Bernard “Ben” Louis Kluesener Jr., loving husband and father of five children, passed away on March 28, 2021 at the age of 95. Born November 12, 1925 in Cincinnati, Ben was the 5th child of 6 children born to the late Bernard L. and Viola (nee Daniel) Kluesener. Ben attended Church of the Resurrection grade school where he sang in the boys’ choir and Elder High School where he sang in the mens’ choir and played baseball. With World War II raging, his brothers actively fighting, and a few credits shy of graduation, Ben quit high school and was drafted into the Army. Private First-Class Bernard L. Kluesener of Company I 35th Infantry was stationed in the Philippines, where he fought and was wounded by mortar shell in the battle of Luzon. For his valor, he received: Purple Heart medal; Bronze Star medal; Combat Infantry Badge; Good Conduct medal; Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one Bronze Service Star; Asian-Pacific Campaign; American Campaign; and World War II Victory medals. Ben was honorably discharged April 26, 1946.
Once stateside, Ben completed his high school education, graduated from Elder High School, worked at a meat packing plant, worked for the family busines (Kluesener Painters), and met the love of his life, Joyce Hughes at a Friars Club dance. Ben and Joyce were married November 28, 1953. Post marriage, Ben became interested in newspaper production, took typesetting classes, became a printer, and worked for many years as a printer for the Western Hills Press and later for the Billboard Publishing Company. But life is fickle. Unexpectedly, the Billboard Publishing company moved, and at the age of 58, with three kids still at home, Ben Kluesener went job hunting – and landed a job with the United States Postal Service. Ben became a mailman – a happy mailman. Nicknamed “Grandpa”, Ben enjoyed being outside, walking and talking to the people on his mail route. Later, Ben was promoted to working as a package and mail sorter at the Postal Service’s main office on Dalton Street where “Grandpa” out-worked them all. On November 16, 1990, Ben Kluesener retired from the United States Postal Service at the age of 65 and in the best shape of his adult life.
Ben Kluesener the man was friendly, easygoing, never lied, and never met a stranger. Coming from a very large family, Ben’s niece Peggy said it best, “Uncle Ben was one that never forgot your name and always cared what was going on in your life.” Ben enjoyed hunting in his youth, golf as an adult, baseball all the time, the trees in his yard, reading the newspaper in the morning, a Pepsi in the afternoon, and eating ice cream at night. He was the family storyteller. He rarely complained- unless his food was cold. Ben liked his meals heated to lava-hot.
Above all else, Ben loved his family and had steadfast Catholic faith. Ben started his own family of five with Joyce, and Ben loved Joyce. Married 68 years, Ben and Joyce shared and enjoyed life always together. In the early years, Ben drove the car while Joyce tended to five kids. Many years later, Joyce drove the car while Ben navigated. They were complements; depending on each other, needing each other, sharing everything, and loving each other. Ben gave his children the gifts of time and presence. Time actively listening, really listening, acknowledging while mirroring passions and punctuating thoughts with a “Holy Cow!” or “Jeepers!”- secret code for “I hear you and I understand”. Ben, with Joyce by his side, gave countless hours supporting and sharing joys and sometime sorrows at every imaginable child, grandchild, and family event. In addition to family cheerleader, Ben was the family chief auto mechanic, plumber, electrician, window repairman, yard and waste manager, school project helper, and painter.
Ben was sustained by his beliefs and the Catholic Church. Ben’s faith was strong and he was a loyal Catholic servant. Ben was baptized Catholic and received the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation at Resurrection Church, married Joyce in St. John’s Church, and made sure all of his children attended Catholic schools. Ben financially supported his parish, worked the church festivals, and unfailingly attended weekly church services. His Mass of Christian burial is being held at St. Jude the Apostle Church, and his final resting place will be St. Joseph’s Catholic cemetery. Ben said grace before every meal, prayed silently and often throughout the day, and prayed for his family every night. It brought Ben great comfort to be able to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Eucharist, and being able to attend St. Phillips mass services in the few final days before he died.
Ben is deeply loved and missed by his wife, Joyce Kluesener, daughters Constance Gorman and Ann (Michael) Frederick, sons Bernie (Julie) and Eric (Sheila) Kluesener, grandchildren Anthony, Elise, Meredith, Kristin, Kevin, Adam, Connor, Lindsey, Anna, Ben, and John Michael in addition to many nieces, nephews, friends and family too numerous to list but not forgotten. Preceded Ben in death is his second born daughter Kathy Lynn Kluesener, and parents Bernard L. and Viola (nee Daniel) Kluesener, brothers Louis (Ruth), Robert (Evelyn), Daniel (Dorothy), Joseph (Ruth) and sister Virginia (Siegfried) Kaehney
Visitation is Tuesday, April 6, 2021 4:00-7:00 PM at Neidhard-Minges Funeral Home (Westwood), 3155 Harrison Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45211. www.neidhardminges.com. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 10:30 AM at St. Jude the Apostle Church (Bridgetown) 5924 Bridgetown Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45248. www.stjudebridgetown.org. Immediately following the Mass of Christian Burial will be police escorted funeral procession to St. Joseph New Cemetery (Delhi) 4500 Foley Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45238. www.stjoenew.com.
Should you wish, in lieu of flowers, consider a donation in Ben’s name to: Honor Flight Tri-State, 8627 Calumet Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45249 or St. Philips the Apostle Church, 944 East US 22, Morrow, Ohio 45152.