January 13, 1926 - December 31, 2012
Avon Lake, Ohio | Age 86
Dr. Denis L. Kuebler, 86, of Avon Lake passed away on Monday, December 31, 2012 at St. John Medical Center. Dr. Kuebler was born in Norwalk, OH on January 13, 1926. He graduated from St. Paul High School in Norwalk. Dr. Kuebler was a WWII Army Veteran where he served in the battle of Okinawa and was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Following his service, he graduated from Western Reserve University with a B.S. degree and earned his D.D.S. from Marquette University in Milwaukee. Dr. Kuebler had his own dental practice, which was one of the first in Avon Lake, and had his office in his home. Dr. Kuebler was a member of St. Joseph Church, a generous man, who always gave of his resources and time. He was a man of culture who loved the outdoors. He enjoyed sports, camping, traveling, and classical music. Dr. Kuebler was an avid fisherman and proud of his German heritage.
Dr. Kuebler is survived by his loving wife Pauline; children Carolinn Ann Kuebler of Washington D.C., Christopher Denis Kuebler of Avon Lake, Gregory Joseph (Amy) of Kutztown, PA, Mary Kathryn Kuebler (Daniel Kubler) of Uber-Magstatt, Alsace, France; grandchildren Thomas Maximilian Haney and Frederick Augustus Haney; Elizabeth Joy, Lucas Gregory, and Benjamin Linn Kuebler; dear brother of Dolores Lucas of Norwalk. Preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Olivia Kuebler, brother Joseph and sisters Columbia and Katherine.
Friends may call at the Busch Funeral Home, 163 Avon Belden Road, Avon Lake from 2-6pm on Sunday, January 6. Prayers at the funeral home on Monday, January 7 at 9:15am with Mass to follow at St. Joseph Church, 32929 Lake Road, Avon Lake at 10am with Father Robert Beckerer officiating. Inurnment at Arlington National Cemetery, date to be schedule for July 2013. Announcements for the Arlington inturnment will be posted and sent when the schedule is confirmed in March. Condolence correspondence can be sent to Mrs. Pauline K. Kuebler, 32565 Lake Road, Avon Lake, OH 44012.
EULOGIES AND REMEMBRANCES:
Denis Linn Kuebler – Funeral Mass, 07 January 2013
'Ode to My Pop' - Carolinn Kuebler
Next Sunday, January 13, is my Pop's 87th birthday. He was born during the last days of Christmas season joy, and it is especially fitting that we celebrate this farewell Mass on the day after the Feast of the Epiphany. The Magi brought their gifts to honor the newborn Baby; and like them, my Pop, my King in so many ways, gave me, and every person who ever entered his life, gifts that we will cherish forever.
So, today, on this Christmas feast and in anticipation of the next, I offer these thoughts of my Pop, our Dad, our Opa.
Pop was a big man, in height and yes, sometimes in girth, but bigger than most in so many other ways. He laughed big, he worked and played big, and he lived big. He had a laugh that filled the room, and a sense of humor that spawned that laugh whether the seed be funny, dark or sometimes even sad. He savored the subtle wryness of a good bon mot, but equally relished the coarsest pun or basest limerick. He laughed through tears of joy and of pain, understanding in heart and mind that humor is one of life's great joys – a joy that sustains in good times and bad times equally.
So for this gift, the gift of laughter, I honor our Pop.
And Pop was a man of culture, but like the sources of his sense of humor, appreciated culture in its broadest terms, from the high art of Beethoven and Bach, Renoir and Monet, to the pop art of hard and folk rock, opera and polka, to the overlooked visual panoply of velvet paintings. He loved movies, both four-star classics from AFI's 100 Greatest Films list, to the somewhat more nuanced cinema of cheesy monster movies and D-horror flix. He was a devotee of Pavarotti and Puccini, but also of Ray Harryhausen and films like The Attack of the 50-Foot Woman. And although he himself could not play an instrument or render a portrait in oils, he understood that art, broadly defined, is an essential food for the soul.
So for this gift, the gift of art, I honor our Pop.
And Pop was a man of letters, of words, of thought, of ideas and ideals. He was what we would call today, an extreme reader. If not immediately engaged in work or play, he was reading, and reading anything and everything. Our house was littered with dental journals, magazines on every topic, 3 – 4 newspapers, used books, new books, comic books and piles of library books weeks overdue.
He taught us all how to read, with encyclopedic interest, but also to think critically about what we were reading. I remember vividly his prime directive to 'look it up', quickly followed by the admonition 'Don't believe everything you read.'
So for this gift, the gift of reading, I honor our Pop.
And Pop was above all, a family man, a man who fell deeply and passionately in love with my mom some 60 years ago. And that love, and the marriage that followed, gave us, my family, the gift of life, and the splendid, exuberant joy of sharing all of these gifts with us. His greatest pride, his singular happiness, was his family, and again, he defined this in big terms. He was Pop not only to us, his children, but Dad to our cousins and friends. And he was Opa not only to his grandkids, but to every kid that ever sat in his dental chair or on his lap, to every kid, whether in time or at heart, that ever shared his work, his play, his laughter, his life.
So for this greatest gift – the gift of life, that encompasses all the many gifts spoken today and so many others – I, and all of us, honor our Pop, our beloved Opa.
'Thoughts about Opa' - Frederick Haney
I have an image of my grandfather. It's a perfect summer afternoon on the lake: blue sky, green grass, cool breeze. Family and friends are in the front yard of the house. Adults – parents, aunts, and uncles – are milling on the porch, beverages swimming in the cooler and the day's fare on the grill. Kids, meanwhile, are in the gravel driveway, running, breathless, super-soakers leaking in their hands. One kid stands out from the lot: he is almost six-and-a-half feet tall, dressed in golf slacks, white tee, tennis star's red-white-and-blue headband, and aviators. He leads the pack, grin from ear to ear, exuding energy and excitement, the piper at the gates of dawn, the high priest of fun.
I remember my grandfather, generous, just a big kid, which is not to say callow or simple. He was an educated and dignified man. He was decent, sincere. Though he hated violence, he fought bravely in a terrible war. He was a loving and faithful husband, a skilled dentist. He worked hard, bought land, built a house, and then raised four children in it. When they had children of their own, he gave his grandchildren the same uncompromising faith and affection that he gave their parents. This is what I mean when I say that, at heart, he was a kid himself.
Age did not diminish his capacity to share his love and vitality with others. He seemed to have a fountain of youth at his very core, a wellspring of joie-de-vivre that never lost its potency. Despite his responsibilities, he never forgot the simple pleasures of youth. He loved a bawdy joke, a good prank; no face of my grandfather's was as fitting as when his mouth curled up into an impish grin and his eye sparkled with the most sublime mischief. No one anywhere, ever, could belly-laugh like my grandfather. He introduced me to W. C. Fields, perhaps where I learned how to belly-laugh. He was a true connoisseur of campy science fiction and he proved to me beyond any doubt that nothing beats Frankenstein and the Wolf-man and Dracula in black-and-white; he loved these things because they sparked his imagination. He had the ponderous, profound imagination of a child and he had the magical gift of broadening the imaginations of those around him. When I would play on the floor with plastic soldiers and space ships, anyone else would seem a thousand miles from my fantasy, but my grandfather was right there with me, in the trenches or flying through the stars.
I only ever knew one grandfather in my life, and he could have easily been an imposing figure. As big as he was, sitting at the head of the table, behind the wheel of the big van, the captain of the boat, he could have been scary, indeed. But he had the gentlest, warmest of hearts. He had no guile, no malice; his love of his family and of all children radiated from him. That was, I think, the secret to his youthfulness. Youth, in a sense, is love. It is being in awe of all things that we encounter. The patina of age can cause that luster to fade, but it never did for my grandfather. And that, more than anything, is the single greatest lesson he had to teach. He demonstrated that life can always be awe-inspiring, it can always fire the imagination, no matter how many years pass, how dull a single day can seem, how many obstacles we face, or how many tragedies befall us. Even at the end, that grin was the same, that sparkle in his eye never dimmed.
There is a poem by Coleridge, 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.' I don't know if my grandfather knew it, but I think he would have enjoyed it. It's the story of an old sailor, traveling along a road. He meets a young man on his way to join a wedding party. The two travelers take a moment to rest, and the Mariner begins to tell the Wedding Guest the story of his travels. The story is sometimes irreverent, sometimes sad, sometimes shocking, and ultimately moves the listener beyond words. The Mariner's parting words to the Wedding Guest are,
'He prayeth best, who loveth best / All things both great and small; / For the dear God who loveth us, / He made and loveth all;'
The travelers go their separate ways, and the poem concludes,
'The Mariner, whose eye is bright, / Whose beard with age is hoar, / Is gone: and now the Wedding Guest / Turn'd from the bridegroom's door.
He went like one that hath been stunn'd / And is of sense forlorn: / A sadder but a wiser man / He rose the morrow morn.'
I will rise tomorrow, sadder that my grandfather has left the road of my life, but wiser, and better, and with a younger heart, for having shared part of the road with him.