Cover photo for John Lawrence Kava's Obituary
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1932 John 2016

John Lawrence Kava

January 14, 1932 — April 27, 2016

John Kava, 84, of Barnesville, MN, died on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Fergus Falls, MN.     Mass of Christian Burial will be 2:00 PM, Saturday, April 30, 2016 at Assumption Catholic Church in Barnesville, MN with Father Gary LaMoine presiding.  Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Barnesville.  Military honors will be provided by the Honor Guard of the American Legion Post #153 and VFW Post 4628.    Visitation will be held 5-8 PM, Friday at Dobmeier Funeral Home in Barnesville, MN with a Prayer Service at 7:00 PM.  Visitation will continue one hour prior to Mass.  John Lawrence Kava was born on January 14, 1932 to Joseph & Klotylda (Borowiak) Kava at home in Barnesville Township, Clay County, Minnesota. He lived in the rural Barnesville area all his life.  He attended rural schools at District 19 in Prairie View Township and District 25 in Manston Township in Wilkin County and attended Assumption Catholic School for four years graduating from 8th grade there.  He attended Barnesville High School graduating in 1950.  He played football, was a member of the choir and was involved in FFA (Future Farmers of America). He was elected to the HOL All Conference Football team. After graduation, he helped his father on the farm.  The summer of 1952, he worked for United Construction Co. at Garrison, ND, as an oiler for his brother-in-law on the Garrison Dam.   He was drafted in the U.S. Army October 16, 1952 and served with the 59th Engineers at Fairbanks, Alaska operating as a Crane Shovel Operator from March 1953 until he was discharged.  He was honorably discharged July 19, 1954.  He then came home to help his Dad with the farm, later taking over the farm.  He farmed in Wilkin & Clay Counties.  He raised dairy cattle, beef cattle, corn, wheat, and beans for over 40 years; retiring in 1995.  John was selected Conservation Farmer of the Year of 1984 by the Wilkin Soil and Water Conservation District Board.  This was given to him for his efforts in minimum and no tillage methods of farming along with planting of shelterbelts and ditching.  John has always enjoyed planting and caring for trees around the farmstead.  John was united in marriage to Jeanette Dickelman at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Fairbanks, Territory of Alaska, on August 26th, 1953. They lived on the family farm, where they raised their family of six sons and two daughters.   John has been a faithful member of the Assumption Catholic Church in Barnesville having been baptized & confirmed there and served on the Parish Council and other committees.  He was an Honorary Member of the Knights of Columbus - Council 3329 - and served as Grand Knight in 1968.   John was a 48 year member of the American Legion Post #153 of Barnesville. He served as Post Commander, served several years as Gaming Manager and a few years as Legion Baseball Manager. He served on the Ninth District as Vice Commander-at-Large and as Ninth District Commander in 1997-98.  He was also a life member of the VFW Post 4628. Education and community have always been important to John. He was involved in 4-H, first as a member of the Wilkin Atherton 4-H and later assisting with the children as they became members; serving as a leader and helping at the Wilkin County Fair and Roundup with his children and others in the Club.  The Kava's were also involved in the AFS program hosting a foreign student from Sweden, Roland Engstrom. Through the 4-H exchange summer program, they hosted Olav Hasle from Norway and Koji Tobashi from Japan. He has shown pride of his children and grandchildren in their accomplishments and continued to enjoy family reunions and fun activities at the lake or the farm with the grandchildren and great-grandchildren.   He is survived by his wife, Jeanette; his sons: Michael (Connie) Kava of Detroit Lakes; Andrew (Ruth) Kava of Barnesville; Patrick (Brenda) Kava of Fergus Falls; Jeffrey of Barnesville; John (Wendy) Kava of Prescott, Arizona; and Gregory (Nermeen) Kava of Fairfax, Virginia; two daughters: Shirley (Rick) Umberger of Dent; and Mary (Peter) Klovstad of Pelican Rapids.  He is also survived by his brother Ed (Nancy) Kava of Barnesville; sisters: Janice Ellison of McCleary, Washington; and Elizabeth Ward of Albany, Oregon; brothers-in-law Ken Anderson of Bloomington, MN; Roy Schoenherr of Carlsbad, New Mexico; and Farrell Brock of Elma, Washington; twenty-nine grandchildren and nineteen great-grandchildren.    He was preceded in death by his parents; twin son & daughter Donald & Darlene; brothers: Steve, Matt and Lawrence; sisters: Bernice, Frances Wren, Josephine Anderson, Mary Schoenherr, Cecelia and Janet Brock.  
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