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Walter J. “Smokey” Kemnetz

Walter Joseph “Smokey” Kemnetz, 80 of Centralia passed away Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at Washington County Hospital in Nashville. He was born on March 19, 1940 the son of Frank and Anna (Zarnek) Kemnetz in Radom. He married the love of his life, Virginia Ellis on November 19, 1976 and she preceded him in death on December 27, 2014.

Survivors that will remember Smokey as a protective family man include his beloved son, David Schroeter and wife Bridget of Centralia; 5 cherished grandchildren; 18 precious great-grandchildren; 5 treasured great-great-grandchildren; sister, Teresa Poelczynsla; and many special cousins, and extended family.

Along with his wife of 38 years, Virginia Kemnetz, Walter was preceded in death by both his parents, Frank and Anna Kemnetz; and children, Bob Tibbs, and Diana Hendricks.

Mr. Kemnetz worked diligently as a lineman for Illinois Bell for 32 years. He was of the catholic faith and member of St. Michael Catholic Church in Radom. He took great advantage and enjoyed each moment of his time spent outdoors. Whether he was tending his vegetable garden, where he grew the biggest, tastiest tomatoes that he was proud to show off, or manicuring his beautiful lawn, that was the envy of his neighbors, Smokey loved to be outside. He was a hardworking farmer and liked the process of growing and caring for his orchard of peaches and apples. Auctions were a passion of his and he had a talent for finding great treasures while attending them. Smokey was an amazing father and he and his son, David shared a special bond. The two gentlemen were inseparable and created many memories of laughter, fun, and love. He was also a favorite of his grandchildren and he loved to hear them call out “Grandpa Smokey and Pa Pa Pa”. Smokey leaves an example of a true gentleman for his family to emulate. His upstanding character, the way he cared for his family and his land, and his zest for finding all the beauty life has to offer will never be forgotten.

Irvin Macz Funeral Home in Centralia is privileged to be assisting the family of Walter “Smokey” Kemnetz with arrangements. A private family service will be held with Father Oliver Nwachukwu officiating. Memorials may be made in Smokey’s honor to St. Michael Catholic Church in Radom and will be accepted for the family at the funeral home in Centralia.

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