Leon W. (Willy) Kuhn

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The legendary Willy Kuhn played his last gig on Earth, passing away on April 17, 2022, after a hard fought battle. Always standing in the front row…his wife of 50 years, Cheryl; his children Kris (Katie), Leon (Denise), and Michelle; and his pride and joy grandsons Dougie and Luka.

Willy was born on December 19, 1947, in Moline, Illinois to Leon and Dorothy Kuhn. When Willy was 10, the family moved to Underhill, and from that day forward, Underhill would never be the same. In between terrorizing the town with the neighborhood kids, one day he picked up a guitar and was a natural. He joined his first band when he was 16 and was in numerous bands through the years and finally hung it up at age 72. He met the love of his life Cheryl who tried her best to tame the man – it was truly a hard task – and they married in 1971. Together, they owned a one-man auto and tractor repair shop in Underhill, Kuhn’s Garage.

There are so many stories that he shared with all of us over the years, some of them so wild to make you wonder if they were even true – they probably were! He was always good for a story, and always ready with a joke, even if it was off color, told at the most inappropriate time, and left you feeling awkward! But that was Willy Kuhn – he marched to his own drum.

He lived for his family, especially his 2 grandsons that he adored more than anything. The shenanigans were plentiful when he was with them. He loved music and played guitar in multiple bands through the years. He played the meanest Johnny B. Good you’ll ever hear. He kept a prized garden, always hoping to have the first tomato of the year and could often be seen tooling around the yard on his lawnmower. He enjoyed taking “short cuts” driving around up north and getting lost – you always come out somewhere! The guy could “willy rig” anything and enjoyed tinkering. Willy was a one-of-a-kind, jack-of-all-trades, fun-loving, down-to-earth kid at heart.

Along with his wife, children, and grandchildren, Willy is survived by his siblings, Carol (John) Schultz, Ron (Rita) Kuhn, Tom (Mary) Kuhn, Sue (Don) Kahler, Dale (Karie) Kuhn, and Terry (Leon) Wychesit. Further survived by Cheryl’s side, who he shared a very special relationship with, Ken (Mary) Keiler, David (Florence) Keiler, and Tom (Jackie) Keiler.

To celebrate his amazing life, we encourage you to continue telling your Willy Kuhn stories to keep his legacy alive. A gathering to remember him will take place on Saturday, April 23, 2022, at Randy’s Place Bar & Bowl in Suring from 1 to 4 p.m.

Expressions of sympathy and memories may be shared with Willy’s family at www.kuehlfuneralhome.com


  1. Leon

    Will miss Willy, been quite awhile since I have visited. Loved playing with him, we always were tight in the earlier years. I wish the best for you Cheryl, and the family. Will never forget willy, and the memories.

  2. Joan and Bob

    Cheryl and family….We didn’t know Willy very well, but I know he could play a mean guitar. We have seen and heard him play a few times…so good and such fun!
    Willy has found rest now, may all if his memories comfort you. Thinking of you all, in this difficult time.

  3. Linda Van Lanen

    My condolences on the loss of Willy.
    Listened to him and the band many times.
    Always great music!
    Thoughts and prayers with all of you.

  4. Ken Keiler

    A great friend and brother-in-law. The world will be a more boaring place without his antics.
    You will have to behave in heaven Willy!!

  5. Gary and Ellen Rentmeester

    Our condolences to the entire Kuhn family. Willy is irreplaceable and he will be missed terribly. We’ve been following his long journey in his quest for returning health, we feel his pain, and now the family’s. Sweet sorrows hopefully turn into sweet memories.

  6. Dan and Georgeanne Henkel

    Cheryl, Leon(Denise) and family. Our deepest sympathies on your loss. Our prayers are with you. Dan and Georgeanne Henkel

  7. Joanne Jagodzinski

    So sorry for your loss, such a great man, enjoyed our get togethers, so many great memories! Will surely be missed! Thoughts and prayers to you and family during this sad time!🙏😢

  8. Joanne & Clem Jagodzinski

    So sorry for your loss! Have so many memories of our get togethers, the good ole days! Willy was one of a kind! Thoughts and prayers going out to you at this sad time!🙏😘

  9. Luanne S Cathey

    I am so very sorry to hear of Willy’s passing. Love and hugs to all the Kuhn family. He was a one of a kind character and will be missed. Lanette had so many fun stories about him.


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