Debra M. Puhl

May 14, 2019 GMT

Le Mars, Iowa

Debra M. Puhl, 62, of Le Mars, died Friday, May 10, 2019, at a Sioux City hospital.

Services will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday at All Saints Catholic Parish-St. Joseph Church in Le Mars. The Rev. Bruce Lawler will celebrate Mass. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Le Mars. Visitation with the family will be after 3 p.m. Wednesday, with a parish rosary at 5 p.m. and a Scriptural prayer service at 7 p.m., at the church. Visitation will resume 9:30 a.m. until service time Thursday at the church. Arrangements are under the direction of Rexwinkel Funeral Home in Le Mars. Expressions of sympathy can be extended to the family through www.rexwinkelfh.com.


Debra Mary Kloewer was born on Feb. 9, 1957, to James and Rita (Mumm) Kloewer, in Harlan, Iowa. She grew up in Panama, Iowa, attended St. Mary’s Catholic Grade School in Panama, and graduated from Harlan High School in 1975. She obtained an accounting degree in 1979 from Morningside College in Sioux City, and in 1980, passed the national Uniform CPA examination to become a certified public accountant.

She started her accounting career after college working at Nichols, Rise & Company CPA firm in their South Sioux City and Sioux City offices. She later worked in Le Mars as an accountant for two local CPA firms, a large grain storage construction company and two auto dealerships before joining her husband in 1990 to establish Puhl & Associates, PC CPA firm in Le Mars. She took great pride working remotely with her family’s trucking business of Panama Transfer in her hometown of Panama.

She married Nick Puhl on Nov. 22, 1980, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Panama. After building their first home on an acreage in rural Struble, Iowa, she was an active member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Struble, serving in liturgical roles, guitarist and parish accountant. Her Catholic faith was very important to her and for her family. She took great peace from participating in the All Saints Parish’s perpetual adoration program. She volunteered at Gehlen Catholic Schools in Le Mars and was treasurer of the school’s Fine Arts Boosters for many years. She had also served on the Diocese of Sioux City Priest Pension Board.

Deb enjoyed following her children’s school and college activities and traveling across the country to visit them, including a trip of a lifetime to Ireland. She cherished her annual gatherings with longtime college friends from Morningside’s Wong Wing dorm floor. She enjoyed riding her bicycle, was active in the Plymouth County Cyclists and participated in 13 RAGBRAI rides with her family. Deb and Nick together compiled history books for the Struble town centennial celebration in 1990 and the Struble Catholic parish centennial celebration in 2003.


She is survived by her husband; their four children, Emily Puhl (friend, Brian Chang) of Oakland, Calif., Erin Puhl (husband, Andrew Smith) of Washington, D.C., Kevin Puhl (friend, Brette Dowson) of Des Moines, and David Puhl of Indianapolis, Ind.; her parents, James and Rita Kloewer of Panama; her five siblings, Cynthia (Joseph) Connolly of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Daniel (Carol Stessman) Kloewer of Omaha, Dean (Colleen) Kloewer of Panama, William (Janet) Kloewer of Johnston, Iowa, and Ramona (Mark) Crall of Panama; her sister-in-law, Mary Smith of Sioux City; brother-in-law, Patrick Puhl of rural Struble; sister-in-law, Eileen (Curtis) Hora of rural Irene, S.D.; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents; parents-in-law, Robert and Roseen Puhl; and brother-in-law, Roger Smith.

In lieu of flowers, the family has designated memorials to Gehlen Catholic Schools Endowment Fund, Mission Honduras Le Mars and Shelby County Iowa Bicycle Trails.