Clifford Joseph Gruenenfelder, 89, of Highland died Wednesday, July 2, 2014, at his home.
A funeral Mass was held on July 7 at St. Paul Catholic Church in Highland, with Father Charles A. Edwards, pastor, officiating. Burial was in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Highland. Arrangements were handled by Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland.
He was born on Oct. 26, 1924, in Highland to Clarence and Lettie (Haley) Gruenenfelder. On June 2, 1948, he married Evelyn Emily Weidner. She survives in Highland.
Mr. Gruenenfelder grew up in Highland and attended Highland High School.
In March 1943, he was inducted into the U.S. Army and served in the infantry during World War II in Europe.
After his military hitch, he operated a taxi service and pool hall. He worked for Ford Motor Co. in Hazelwood, Mo., in the 1950s. He was a laborer until 1965, when he joined the Highland Police Department. In 1973, he worked at the Army depot in Granite City as a security officer, retiring in 1990.
He enjoyed fishing, playing cards, bowling, and St. Louis Cardinals baseball. He was very active in Lee Iten American Legion Post 439 in Highland, where he had served as a past commander, and Highland VFW Post 5694. He never missed a parade. He put U.S. flags around town, and he participated in honor guards for military funerals.
He had donated a total of 23 gallons of blood, and he volunteered for Meals on Wheels.
He was a also member of St. Paul Catholic Church, the Holy Name Society, St. Paul Altar Society, and Perpetual Adoration at St. Josephs Hospital.
Other survivors include, a son, Kevin G. (Debbra S., nee Garland) Gruenenfelder of Highland; a grandchild, Regina R. Ripperda of Highland; a granddaughter-in-law, Wendy M. Gruenenfelder of Highland; great-grandchildren, Courtney M. Gruenenfelder, Gage D. Gruenenfelder, Kelsey L. Gruenenfelder, Keely S. Gruenenfelder, Brianna R. Ripperda and Isaiah R. Moore; brothers, Duane (Mary Ellen) Gruenenfelder of Highland and Robert (Shirley) Gruenenfelder of Springfield, Ill.; a sister, Mary Ellen Ansley of Mount Vernon, Ill.; and a brother-in-law, Stan Brauer of St. Jacob.
He was preceded in death by her parents; a grandchild, Corey J. Gruenenfelder, who died on Aug. 28, 2012; a sister, Stella Brauer; brothers, Donald Gruenenfelder and Russell G. Gruenenfelder; sisters-in-law, Lois Gruenenfelder and Betty Gruenenfelder; and a brother-in-law, Doc Ansley.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of Southern Illinois, Lee Iten American Legion Post 439 or Highland VFW Post 5694.