Saturday, January 31, 2004

Wilbert 'Will' Kueffner, jeweler



By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Wilbert Kueffnerwas a watchmaker for the old Gruen Watch Co. before he opened his own jewelry store in Silverton in the late 1940s. He operated Kueffner Jewelers - which he later moved to Kenwood - for more than 40 years before closing up shop in 1990.

Mr. Kueffner - who was known as "Will" to his friends - died of cancer Jan. 22 at his home in Albuquerque, N.M. He was 84.

He lived most of his life in Cincinnati, where he was born in 1919.

An accomplished musician, Mr. Kueffner studied violin in elementary school and played first chair in the orchestra at Withrow High School.

During the 1960s and early 1970s, he played bass with the '40s-swing-music Cecil Young Orchestra.

After he closed his store and retired in 1990, Mr. Kueffner moved to Dumas, Texas, to help run Protestant retreats. He finally moved to Albuquerque to be near one of his daughters, where he worked as a silversmith.

A Christian of great faith, he was a member of the Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer for many years, as well as a member of Faith Fellowship Ministries. He played violin at church and "believed he was doing it for the glory of the Lord," said his daughter Lynn Potts, of Landen. "When he couldn't play the violin anymore, he directed choirs."

In addition to his daughter, survivors include his wife of 62 years, Ruth; another daughter, Eileen Sierra of Albuquerque; a son, Fred Kueffner of Longmont, Colo.; a grandson; and a step-grandson.

Services were in Albuquerque.

Memorials: Uttermost Missions, 1232 W. Kemper No. 179, Cincinnati 45240.

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E-mail rgoodman@enquirer.com




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Wilbert 'Will' Kueffner, jeweler