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William "Bill" Kuhel
May 30, 1935 ~ October 29, 2023 (age 88) 88 Years Old
WILLIAM “BILL” KUHEL, age 88, peacefully passed away on October 29, 2023. Beloved husband of Barbara (nee Toth) for 58 years; devoted father of Katalin “Kate” Demitrus; cherished grandfather of Alexander and Kira Demitrus; dear brother of James (Irene), Charles (Patricia) (both deceased), and Anna May Szymczak (deceased)(Donald); loving uncle and cousin of many, especially Sister Marie Ellen Kuhel. A special note of gratitude to James Dudasik for his care and support.
Bill was an accomplished athlete, active community member, advocate of deaf rights, and beloved husband, father, and grandfather.
While in high school, Bill collected numerous varsity letters and accomplishments across football, basketball, baseball, and bowling:
· Varsity all four years in basketball
· Made the North Central All-Catholic team for football, the first underclassmen ever to qualify
· Named MVP in high school football for senior year
Bill’s love of sports continued his entire life. He was a member of the Great Lakes Deaf Bowling Association (GLDBA) for 33 years, finishing with an impressive bowling average of 192. He was an avid Cleveland sports fan, holding season tickets to the Cavaliers, Browns, and Guardians for many years. His love of sports did not stop at the professional level - he adored cheering on his grandchildren from the sidelines and traveled as often as he could to attend their sporting events.
A staunch supporter of equal rights for deaf people, after he was refused a position as a mail carrier, Bill protested to the Postal Service Equal Employment Opportunity Office in 1978. He won his appeal and soon after secured a job at the Westlake USPS branch, becoming the first deaf mail carrier in the state of Ohio. He received many awards for his outstanding contributions to the postal service, proving to the world that deaf people can do anything when given the opportunity. He proudly worked for the United States Postal Service for 38 years until his retirement at 74 years old. At his retirement party, Bill’s supervisor lamented that he had to hire three people to cover Bill’s route, further showcasing his passion and work ethic.
Bill was incredibly involved in his community. He was an active member of the Cleveland Deaf Club starting in 1955, serving as Vice President during his tenure. Bill also enjoyed participating in the Ohio Association of the Deaf and in the Boy Scouts of America, serving as a scoutmaster for several years. Toward the end of his life, he was active in the Buckeye Senior Citizens group, often meeting to play dingo and just chat about the old times.
Bill’s faith was a guiding principle throughout his life. He was a longtime parishioner at St. Augustine Church and a lifetime member of the International Deaf Catholic Association (IDCA) and the Holy Name Society, serving as treasurer of both national organizations.
Bill married the love of his life, Barbara, in 1965 and was happily married for 58 years. The two loved to travel - their most recent adventure being a three-week trip to Hungary and Italy. On this trip, they spent their time visiting with family they met for the very first time, trying new foods, and enjoying the countryside. When not traveling or watching Cleveland sports, Bill could often be found solving a sudoku puzzle, doing the latest word search in the paper, playing pinochle with friends or family, begging Barbara to bake some cookies he could eat, or watching the Price Is Right, his favorite television show.
In lieu of flowers, donations requested to the Cleveland Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, 23215 Commerce Park Rd., #300, Beachwood OH 44122 or the Northeast Ohio SPCA, 9555 Brookpark Rd., Parma OH 44129.
Funeral Mass 11:00 am, Saturday November 4, 2023 at St. John Cantius Church, 906 College Ave., Cleveland 44113. EVERYONE PLEASE MEET AT CHURCH.
The family will receive friends FRIDAY 4-7 PM at the A. RIPEPI AND SONS FUNERAL HOME, 18149 BAGLEY ROAD, MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, OH (West of I-71).