DUBUQUE — Robert J.Kehl, 78, of Dubuque, died Wednesday, July 3, 2013, at home.

Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Saturday, July 6, at St. Columbkille Catholic Church, Dubuque, with the Rev. Gabriel Anderson officiating. Burial will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery, where military honors will be accorded by  American Legion Post 6 of Dubuque. Visitation will be 3-8 p.m. today at the Kehl Center on the campus of Clarke University, Dubuque.

Robert was born on Sept. 10, 1934, in Dubuque, the son of George and Christina (Wild) Kehl. Robert graduated from Ottumwa High School in 1952 and attended Loras College. He served our country in the United States Army. Robert married Ruth Ann Kurtz on Aug. 6, 1960, in East Pleasant Plain, Iowa.

Work was a lifelong hobby for Bob. He started his first business at the age of 18 and had 27 different businesses throughout his career. Some of his most notable accomplishments were the creation of the riverboat tourism industry in Dubuque, culminating in the creation of Iowa’s modern day casino industry. He received numerous accolades for his accomplishments, including the National Small Business Person of the Year Award from the Small Business Administration in 1986 from President Reagan at the White House. Besides his entrepreneurial spirit, he was a true philanthropist at heart and served on numerous boards. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, playing cards, the river, and spending time with his family. They will miss him greatly.

Surviving are his wife, Ruth; his children, Robert A. (Tina) Kehl of Fulton, Ill.; Tina (PJ) Anglin of Hazel Green, Wis.; Cyndi (Rick) Winter of Clinton, Iowa; Dan Kehl (Leslie Funk) of Solon, Iowa, and Kevin (Barb) Kehl of Dubuque; grandchildren, Krysti Kehl and Alex Kruse, Jake and Jordan Winter, Cody and Tanner Kehl, and Andrew and Susan Kehl; two brothers, William (Mary) Kehl of Dubuque, and George Kehl of Santa Clara, Calif.; and two sisters, Lucille Eccher of Tulsa, Okla., and Catherine May of Denver, Colo. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Online condolences may be left for the family at www.egelhofsiegertcasper.com. A Robert J. Kehl memorial fund has been established.

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The family would like to thank Dr. John Whalen and Dr. Ronald Schope for their care and concern. A very special thank you goes out to Gilbert, who was his longtime friend and caregiver.

The Egelhof, Siegert and Casper Westview Funeral Home and Crematory, 2659 JFK Road, Dubuque, is in charge of the arrangements.

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