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James "Jim" Walter Kiel

August 26, 1939 ~ November 1, 2018 (age 79)

James “Jim” Walter Kiel

A Great Storyteller -

James “Jim” Walter Kiel, age 79, of Carlisle, and formerly of Mechanicsburg, passed away on Thursday, November 1, 2018.  Jim was born on Saturday, August 26, 1939 in Pittsburgh to the late Walter Jacob Kiel and Mary Elizabeth (Cupp) Hilpert.  In addition to his parents, Jim is preceded in death by his son, Scott Allen Kiel; and his daughter, Darilee Ann Shellenberger.

Jim’s survivors include his wife of 34 years, Judith “Judi” Lee (Wall) Kiel; Judi’s children, who he loved as his own: Jeffrey “Jeff” Ruth and his wife, Steph, of Mechanicsburg and their children: Kathryn and Jayrn Ruth, Jennifer Downs and her husband, Jimmy, of Mechanicsburg and their children: Ashyln and Mason Downs; his five siblings: Mary Beth Bird and her husband, Reverend John Bird, William “Bucky” Kiel and his wife, Georgia, Earl John Kiel and his wife, Georgia, Judith Ann Kiel, Kathy Dellorso and her husband, Sam; and several nieces and nephews.

Jim proudly served in the United States Air Force.  He worked at E.J. Korvette in Camp Hill as a manager.  Jim then retired from Kiel’s Cleaning Service in 1998, where he was the owner and operator alongside his wife.  He was a member of the American Legion Post #109 and VFW Memorial Post 6704 in Mechanicsburg.  Jim was a big fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and he loved to golf and play cards.  He also enjoyed counting and tracking cards.  If Jim wasn’t playing one of the many card games that he always won, he could be found golfing.  He was a great storyteller and a very smart man, making any conversation with him very interesting.  However, Jim had quite the poker face and it was typically hard to tell if he was joking or being serious.  He also enjoyed doing the New York Times crossword puzzles but usually filled them out using ink.  Jim was known to be a dog whisperer because of his deep love and ability to connect with them.  He never let anything stop him.  As a 22-year stroke survivor, Jim refused to give up and fought hard against the odds to gain his functionality. 

All are welcome to join Jim’s family at his graveside service on Friday, November 16, 2018, at 12:30 p.m. at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, 55 Indiantown Gap Road, Annville, PA 17003, where military honors will be presented.  Jim’s family invites everyone to join them for a dutch treat reception at Funck’s Family Restaurant in Annville following the interment.  Cremation was private.

The family sends their most heartfelt thanks to everyone at Clarement Nursing and Rehabilitation Center who so lovingly cared for Jim during his illness and to the VFW Post 477 for all they do with the veterans at the nursing home. 

In lieu of flowers, contributions in celebration of Jim’s life can be made to VFW Post 477, 2104 West Trindle Road, Carlisle, PA 17013.

Jim’s family has entrusted his care to Myers – Buhrig Funeral Home and Crematory in Mechanicsburg, (717) 766-3421.  Read Jim’s full obituary, view his picture, and sign his official guest book at

Donations may be made to:

Carlisle VFW Post 477
2104 West Trindle Road, Carlisle PA 17013

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