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Mourners bid farewell to brothers

Hundreds gathered Wednesday in Cathedral of Christ the King Church to share Kimmes family grief as they buried two of their own. Joseph Kimmes III and his brother, Scott, were killed in an industrial accident Thursday at a construction landfill w...

Hundreds gathered Wednesday in Cathedral of Christ the King Church to share Kimmes family grief as they buried two of their own.

Joseph Kimmes III and his brother, Scott, were killed in an industrial accident Thursday at a construction landfill when they were exposed to toxic fumes. The co-owners of J. Kimmes Construction and Lakehead Blacktop and Materials Inc.

Paul Cossalter of Wrenshall and Harold "Tim" Olsen Jr. of Foxboro were also killed in the accident. Services for the men were also held this week.

"We are told that they died quickly, suffering little or no pain, but it's been an enormous loss," said the Rev. Ronald Olson, pastor of Holy Assumption Church, where the Kimmes family are members.

For many in the standing-room-only crowd, being there was not an act of politeness but a need.

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"I don't know how to say it," said Bob, a neighbor of the Kimmes family who declined to give his last name. "I just wanted to be here."

The family touched many lives.

"I think they were wonderful people, wonderful," said Brenda Anderson, who worked for the Kimmes family for five years at the Prime Steer. "Very much about family."

They were hard workers who were always good to their people, said Kim Johnston.

"Joe (the men's father) was a friend of my father's," she said. "He gave me my first job."

The families remained close.

"When my dad died, they were the first ones at my door," Johnston said. "That's the kind of people they are."

The Kimmes family is quick with a helping hand, mourners said.

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"They've done a lot for the township and the whole community really," said Ted Nelson, former Superior town board member. "I think the number of people there and the support they've been getting shows that."

The funeral was a remembrance and celebration of the brothers' lives, Olson told the crowd.

"They are home now at peace," he said. "So we mourn for ourselves. Our lives are emptier now."

In his homily, Olson called the brothers men of faith who were devoted to their family, friends and work.

"They cared for one another throughout life and even at the very end as one tried to rescue the other," he said. "That kind of love is not borne on the sleeve or expressed in soft words. It's real. It resides in the heart."

The grief that poured out Wednesday was also real. Hugs were freely shared. Crumpled tissues littered the entrance to the church after the funeral procession drove away toward Calvary Cemetery. Nelson said it was a way for the community to reciprocate for a family that has done so much.

"Showing up for them in their time of need," he said.

Maria Lockwood covers public safety. E-mail mlockwood@superiortelegram.com or call (715) 395-5025.

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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