Eugene Arthur Hunold

Eugene Arthur Hunold, lovingly known as Possum, died Saturday, March 11, 2023.  He was born January 7, 1940 in West Point, IA to Edward and Anna Menke Hunold.  The youngest of seven children, he had many fond memories of living in rural West Point and growing up on a farm.  He attended St. James School in St. Paul and volunteered for the Army reserves, where he met great friends and gathered more stories to tell his kids and grandkids.  He met Shirley Manshiem and married on April 24, 1965.  After farming in rural West Point, they moved to Houghton in 1973 and raised their three daughters.

Gene’s life was full of work, and he pursued many occupations throughout his lifetime.  He was a farmer,  a mechanic, a grocer, a woodworker, cabinet maker and craftsman extraordinaire.  He loved figuring out impossible designs and building the best pieces to his exacting standards.  He enjoyed learning anything new and taught himself carving and making stained glass. If there was a problem that needed solving, his friends knew to ask Possum. He loved telling great stories and showing how to be a great son, brother, uncle, husband, father and grandfather.  He led his family by example and taught his grandkids all the great tricks and tools of life. Every family member remembers his words of wisdom, and they all lived by “man must be smarter than the machine or the machine wins every time”. Gene loved his Catholic faith and his parish, St John’s, and was a long-time member of the Houghton Knights of Columbus. He sang in the church choir with his wife, fixed what needed fixed and served where he was needed.

Gene was dedicated to the community he raised his family in, and served as Mayor of Houghton. He volunteered many years for the local firefighters and quick response service, and went on many ambulance calls.  He was always willing to help his neighbors and friends, and everyone knew him for his great laugh and willingness to get the job done.

Gene is survived by his wife, Shirley; a brother, Ronald Hunold of Warsaw, IL and a sister, Irma Burch of Windsor Heights; his daughters, Pamela (Doug) Nimtz of Oskaloosa, Shari (Dave) Naughton of Des Moines, Amy (Jim) Hunold-Van Gundy of Carlisle; grandchildren Taylor (Katie) Nimtz, Cassie Nimtz, Riley Naughton, Rebecca Naughton, Allison Naughton, Tucker Van Gundy and Sophie Van Gundy; one great-granddaughter, Lillian James; as well as numerous nieces and nephews and friends.

Gene was proceeded in death by his parents, infant daughter, Susan Lynn, his brothers, Harold, Adrian and Bernard, his sister, Doris Duncan, brother-in-laws, Howard Burch and Raymond Duncan, and his grandson, Anthony Nimtz.

Visitation will begin at 1:00 p.m. Friday, March 17, 2023, at Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church in Houghton, where the family will meet with friends from 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. A Knights of Columbus rosary will be recited at 4:00 p.m. and a Christian Wake service at 6:00 p.m.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, March 18, 2023, at Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church in Houghton with Father John Spiegel as celebrant.

Burial will be in Saint John’s Cemetery in Houghton.


The family requests no flowers and memorials can be made to St John’s Parish or Holy Trinity Catholic Schools.


Online condolences may be made to the family at Schmitz Funeral Home of West Point is assisting the family with arrangements.