Cover photo for Joseph Kieselbach's Obituary
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1931 Joseph 2017

Joseph Kieselbach

November 20, 1931 — October 25, 2017

Father Joe Kieselbach, 85, died on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at ValleyCare and Rehab in Barnesville.  Visitation will be held 5-8 PM, Sunday, November 5, 2017 at Assumption Catholic Church in Barnesville with a Prayer Service at 7:00 PM. Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:00 AM, Monday, November 6, 2017, at Assumption Catholic Church in Barnesville, MN with Bishop Michael Hoeppner presiding. Burial will be in the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Barnesville. Joseph Leo Kieselbach was born on November 20, 1931 to Leo J. and Anna (Hilgers) Kieselbach in Fargo, ND.  He attended Assumption Catholic School through junior high and graduated from Barnesville High School in 1949.  While growing up, Father Joe was active with Boy Scouts and eventually earned the rank of Eagle Scout.  He served in the military and then earned a business administration degree from St. John’s College.   He worked as a junior auditor at General Mills in Minneapolis and then served in the US Army until 1955.  After his service to his country he entered St. John’s Seminary.  Father Joe was ordained on May 27, 1961 at Assumption Church.  During the next 56 years, he served in various parishes including 1961-1964 at the Cathedral in Crookston, 1964-1968 at St Peter, in Park Rapids including St. Lawrence in Guthrie and St. Theodore, in Laporte, 1968-1969 St. Joseph in Red Lake Falls, 1969-1971 at Sacred Heart in East Grand Forks, 1971-1977 St. Joseph in Oslo, 1977, Sacred Heart in Frazee, 1977-1986, St. Mary in Fosston including St. Lawrence in Mentor and St. Joseph in Beaulieu, 1986-1992 St. Michael in Mahnomen including Immaculate Conception in Bejou and St. Joseph in Beaulieu, 1993-1995 Sacred Heart in East Grand Forks, 1995-1999 at St. Elizabeth in Dilworth including St. Andrew in Hawley and St. John in Georgetown, 1999-2006 Assumption in Barnesville including St. Cecilia in Sabin, retiring July 1, 2006.     The Assumption and St. Cecilia’s parish was the last stop in a long and rewarding service to the Lord for Father Joe.  He retired in 2006 living at the rectory for a couple of years and then moved to his family home in Barnesville.    After that he has resided at Golden Manor Assisted Living and ValleyCare and Rehab.     In a newspaper interview in 2015, Father Joe remembered some of the changes about the church worship service.  “Women don’t wear hats to church anymore like they did when I was a young priest.”  “Girls are serving mass now and the service is in English and not Latin.”  He said he was glad to see the change from Latin to English in the late 1970’s.  Language wasn’t a problem for him.  As well as English he speaks Spanish and Latin.  Father Joe has this advice for priests coming out of seminary, “get to know the people in your parish.  Follow the Rules.”  Father Joe was a strong proponent of right to life and the need to keep marriages working.  One of his favorite times of year was when the Assumption youth group went to Camp Corbett in the summer.  He recited “The Cremation of Sam McGee” by Robert W. Service every night around the campfire.  He was most at home in the woods.  During Father Joe’s life he enjoyed working in the outdoors, spending time cutting wood and just being out in nature.  This was the quiet place where he could clear his head.  Another interest was model railroading and snow skiing.  He and a friend went skiing in faraway places as Austria, British Columbia, and Colorado.  Father Joe enjoyed reading his beloved Bible and other reading materials.  He especially loved poetry.  He could recite poem after poem that he learned as a young man.  He is survived by a niece Anne Hedekin and her children Ella and Kate all of San Diego, California; special friends Theresa Renecker, Deb Erickson and Debra Tucker.  He was preceded in death by his parents Leo and Anna Kieselbach, brother Philip Kieselbach, and nephew Kurt Kieselbach.  Father Joseph's Memorial Folder
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