08 November 1929 - 27 May 2020
90 years, 6 months, 19 days
Kenneth Fleer, son of the late Daniel William and Viola Marie (nee Schuermann) Fleer, was born on November 8th 1929, in St. Louis, MO. The Fleer family moved to Washington in the early 1930’s where Ken grew up and called home for the remainder of his life. He was united in marriage to LaVerne Marcella Kuenzel at St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church September 11th 1954, while finishing his tour in the US Air Force. After his service in the Air Force, Ken worked in the construction industry starting with D W Fleer and Sons Plumbing and Heating in 1955. He was a proud member of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters, first with Local Union 581- Hannibal MO and later with Local 562- St Louis, MO. In his career he was employed in a variety of roles from Journeymen through General Foreman/Job Superintendent for both large and small companies.
Ken spent his career in the mechanical trades but he had a wide variety of interests. He and LaVerne were both amateur radio operators. During the Vietnam era he was head of the Missouri contingent of the Military Affiliate Radio System. He served many years as an adult leader for Boy Scout Troop 439 in Washington and the Explorer Post at St. Francis Borgia. He served nearly 40 years with the Franklin Country Democratic Central Committee, initially as a Ward committeeman, and later as the County Chair. He also served as a member of the State Committee representing the 9th Congressional District. He counted among his friendships Representative Harold Volkmer and staff, Senator Thomas Eagleton, Senator Jean Carnahan, Governors Walker, Carnahan, Holden and Nixon, Lieutenant Governor Rothman, Harriet Woods, and many others.
After he retired from pipefitting in 1992, he served on the board of the Mid-East Area Agency on Aging for 13 years, and also served on several senior citizen housing boards in the St. Louis metro area during this time. He was active with American Legion Post 218 and the Korean War Veterans of America Chapter 324 both located in Washington. Ken became a member of Hope Lodge 251 AF & AM- Washington late in his life but held a favorable consideration of the institution through the years prior.
Ken had several lifelong hobbies; he enjoyed family camping and traveling vacations, both stateside and internationally, ocean cruises, and dancing. The last trip he and LaVerne took was to South Korea as part of the Korean Ambassadors For Peace tour.
Ken was a lifelong student and champion of education. Both he and LaVerne attended classes at East Central College for continued education. He was proud all his children graduated with college degrees.
Ken is survived by his wife of 65 years LaVerne and their six children: Melissa and spouse Eric McFarlin- Hutto, TX, Julie Adams- St Peter’s, MO, Gerald and fiancé Lynn Maggio- Charleston, SC, James and spouse Linda- Overland Park, KS, Duane and spouse Shelley- Lufkin, TX, Roger and spouse Patti- Washington, MO; 15 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother Jack and spouse Martha Fleer- Winston Salem, NC, brother-in-law Eugene (Gene) Unnerstall- Washington, sisters-in-law Doris Fleer and Mary Ann Rode- Washington, Donna Fleer- Bentonville, AR, numerous nieces and nephews.
Friends and extended family are asked to wear protective face coverings to attend the visitation on Monday, June 1, 2020, from 1 pm until 3 pm at Nieburg-Vitt, Miller Funeral Home. Space will be limited by physical distancing requirements. Ken’s funeral service at 3 pm will be limited to family only in-person attendance but will be livestreamed on the funeral home website and Facebook page. Interment will be at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ Cemetery. Memorials to St Peter’s UCC general fund or Hope Lodge charity fund are preferred in lieu of flowers.
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