A kind, gentle, loving soul has passed away who enriched our lives. Dr. James J. Kivlahan, 85, of Burlington, died at 7:25 AM Sunday, September 3, 2017, at the Great River Hospice House in West Burlington.
Born September 30, 1931, in Highland Park, MI, he was the son of Henry Damien and Margaret H. Kivlahan. On October 27, 1962, he married Lorena Louise Hillebrand at St. Norberts Church in Inkster, MI.
Jim was a Board Certified Medical Doctor with specialties of a Surgeon and General Practitioner for 51 1/2 years. He installed the first pace maker in Burlington in 1964 with Dr. Robert Todd. He made house calls until he was 84. He retired in 2015. He was also the past medical director of Des Moines County Health Department, Des Moines County Jail, and A.D.D.S. He was also the Psych Director for Burlington Medical Center and was the former medical director for Case Co., PPG, G.E., Champion, and Georgia Pacific.
Jim loved working at Great River. He was a team believer-everyone from laundry thru administration worked for the good of the patient. He especially loved the nursing staff, they were his eyes and ears to his patients. Their knowledge and assessments made his job so much easier, and he valued their judgments and input. He said, "who better knows the patient than the caregivers who are with them all day." He told me, his wife, he was thankful for them every day.
Jim loved practicing medicine and felt privileged and honored to be of service to the people of Burlington and surrounding communities.
He was a 1949 graduate of Farley High School. He graduated from Loras College in 1953 and the University of Iowa Medical School in 1957. He was a medical intern at Wayne County Hospital in Wayne, MI from 1957 to 1958. He served in Korea as a Captain in the Medical Corp from 1958 until 1960. He did his general Surgeon Residency at Wayne County Hospital from 1960 until 1964 and then moved to Burlington in 1964.
He was a member of Divine Mercy Parish, Southeastern Iowa Round Table Civil War Group as one of the founding members and a former member of the Burlington Golf Club. He enjoyed traveling, golf, reading biographies and Civil War reenactment.
Survivors include his wife, Lorena; five daughters, Lori "Laura" Kivlahan of Fort Madison, Margaret (Tom) Herman of La Habra, CA, Jane (Joe) Best of Eden Prairie, MN, Kathy (David) Suarez of Burlington, and Annie (Marcus) Powell of New London; 11 grandchildren; three sisters, Alice (Robert) Stenander of Galesburg, IL, Joanne (Richard) Boudreau of Lacrosse, WI, and Sister Mary Kivlahan, O.S.F. of Dubuque; one brother, Henry (Patricia) Kivlahan, Jr. of Burlington; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and one brother, John Francis Kivlahan.
Cremation has been entrusted to the care of Prugh~Thielen Crematory.
Visitation will be from noon until 7:00 P.M. with the family to receive friends 5:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M., Thursday, September 7, 2017 at Prugh~Thielen Funeral Home.
The Memorial Mass of the Resurrection for Dr. Kivlahan will be 10:00 A.M., Friday, September 8, 2017, at Divine Mercy Parish -- St. John the Baptist Catholic Church with Rev. Father Bill Roush as the Celebrant. Music will be provided by the Des Moines County Resurrection Choir. Burial will be in Sacred Heart Cemetery. Full military honors will be rendered by the Burlington Area Veterans Honor Guard. A time of food and fellowship will be held in the Prugh~Thielen community room following the burial.
In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established for St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry, Great River Hospice House, Special Needs Foundation of Des Moines County and Hope Haven.