Cover photo for Joseph A. Kieffer's Obituary
Joseph A. Kieffer Profile Photo
1964 Joseph 2019

Joseph A. Kieffer

August 24, 1964 — January 12, 2019

Joseph “Joe” Allen Kieffer, 54 of Bellevue, passed away Saturday, January 12, 2019, at Mercy Medical Center in Dubuque after a courageous battle with cancer. 

A celebration of life will be held on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 from 3:00 to 7:00pm at the Offshore Event Center in Bellevue. The Bellevue Fire Department active and honorary members will be retiring Joe’s gear at 7:00pm.

A memorial service will be held Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 11:00am at St. John Lutheran Church in Bellevue. Friends and family may gather from 10:00 until 10:45am at the church. Burial will be in the St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery.

Joe was born premature on August 24, 1964 and has been late ever since. He was the son of Carl and Leona (Cleary) Kieffer. He married his long-time love, Shelly Schwager, on August 19, 2018.  

Joe graduated magna cum laude from the University of Carl Kieffer and worked for Kieffer Plumbing & Heating for 28 years. He was a rural postal carrier for the United States Postal Service in Bellevue for over 34 years and was awarded the One Million Mile Club Award. Joe owned and operated JoJons Portable Toilets for 17 years, making him number 1 because of your number 2. He is officially done taking your crap! 

Joe served the community he loved in the fire service alongside his father, brothers, sister, nephew, and most importantly his son. He was a loyal and active member of the Bellevue Fire Department since 1984. Joe was a longtime member of the Bellevue Horseman’s Club, Hawkeye Motorcycle Club, and Bellevue Heritage Days Committee.  

Joe lived life to the fullest, was the life of the party, and always made time for a good story. He touched many lives in the various paths he crossed and never failed to make a lasting impression. He loved spending time with his friends and family, especially his granddaughters. Joe enjoyed Harley and Jeep rides and happy hour at the Riverview Hotel and Hank’s Place. He will truly be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Survivors include his wife, Shelly; children, Colby (Ashley) Kieffer, Tayler (Josh Blake) Schwager; granddaughters, Madison Jo and Sophia Kieffer; siblings, Dennis (Lynn) Kieffer, John (Sue) Kieffer, Tom Kieffer, Mary (Loras) Sieverding, and Kathy (Tom) Davis; his mother in-law, Mary Ann (Rick Plowman) Schwager; sisters in-law, Sherri (John) Scheckel and Staci (Heath) Felderman; and other numerous relatives.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Leona Kieffer, his father-in-law, Arnie Schwager, and his beloved dog, Lady Kieffer.

A heartfelt thank you to Dr. Eric Engelman and staff at the Dubuque Medical Associates Oncology Department; Dr. Axle Grothey and nurse practitioner Jessica Mitchell at the Rochester Mayo Clinic; Dr. Kevin Zettek and nurse Kelly Laugesen at Dubuque Mercy Hospital ER and ICU Unit; the Bellevue Fire Department; and Bellevue Ambulance Service who always gave Joe the best possible care. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in Joe’s memory.

Online condolences may be left for the family at    



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Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

3:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

St. John Lutheran Church

300 S 3rd St, Bellevue, IA 52031

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