Obituaries

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Wed
23
Jan

Gary Helgerson

Gary Helgerson
August 28, 1946-January 15, 2019

Gary Herman Helgerson, 72, of Elkader, died Tuesday, January 15, 2019, at Patty Elwood Center, Country Winds Manor in Cresco following a brief illness due to dementia. He was born August 28, 1946, in West Union, to Herman and Marian (Schatz) Helgerson.

Gary graduated from Valley High School in 1964. He went on to UNI at Cedar Falls, where he earned his Industrial Arts Education degree, graduating in 1968. Later he attended Central Missouri State where he earned his Master’s Degree in 1970.  Gary went on to teach Industrial Arts and Drivers Ed at Tripoli and Denver, Iowa, for 10 years, before moving to Elkader to become a State Farm Insurance Agent, a position held for 39 years until he retired in 2017.

He married Kae Jeanne Thompson. Three sons were born to this union. They later divorced.

Wed
23
Jan

Douglas Kennedy

Douglas Kennedy
May 27, 1955-January 14, 2019

Douglas Scott Kennedy, 63, of Altoona, IA, died on Monday, January 14, 2019, at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines after complications from a cardiac arrest. A memorial service will be forthcoming in the spring.

Doug was born May 27, 1955, the son of William T. Kennedy and Emma Jean (Smith) Kennedy in Manchester, Iowa, the third of four children. He was active in the arts, liked to draw, and was a standout wrestler, graduating from Central High School in Elkader, IA.

He was dedicated to his work and drove a semi-truck for many years, enjoying his routes for Midwest Transport, Inc. as a U.S. Postal contractor for the past 17 years. He would tell stories about his adventures, listening to satellite radio as he saw the country.

Doug enjoyed being outdoors, fishing and playing disc golf. He always was a bit of a rebel, fun-loving, and was known for his sense of humor. He liked debating politics, playing cards, and wearing shorts in the winter.

Wed
16
Jan

Ronald DeShaw

Ronald DeShaw
April 5, 1962-January 2, 2019

Ronald Francis DeShaw, 56, of Elkader, passed away suddenly January 2, 2019, at home. Ron was born in Manchester, on April 5, 1962, to Francis and Donna (Hilbert) DeShaw.

He was united in marriage to Kandi Pattison on October 3, 1998. Over the years, Ron worked at Cabela’s, Bergan Pork and farmed. In his most recent years, he was a feed truck driver for the Edgewood Feed Mill.

Ron always had a smile on his face and possessed a quick wit and response – aka something smart to say! He loved deer hunting with the Chicken Ridge group. He was a member of “the chain gang” for Central Football – a “job” he truly enjoyed. Ron was a diehard Green Bay Packers fan. He also enjoyed watching the Iowa Hawkeyes and Milwaukee Brewers. He enjoyed playing cards, washing his truck – he did not like to see it dirty. But most of all, he loved spending time with his grandchildren.

Wed
16
Jan

Dennis Horn

Dennis Horn
November 19, 1941-January 6, 2019

Dennis Michael Horn, 77, of Elkader, Iowa died Sunday, January 6, 2019. A memorial service was held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, January 15, 2019, at Norway Lutheran Church in St. Olaf, Iowa. A visitation was also held at the church on Monday, January 14, from 3-6 p.m.

Survivors include his wife, Marcia Horn; son, Michael (Shelly) Horn; daughter, Autumn (Al) Hall; four grandchildren, Brandon, Bailee, Ryann and Austin; and two great-grandchildren, Leslee and Charlee.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Viola Horn, and brother, Bill Horn.

Dennis was born in Independence, Iowa on November 19, 1941. He graduated from Independence High School and was a veteran of the US Navy serving from 1959 to 1963. Dennis was a member of Scottish Rite Freemasonry, American Legion and NRA.

Wed
16
Jan

Ronald Schuety

Ronald Schuety

Ronald Dean Schuety, 76, of Elkader, passed away suddenly Tuesday, January 8, 2019, at home. He was born August 21, 1942, to Emil and Hilda (Lahrs) Schuety, on the family farm, rural St. Olaf, Iowa.

Ron graduated from Elkader High School. While in high school, he worked at the Clayton County Register office, and continued there until he moved to Grinnell and worked for that newspaper. He was united in marriage to Jeannette Hanson on December 12, 1970, at the Ankeny Christian Church. The couple moved to Altoona where he started to work for the Altoona Herald and then the Des Moines Register until his retirement and eventually moved to Des Moines. The couple moved back to Elkader in 2002.

Tue
08
Jan

Mary Dettman

Mary Dettman
March 11, 1938-December 28, 2018

Mary Dettman, 80, of St. Olaf, died Friday, December 28, 2018, at Central Community Hospital in Elkader.

Mary was born March 11, 1938, in Guttenberg. She was the daughter of   Ervin “Jack” and Agnes Burr, Vorwald. Mary graduated from Garnavillo High School with the class of 1956. After high school she worked at Jensen Speaker in Guttenberg. She then married Clark Raymond Curran. Tragically, Clark died in an accident in June of 1965. On July 6th, 1968 Mary married Dale Dettman at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Guttenberg. Mary and Dale farmed together near St. Olaf. She loved spending time with grandchildren, was an excellent seamstress and cook and enjoyed fishing.

Wed
02
Jan

Verna Kuehl

Verna Kuehl
August 10, 1930-December 25, 2018

Verna Marie Kuehl, 88, of Elkader, passed away Tuesday, December 25, 2018 at her home from complications of heart disease. Verna was born on the family farm in rural Elkader, Iowa, on August 10, 1930. She was the daughter of Leslie and Emma (Nesteby) Lantz. Verna graduated from Elkader High School in 1948.

On June 3, 1951 Verna was united in marriage to Richard Roland Kuehl at Peace United Church of Christ in Elkader, Iowa. To this union, five children were born. The couple made their home in Elkader their entire lives.

Over the years Verna worked various jobs while also doing the bookkeeping for Richard’s carpentry business. She worked at the ASCS office for seven years, Elkader Public Library for ten years and cooked at the Central Community Hospital in Elkader for a couple of years.

Wed
02
Jan

Merlynn Johnson

Merlynn Johnson
November 23, 1949-December 17, 2018

Merlynn John Johnson, 69, passed away on Monday, December 17, 2018, at University of Iowa Hospitals from complications after open heart surgery. Merlynn was born on November 23, 1949, in Richmond Center, Wisconsin, to the late Ronald and Wihelmina (Grabanski) Johnson.  He grew up in the small town of Mt. Sterling, WI, with two older sisters, Marlene and Bonnie, and a younger sister, Karen. His father, Ronald owned a cheese factory in Mt. Sterling. Merlynn graduated from Gays Mills High School and later received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Wisconsin University at Lacrosse.  

Tue
18
Dec

Don Reece

Don Reece
March 25, 1932 to December 8, 2018

Don Reece, 86, of Elkader passed away Saturday December 8, 2018, in his home with his loving family by his side.

Don was the son of Carl and Bertha (Bock) Reece of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Don was born in Iowa City, Iowa on March 25th, 1932. Don lived in Iowa City and graduated from City High School in Iowa City. After high school Don Joined the Air Force in March 1951 where he served as a Staff Sargent of preventative medicine during the Korean War. Don was honorably discharged.

Tue
18
Dec

Thomas Koehn

Thomas Koehn

Thomas Ray Koehn, 68, of Elkader, passed away Friday, December 14, 2018, at Central Community Hospital following a long illness. Tom was born in McGregor, on December 12, 1950, to Alvin and Ruby (Kurth) Koehn. He graduated from Central Community School.

Over the years, Tom worked at Hilton Homes, Guttenberg, Trademark Homes, Dyersville and Iowa Turkey Producers, Postville. Most recently, he enjoyed delivering the Cedar Rapids Gazette to subscribers on his route.
Tom was very dedicated to his family. He enjoyed taking his mom and Connie for car rides whenever he could. He was so proud that he and Connie were able to bring mom home for Sunday meals when she was a resident in the care center. He also enjoyed trail rides—watching them gather and seeing the group leave for the big ride. Tom enjoyed visiting with people and it was not unusual to see him visiting with someone.

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