Arnold Lloyd Kleppe was born May 25, 1935, to Clarence and Clara (Reinertson) Kleppe in Winneshiek County, Iowa.
Arnie attended country schools through 8th grade and was a 1953 graduate of West Union High School. He was a dairy farmer after high school, later working in a box factory. He delivered milk to the doorsteps of many homes, businesses and schools around West Union, Iowa. He was a salesman for the rest of his life, 27 years of that for Jewel Tea, a home shopping service. Arnie was in the US Marine Corps Reserves for 8 years. He owned a convenience store, Arnie’s Market, in Floris, Iowa for 8 years before retirement. After retirement he worked in various places around Pella, including Casey’s, Garden Chapel Funeral Home, and Vander Ploeg’s Bakery. Arnie also volunteered at, and served on the board of, the Work of Our Hands.
Volunteer work was always important to Arnie. He had served as Little League coach, Scout Master for the Boy Scouts of America, Sunday school teacher, and community service groups, to name a few.
Arnie was a devoted Christian, a talented artist, an amateur poet, and a fantastic storyteller.
Speaking of storytelling, here is a story he wrote and sang to his 5 little girls:
A long time ago, I met Merilee.
We got married and started a family tree.
First came Melanie, Melanie Rae.
She came along, was a mighty fine day.
Then came Kimberly, Kimberly Sue.
She made girly number two.
Next came Kamela, Kamela Joy—
My oh my you’d a thought she’d been a boy!
But I love all three, yessiree! Melanie, Kamela, Kimberly!
Then one day came Loyce Luree.
another little girly for mama and me.
Then Corinne, Corinne Renee.
That made five girls and we like it that way.
So this is the story of our family tree—
Five little girls and mama and me!
Arnie is survived by his beloved wife, Merilee (Entwisle) Kleppe, who he met on a blind date and married on June 2, 1957. Together they share 5 daughters, 4 sons-in-law, 13 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren:
Melanie and John Nollsch--Jamin (Jill) Nollsch, Elouise—Adam (Grace) Nollsch
Kimberly and Richard Speight--Emily (David) Spinden, Micah, Caleb, Truly, Grant, Grace--Daniel (Bethel) Speight
Kamela and David Yeager--Michael Yeager, Benjamin Yeager, Collin Yeager, Joel Yeager, Samuel Yeager
Loyce and Chris Hoffert--Casey (Kianne) Hoffert, Ayden--Kylie (Nathan) Sandstrom, Lauryn, Lyndon, Daelyn, Marryn--Jason (Shari) Hoffert, Chance, Violet, Scarlett--Jordann (Nicholas) Fohey, James, Kyelle, Leo, Miles
He is also survived by his sister Thelma (Don) Wilke, and brothers/sisters-in-law Jim Entwisle, Peggy Kurt, Diane (Myron) Nagel, Dennis (Christine) Entwisle, Julie (David) Zentz, and Mark Entwisle, Roger Weltzin, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Arnie was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Clara Kleppe, his brother Clarion Kleppe, and in-laws Violet and Loyd Entwisle, Linda Weltzin, Janet Entwisle, Nancy Nagel, and Dan Kurt.
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