Faith, farming keep Hartington man busy, happy beyond retirement
At age 84, Reinold Klug continues to climb into a combine.
He helps his two sons with the harvest – Kevin at the family farm near Wynot, and Lyle at his farm near St. Helena. He also helps plant the alfalfa, corn and beans. And repair equipment.
Nearly every weekday and some Saturdays, for about a month during harvest season, he drives 15 miles to the family farm from his home in Hartington, or about the same distance to the farm near St. Helena – and sometimes works at both, depending on the need. He drives back again in the evening.
Spring planting and summer are a little less hectic, and winters without farm work can get a little long. Even in his retirement, Reinold likes to be in the fields.
"I enjoy helping the boys out and it keeps me busy," Reinold said. "I am tired by the end of the day, but there is nothing better than a good, hard day’s work."
Farming is not the only thing keeping Reinold busy. He and his late wife, DeAnna, volunteered in various ways in the church for years, first at Holy Family Parish’s Sacred Heart Church in Wynot, and the last decade at Holy Trinity Parish in Hartington.
Once a member of the Cedar Catholic High School Board, the Cedar County Catholic School Board, and a religious education teacher at Sacred Heart, Reinold attends daily Mass at Holy Trinity and has an hour each week as part of the parish’s perpetual adoration of the Eucharist. He helps with Masses at a local nursing home and Meals on Wheels at the senior center. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Order of Foresters and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and a board member at Cedar Security Bank.
DeAnna, who died four years ago after twice battling leukemia, was a choir director at Sacred Heart, a religious education coordinator, member of the altar society, Catholic Daughters of the Americas and the women’s auxiliary. In later years, she volunteered at Holy Trinity School and participated in the parish’s perpetual adoration.
a faith tradition
"Volunteering and helping out at church was something my parents taught me, and that is something my wife and I wanted to pass down to our family," Reinold said. "They saw by example how we used our time and treasure to serve our church and it was our hope in life that they would do the same someday."
And the children and their spouses have stayed active in the church, as lectors, extraordinary ministers of holy Communion, and members of parish councils, choirs, and ladies guilds, Reinold said. Kevin and his wife, Michelle, as members of Holy Family Parish at Sacred Heart Church in Wynot, and Lyle and Mary Klug as members of Holy Family, at Immaculate Conception Church in St. Helena.
Reinold’s two daughters and their husbands, Karen and Russell Flamig, and Lois and Ron Lammers, are members of Holy Trinity Parish in Hartington.
He has 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Five of his grandchildren have graduated from Cedar Catholic Junior/Senior High School in Hartington.
Keeping family close
Lois said she remembers the importance her parents placed on eating meals together as a family, and praying before and after meals.
"Growing up on the farm, the kids were expected to work along with Mom and Dad and learned to appreciate what the land and farming would provide," Lois said. "Farming leans heavily on faith and you never know what the weather or commodity prices will be. Lots of prayer!"
Her father agreed, citing worries over the years about land and crop prices, taxes, the stress of a tornado or drought.
"You need faith and prayer to help you through those difficult times and pray that God will grant all farmers a fair price for their hard work, to provide for their family and church life," he said.
Farming and faith has kept the family close, Reinold said.
"The old saying goes like this: ‘the family that prays together stays together,’" he said. "Same is true with farming – the family that can stay together on the family farm through all the good times and bad will stay together through life as well."
And each harvest brings an opportunity to thank God for his many gifts, Reinold said.
"Having a harvest is always a blessing."