Cletus Shimek, 94, Charles City

Cletus “Clete” Shimek, 94, of Charles City, passed away Friday, December 18, 2020 at the 11th Street Chautauqua Guest Home in Charles City.

A private family funeral service will be held at Hauser Weishaar Funeral Home in Charles City with Sister Diana Blong from Immaculate Conception Catholic Church officiating.  Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in Charles City.

Cletus Alois Shimek, the son of Joseph and Rose (Vorda) Shimek, was born July 2, 1926 on the family farm in rural Howard County, Iowa.  He attended school at Lourdes High School.

Clete was united in marriage to Phyllis Clark on June 23, 1947 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.  He worked at George P. Smith (door and sash company), Oliver, GF Ardery Gas Transportation as a truck transport driver (his favorite job), parts manager at Bissonette Chevrolet and he retired from Cedar Valley Fleet Farm after 30 years. He also worked many odd jobs after retiring which included the post office, city hall and library.

Clete was a man known for helping others and making people smile.  He was often the first to jump in at a time of need (such as the flooding of the Cedar River. First Citizen’s Bank chose him as the recipient of their first “Good Neighbor” Award.  Clete enjoyed pontoon boating on the Cedar River with friends, family and nuns.  He also liked hunting for special antiques or a piece of Czech glassware at auctions.

Born on a farm, Clete loved to get his hands in the dirt so he always had a garden somewhere (at one time he had three in different places). Fittingly, most people remember him from his 30 years working at Farm Fleet in Charles City.

Clete loved music and began singing in a boy’s choir as a seven year old.  He enjoyed making up his own songs while driving the gas transport truck at night, and was a member of the choir at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church for many years.  Clete was also an usher and lector at the church and spent hours caring for the flower beds and shrubs around the church with his wife Phyllis.  He was heavily involved with the completion of the Garden for the Unborn at the church.

Clete found joy in life and loved to make people laugh.  He would often do silly things just for that purpose.  In earlier years, his antics and costumes for KC skits were looked forward to.  More recently, he was known for brightening things up at the nursing home.  But he also had a compassionate side for those with disabilities and the KC’s provided another outlet for serving.  In addition, he was the treasurer for the KC’s for 26 years.

Clete was a gentle man with great inner strength and fortitude.  He was always watching out for others.  Although he was very much a people person, he cared for and protected his family foremost and never stopped parenting in word or example.  We, his children, honor him and his memory by protecting those he loved to the end.  Therefore, arrangements are private during this COVID time.  But we treasure your memories of our dad and would be blessed to hear them.

We share a recent quote from Clete, “It’s really fun to be nice…We’ve had some fun!”

Living family members include his three children:  Marcia (Curtis) Groote of Rapid City, South Dakota, DeEtta Shimek of Charles City and Gerry (Laura) Shimek of Cottage Grove, Minnesota; six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; sister, Marian (Gerry) Gehling of Albert Lea, Minnesota; sister-in-law, Elva Shimek of Protovin; along with several nieces, nephews, other family members and friends.

Clete was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Phyllis; daughter, Kimberle; two sisters: Lorraine and Loretta and two brothers:  Clarence and Kenneth “Rusty”.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions to the IC Tithe Fund (for emergency assistance) or Charles City Meals on Wheels.

Hauser Weishaar Funeral Home, (641) 228-2323, 1205 South Main Street, Charles City, Iowa 50616 is in charge of local arrangements.  Online condolences may be left on the Tribute Wall for

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