Cleo E. Seuntjens, 80, of Danbury, Iowa, and formerly of Omaha, Nebraska, passed away on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, at Maple Heights Nursing Home, Mapleton, Iowa.
Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13, with visitation held prior to Mass from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church in Danbury. Father Richard D. Ball will officiate. Committal services will follow at Danbury Catholic Cemetery of Danbury. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the governor’s proclamation, masks are mandatory and social-distancing rules apply during all services.
Armstrong-Van Houten Funeral Home of Mapleton is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be sent online www.armstrongfuneral.com.
Cleo E. Seuntjens was born on May 12, 1940, in Danbury to Siebert and Clara (Ortner) Seuntjens. There were three brothers and two sisters. He attended St. Mary Catholic School through the eighth grade and then graduated from Danbury Catholic High School with the Class of 1958. Cleo furthered his education at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, acquiring his bachelor of arts degree in education and philosophy with a secondary teacher’s certificate in 1962.
He studied to be a priest at Mount St. Bernard Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, and was ordained for the Diocese of Sioux City in 1966 by Bishop Joseph M. Mueller. His studies concluded with a master of arts degree in theology.
Beginning in the summer of 1962, Cleo pursued his master of arts degree in secondary administration, secondary guidance and counseling, all from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. As a result of his master’s programs, he earned a high school principal certificate and counseling certificate, completing all in 1969.
Cleo worked for 26 years in high schools and parishes throughout northwest Iowa, serving at Emmetsburg Catholic High School and Assumption Catholic Church, Carroll Kuemper High School (two assignments), Halbur St. Augustine Catholic Church, Dedham St. Joseph Catholic Church, Sioux City Bishop Heelan Catholic High School, Bancroft St. John Catholic High School and St. John the Baptist Parish, Granville Spaulding Catholic High School and St. Joseph Parish, and Maple River St. Francis Catholic Church. His duties involved teaching, counseling, and 15 of those years were served as a secondary principal. In 1992, he took up a new residence in Omaha and held various employment positions, including some high school teaching and driving school bus for Omaha Public Schools. After receiving official training, Cleo worked as a financial consultant for 15 years for a prominent financial services company.
Cleo married Jeanice D. Hyland, and the couple made their home in Omaha, Nebraska. Jeanice passed away in January 2009.
Cleo is survived by his sister Rita (Venteicher) Dirksen of Danbury, Iowa; sister-in-law Marilyn Seuntjens of Mapleton, Iowa; brother-in-law Gary Kelley of Sioux City, Iowa; stepdaughter Kaitlyn M. Hyland-Reed of Aurora, Colorado; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Siebert and Clara Seuntjens; wife, Jeanice Seuntjens; siblings Clair, Ronald, the Rev. LeRoy Seuntjens, and Helen Kelley.