak) Woods. Music was provided by Bob Huinker and the church congregation. Interment was in St. Luke’s Church Cemetery, with his 12 grandsons serving as pallbearers: Ben and Zac Reicks; Clayton and Joey Jirak; Jesse, Shane and Noah Eichenberger; Adam and Jacob Ungerer; Nick, Ryan and Alex Bodensteiner. Serving as honorary pallbearers were Kilian’s 15 granddaughters: Cara Howe; Kristi (Howe) Canow; Erin (Howe) Haugen; Alison (Reicks) Thompson; Abby (Reicks) Bucheit; Annie (Reicks) Fencl; Victoria Jirak; Darci (Jirak) Woods; Hannah Eichenberger; Hilary, Elizabeth and Laura Beth Bodensteiner; Brittney and Emily Ungerer; and Emma Arends. Military rites were conducted by Aloysius Schmitt American Legion Post No. 691 of St. Lucas. Friends greeted the family from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12, at St Luke’s Catholic Church, St. Lucas, with a parish scripture service at 7 p.m. Visitation continued an hour prior to the Mass Monday. Online condolences for Kilian’s family may be left at

Kilian Peter Bodensteiner was born April 22, 1932, on the family farm three miles south of St. Lucas, the son of Henry and Julia (Winter) Bodensteiner. He received his education at the St. Luke’s Catholic School in St. Lucas, graduating from high school in 1950. Kilian was an outstanding amateur baseball pitcher. At the age of 20 he was offered a minor league contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, but was forced to turn it down because he was needed on the farm. Kilian farmed with his dad until he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He was inducted into service Feb. 11, 1953, and was stationed in Japan for 18 months during the Korean Conflict. Kilian received his honorable discharge Dec. 31, 1954. Kilian married Elaine Pechota Feb. 14, 1955, at Assumption Church in Little Turkey. To this union, nine children were born. Kilian and Elaine took over the family farm after the death of Kilian’s father in 1961, and they resided on the farm for their entire married life. While farming, Kilian was also employed by the St. Lucas Creamery and operated a canned milk route for many years. He then drove a bulk milk route for AMPI of Fredericksburg until his retirement in August of 2000. Kilian loved to visit with the many farmers on his milk route and always had an extra bag of candy to share with the children he encountered during the day. He took great satisfaction in the endless miles he drove without ever experiencing a serious accident. After his retirement, he spent many contented summers helping his son Randy on his farm in northern Minnesota where he made many new friends. Kilian especially valued the gift of friendship over the years with the countless people he met throughout his lifetime. Kilian and Elaine enjoyed traveling, especially visiting their families in Texas, Washington, Minnesota, California, and Wisconsin. Kilian prided himself on attending as many Baptisms, First Communions, Confirmations, graduations (high school and college), and weddings of his grandchildren as he possibly could. His hobbies included reading, watching sporting events, playing cards, attending his grandchildren’s activities and spending time with family and friends. One of Kilian’s greatest successes in life was his 37 years of sobriety that began Jan. 30, 1980, and continued until his death Feb. 7th, 2017. He credited his strong work ethic, his supportive family and his unwavering trust in God to help free him from the burdens of addiction. He was an active member of the St. Lucas Rosary Society, the American Legion Post No. 691, a lifelong member of St. Luke’s Catholic Church, and the Knights of Columbus.

Kilian’s survivors include Elaine, his wife of 62 years; nine children: Barb (Tommy) Howe, Houston, Texas, Lynnie (John) Reicks, Lawler, Mike (Laura), Washington, Texas, Kathy (Stan) Jirak, Monroe, Wash., Becky (Jeff) Eichenberger, New Hampton, Randy, Gonvick, Minn., Julie (Marty) Ungerer, West Salem, Wis., Jack (Sherri), Nederland, Texas and Terri Arends, Mason City; 27 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren; one sister, Delores Cuvelier, Lawler; sister-in-law, Betty Hadacek; sisters and brothers-in-law: Jeanne and Jim Bohr, Protivin and Donna and Loren Dietzenbach, New Hampton.

Kilian was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Bernice (Hauer); his brother, Henry; one sister-in law, Janet Bodensteiner; three brothers-in-law: Greg Hauer, Bob Cuvelier and Charles Hadacek.

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