John H. Kaldenberg

Feb. 7, 2024

John H. Kaldenberg

John H. Kaldenberg, 96, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, at Newton Village, on February 7, 2024. The second son of Matthew and Elsie Buckley Kaldenberg, John was born May 13, 1927, at home in Colfax. He always joked that he was born on Friday the 13th. He and his 4 siblings were raised in Newton.

John had an excellent memory and loved to share stories of his childhood. He recalled helping to pick and sell strawberries and asparagus, among other vegetables grown in the family’s bountiful garden, at their home on E. 12th Street S., and also working at Peter’s Hatchery. He had much success gardening throughout his lifetime. He graduated from Newton High School with the class of 1945.

Just prior to graduation, John was drafted into the Army Air Force and served until being discharged on Dec. 25, 1946. John was united in marriage to Wanda M. Oliphant, on April 5, 1947, at the First Presbyterian Church in Newton. The couple lived in Colfax for 7 years before settling in Newton. They were the proud parents of 3 children, Bill, Tom, and Karen. Having played football in High School, John was a lifelong sports fan. He was employed at the Maytag Company for 30 years, working in several departments, retiring in 1978 from Tool and Dye Heat Treat.

Many family vacations were spent fishing and boating, in Minnesota, and also locally, at Red Rock and Rathbun Lakes. An avid outdoorsman, he later enjoyed camping and fishing for catfish. John was a skilled carpenter, and following retirement, he and son, Bill, built two houses. He enjoyed woodworking, and made elaborate Grandfather clocks for his children. He and Wanda moved into one of the new homes, in Oakland Acres, near Grinnell in 1978. While there, he worked maintaining the golf course, and served as Mayor for several years. The location also provided the couple the opportunity to enjoy another of John’s favorite hobbies, golf. The two made a strikingly beautiful pair when they went dancing at the Moose Lodge in Newton, both being very tall and graceful. After Wanda retired from Maytag, they enjoyed traveling in the U.S., and wintering in Mission, TX. They were able to visit son, Tom, and family, in various locations, while Tom was in the Air Force. Family gatherings were very important to John and Wanda.

John is survived by his three children, Bill (Connie) Kaldenberg, of Newton, Tom (Kathy) Kaldenberg, and Karen (Jeff) Hummel, both of rural Knoxville. Also grandchildren, Gretchen Spraggs, Tiffany Langholdt, Sarah Beth Helton, Amie Blain, Julie Zeller, Emily Burns, and David Hummel, 17 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. Also Sister-in-law, Kathy O’Leary, of Arvada, Colorado, and cousin, Carolyn (Duane) Hobbs. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Wanda, sisters, Marjorie Kaldenberg, Virginia Thompson, Shirley Weaver, and brother, Robert. Also his niece, Margie Davison, and granddaughter, Haley Marie Hummel. The family would like to express their gratitude to the caring staff at Newton Village, and Wesley Life Hospice.

Funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 13, 2024, at the Pence Reese Funeral Home in Newton. The family will greet friends from 1:00 until service time Tuesday at the funeral home. Memorials may be directed to Wesley Life Hospice or the Alzheimer’s Association and may be left at the funeral home.