Obituary published September 12, 2012 in The Mexico Ledger
John Kenneth Herlinger, age 94 of Vandalia, passed away at 2:15 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 10, 2012 at the Tri-County Care Center in Vandalia. Mo.
Visitation is from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13 at Waters Funeral Chapel in Vandalia. Mo.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 14, at the Mt. Olivet Presbyterian Church in rural Vandalia. Officiating will be Rev. Bob Balwanz. Music will be provided Roy and Wayne Lynn. Interment will be in the Vandalia Cemetery with full military honors.
Pallbearers are Robert Dubbert, Cameron Dubbert, Jason Toalson, Kevin Knipfel, Bill Bennett and Eric Berggren. Honorary pallbearers are Bruce Johnson, Marion Hawkinson, Terry Newland, Jerry Knipfel, Bob Jerman, Jim Miller, Vaughn Hamlett, Wayne Pease and Roger Cope.
Kenneth was a lifelong Vandalia area resident and attended area schools. He joined the U.S. Army on April 3, 1944 and was assigned to the 5th Infantry as a Private First Class. Kenneth fought in the European Theatre during World War II under the command of General George Patton as a machine gunner. On Dec. 24, 1945 he was wounded in action and then spent the next three months recuperating from his wounds in England. Kenneth then returned to the front lines and served out the rest of his time until the war's end and he was discharged on May 6, 1946. Kenneth received the Purple Heart, three Bronze Star Service medals and the Combat Infantryman Badge along with several other campaign ribbons for his foreign service. When he returned to Vandalia, he married Anna L. Knipfel and they bought a farm south of Vandalia on Route WW. His farm was well known as the one with the big bright red barn. He farmed up until 1991, when they moved into Vandalia. Kenneth enjoyed woodworking and was known for making his squirrel feeders and giving them to friends and family. He also maintained a big garden up until last year. In his later years, he enjoyed telling his war stories to everyone, whether a friend or a stranger. In November 2009, he had the privilege to go on the Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. to see the World War II Monument. He loved to tell a good joke and always had a news clipping in his wallet of some funny or unusual story. Kenneth was a life member of Vandalia VFW Post 2173 and a longtime member of Mt. Olivet Presbyterian Church. He was loved and known by many and will be sadly missed.
Kenneth was born April 20, 1918 in rural Vandalia, the son of Jake Hiram and Lottie Mae (Potter) Herlinger.
He married Anna Louise Knipfel in Vandalia on March 6, 1946.
Survivors include his wife, Anna, of Vandalia; one sister, Marjorie C. Dubbert of Mexico; one brother-in-law, John and wife, Mary Knipfel of Montgomery City; one sister-in-law, Louella Knipfel of Laddonia; three nephews, Robert and wife, Kerry Dubbert of rural Laddonia, Jerry and wife, Chris Knipfel of Mexico, Kevin and wife, Lisa Knipfel of High Hill; six nieces, Barbara Dubbert-Berggren and husband, Eric Berggren of Portland, Ore., Charolette and husband Greg Hendricks of Columbia, Betty and husband, John Miller of Mokane, Debbie and husband, Roger Cope of Martinsburg, Tammy Knipfel of Laddonia, Karla and husband, Mark Uthlaut of Montgomery City; also survived by 24 great-nieces and nephews and 21 great-great-nieces and nephews and many cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister who died in infancy, Mildred Mae Herlinger; two brothers-in-law, Herbert Knipfel and Victor Dubbert; three nephews, Jimmy Knipfel, Mike Knipfel and Paul Knipfel; one great-niece, Tracey Seay.
Memorials are encouraged to the Mt. Olivet Presbyterian Church.