August 9, 2017

Benjamin Steinmetz, 94, longtime resident of Kiowa, Kansas, passed away peacefully Saturday, August 5, 2017, at St. Francis Hospital. He was born February 19, 1923, in Kulm, North Dakota, to Solomon and Katherine (Gebhardt) Steinmetz.

Ben attended elementary school in Kulm where he learned English at the age of nine, having spoken only German until then. Ben worked on the family farm that he later purchased and owned for many years. A severe drought in Kulm prompted Ben, as a teenager, to work his way south to work on a farm around Scott City, Kansas, and then Kiowa. In Kiowa he worked for Sam Schrock and Humphrey Implements. Ben enjoyed reminiscing about hunting in North Dakota when the drought was over and selling the pelts to furriers for sale in the east. He eventually bought his first combine and started a 40-year successful career as Steinmetz Harvesting.

Ben was a pilot and member of the Kiowa Flying Club. He spoke often of learning to fly and his many experiences. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity for 63 years. Ben was also a world traveler having visited every continent other than Antarctica. He often showed and narrated his travel slides for many organizations.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Marie Caldwell and Hannah Gulke; and brothers, Alexander, Sam, Emil and Jacob Steinmetz.

A graveside Masonic service will be held Thursday, August 10, 2017, at 10 a.m. at Riverview Cemetery, Kiowa, Kansas. Memorials may be given to Friends of Kiowa District Hospital and Manor Foundation, Inc. Arrangements are by Lanman Funeral Home, Inc. of Kiowa. Online condolences may be made at


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