Author Archives: Sandy Shinn

Robert Charles Coonradt

Robert “Bob C” Coonradt, 91, of Waverly, Iowa, passed away on Thursday, June 27, 2019, at MercyOne Waterloo Medical Center in Waterloo, Iowa.

Bob was born on June 6, 1928, in Osage, Iowa, the son of Ruth G. (Tubbs) and Ernest E. Coonradt. At the age of five, he moved to Waverly where he attended school, and graduated from Waverly High School in 1946. He attended the University of Iowa and graduated in 1950 with a BS in Business Administration. Bob served in the 2nd Armored Division of the United States Army in Europe from 1950 until his honorable discharge in 1952. On May 12, 1956, Bob was united in marriage to Delores C. Rader at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Waterloo, Iowa. In 1952, Bob joined his father at Waverly Motor Company which later became Coonradt Ford, which was in business for 85 years. He retired in October of 2018.

Bob was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church, Waverly Amvets Post #79, and the Waverly Chamber of Commerce. He was also a member and past president of Rotary Club and Waverly Golf and Country Club. He enjoyed hunting and fishing in Canada with family and close friends. He liked playing cards and was an accomplished golfer. He also enjoyed traveling and ventured to Puerto Vallarta every year with Dee and other family members.

Bob is survived by his wife of 63 years, Dee; three children, Bill (Deb) Coonradt of Waverly, Iowa, Jim Coonradt of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Lisa (Dan) Kneeskern of Urbandale, Iowa; five grandchildren, Beth (Alex) Rich, Matt Coonradt, James Coonradt, Brad Kneeskern, and Drew (Beth) Kneeskern; two great-grandchildren, Layne and Breck Rich; and sister-in-law, Lois Coonradt. He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Diane in infancy; and his brother, Dale.

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Military History – July 2019

The Korean Armistice Agreement is the armistice which ended the Korean War. It was signed by U.S. Army Lieutenant General William Harrison, Jr. representing the United Nations Command (UNC), North Korean General Nam Il representing the Korean People’s Army, and the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army. The armistice was signed on July 27, 1953, and was designed to “insure a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea until a final peaceful settlement is achieved.” No “final peaceful settlement” has been achieved yet. The signed armistice established the Korean Demilitarized Zone (de facto a new border between the two nations), put into force a cease-fire, and finalized repatriation of prisoners of war. The Demilitarized Zone runs not far from the 38th parallel, which separated North and South Korea before the war.

The signed armistice established a “complete cessation of all hostilities in Korea by all armed force” that was to be enforced by the commanders of both sides. Essentially a complete cease-fire was put into force. The armistice is however only a cease-fire between military forces, rather than an agreement between governments.  No peace treaty was signed which means that the Korean War has not officially ended.

The armistice also established the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The DMZ was decided to be a 2.5-mile (4.0 km)-wide fortified buffer zone between the two Korean nations. The Demilitarized Zone follows the Kansas Line where the two sides actually confronted each other at the time of the signed armistice. The DMZ is currently the most heavily defended national border in the world.

The Armistice also established regulations regarding prisoners of war. The agreement stated that “Within sixty (60) days after this agreement becomes effective each side shall, without offering any hindrance, directly repatriate and hand over in groups all those prisoners of war in its custody who insist on repatriation to the side to which they belonged at the time of capture.” Ultimately, more than 22,000 North Korean or Chinese soldiers refused repatriation. On the opposite side, 327 South Korean soldiers, 21 American soldiers and 1 British soldier also refused repatriation, and remained in North Korea or in China.

In addition to the established regulations listed above, the armistice also gave recommendation to the “governments of the countries concerned on both sides that, within three (3) months after the Armistice Agreement is signed and becomes effective, a political conference of a higher level of both sides be held by representatives appointed respectively to settle through negotiation the questions of the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Korea, the peaceful settlement of the Korean question, etc.” Even in 2013, 60 years after the signing of the armistice agreement, these issues have not been settled as a peaceful settlement of the Korean question has not been reached and American troops still reside in South Korea.

After the armistice was signed the war is considered to have ended even though there was no official peace treaty. Despite the three-year war, the Korean peninsula greatly resembled what it did before the war with national borders at similar locations.

Read more on Wikipedia’s article “Korean Armistice Agreement

Donna Marie Fischer

Donna Marie Fischer, 71, of Waverly, died unexpectedly Sunday, June 9, 2019, in Marshalltown, Iowa, while attending the AMVETS State Convention.

Donna was born February 7, 1948, in Waverly, Iowa, the daughter of Francis and Helen (Rieken) Fischer and lived her entire life in Waverly. She was baptized at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Waverly on May 9, 1948, and confirmed her faith on April 15, 1962, also at St. Paul’s. She graduated from Waverly-Shell Rock High School in 1966. Donna began her career at Lutheran Mutual in November of 1966 and retired from CUNA Mutual in June of 2017.

Donna led a life of service to the Ladies AMVETS Auxiliary. She was currently the Ladies Auxiliary President of Waverly Post 79 and AMVETS Department of Iowa Ladies Auxiliary 2nd Vice. She had also served as State Auxiliary President in 2004 and again from 2007-2008. She thoroughly enjoyed events with her AMVETS family. She also enjoyed reading, antiquing, traveling and family gatherings.

Donna is survived by two sisters, Betty Yanna of Lancaster, Wisconsin and Nancy (Philip) Brand of Vancouver, Washington, one brother, Jim (Michele) Fischer of Waverly, nieces Tami Yanna, Alison Wu, Erin Brand and Ashley Fischer and 5 grand-nieces and a grand-nephew. She is preceded in death by her parents, Francis and Helen (Rieken) Fischer.

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Military History – June 2019

Midway Atoll, several months before the battle. Eastern Island (with the airfield) is in the foreground, and the larger Sand Island is in the background to the west.

The Battle of Midway was a decisive naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II. Between 4 and 7 June 1942, only six months after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor and one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea, the United States Navy under Admirals Chester Nimitz, Frank Jack Fletcher, and Raymond A.  Spruance decisively defeated an attacking fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy under Admirals Isoroku Yamamoto, Chuichi Nagumo, and Nobutake Kondo near Midway Atoll, inflicting devastating damage on the Japanese fleet that proved irreparable. Military historian John Keegan called it “the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare.”[10]

The operation, like the earlier attack on Pearl Harbor, sought to eliminate the United States as a strategic power in the Pacific, thereby giving Japan a free hand in establishing its Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. The Japanese hoped another demoralizing defeat would force the U.S. to capitulate in the Pacific War and thus ensure Japanese dominance in the Pacific. Luring the American aircraft carriers into a trap and occupying Midway was part of an overall “barrier” strategy to extend Japan’s defensive perimeter, in response to the Doolittle air raid on Tokyo. This operation was also considered preparatory for further attacks against Fiji, Samoa, and Hawaii itself.

Devastators of VT-6 aboard USS Enterprise being prepared for take off during the battle

The plan was handicapped by faulty Japanese assumptions of the American reaction and poor initial dispositions. Most significantly, American codebreakers were able to determine the date and location of the planned attack, enabling the forewarned U.S. Navy to prepare its own ambush. All four of Japan’s large aircraft carriers—Akagi, Kaga, Soryu and Hiryu, part of the six-carrier force that had attacked Pearl Harbor six months earlier—and a heavy cruiser were sunk, while the U.S. lost only the carrier Yorktown and a destroyer. After Midway and the exhausting attrition of the Solomon Islands campaign, Japan’s capacity to replace its losses in materiel (particularly aircraft carriers) and men (especially well-trained pilots and maintenance crewmen) rapidly became insufficient to cope with mounting casualties, while the United States’ massive industrial and training capabilities made losses far easier to replace. The Battle of Midway is considered a turning point in the Pacific War.

For more information, see the full article at Wikipedia.org

Edward V. “Big Ed” Droste

On May 22 we said goodbye to Edward V. Droste after 94 remarkable years. Ed passed peacefully in his Largo, Florida home surrounded by his family after a brave battle with cancer.

Originally from Waverly, Iowa, Ed was born to Arthur F. and Marion (Lizer) Droste on February 21, 1925. He was baptized into Christ by St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, confirmed in March of 1939, and reared through the 8th grade by St. Paul’s Lutheran School before graduating from Waverly High School in 1943. Within moments of his graduation, he joined his 16 million American countrymen serving their country in World War II. Ed was inducted into the U.S. Army on July 17, 1943, completing his basic training at Ft. Benning, Georgia. He continued with Army Specialized Training Program at Northeastern University in Boston before joining the 17th Airborne Division in February of 1944 and earning his paratroop wings that June.

Next came “the greatest land battle ever to be fought and won by the United States Army,” and what would be a defining moment for Ed and our entire country: The Battle of the Bulge. Ed entered the Bulge via Operation Plunder, Airborne’s invasion of Germany at the Rhine crossing, and saw the campaign through to its victory in January of 1945. A gifted athlete (he’d tell you he mighta been a Chicago Cub if not for the War), he joined the Armed Forces Baseball League in playing morale-raising games across Europe before being honorably discharged in October from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, and finally returning home.

On August 12 of 1946, Ed married his hometown sweetheart Phyllis Jean Holley at Waverly’s United Methodist Church. He enrolled at local Wartburg College in 1947, then transferred to Iowa State University where in addition to his studies he competed on the golf team, famously hosting the 1949 NCAA National Championship and a young Wake Forest player named Arnold Palmer. Ed would later reunite with Arnie 50 years later at the 1999 TPC tournament pro-am in Tampa.

Ed graduated from ISU in the summer of 1949 and accepted a teaching and coaching position at New Hampton (Iowa) High School. He continued to play competitive golf in tournaments throughout the Midwest while nurturing the beginnings of his growing family, daughters Linda and Sally, and son Eddie. In 1954 Ed joined his father’s publishing company. He rose to VP/GM in 1961, becoming president and co-owner in 1975, and retiring in 1986.

Ed endeavored to make a constant contribution to his Waverly community. He was a teacher, coach, small business owner and employer. He served for 16 years on the Waverly Planning and Zoning Commission, 12 years as Wartburg Alumni Treasurer, president of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Council, member of the Waverly Chamber of Commerce, the Development Commission, the Parks and Recreation Commission, Kids Kingdom and was awarded the Wartburg Alumni Citation Award. He was also a leading member Waverly Golf and Country Club, maintaining a lifelong love of golf that included seven hole-in-one scores.

A constant spring of enthusiasm, Ed (who by the early 70’s would become “Bumpa,” courtesy of his mumble-mouthed first grandchild) loved dancing with his wife, as well as card games, especially his decades-long gin rummy match with Phyllis (now known as “Boom Boom”…see aforementioned grandchild mumblings). In what spare time she allowed him, he cheered proudly for the Waverly HS Go-Hawks (he was a four-sport letterman), the ISU Cyclones (also a letterman), his dear Green Bay Packers (he would finally become a one-share team owner!), and of course the Chicago Cubs. Ed was heartbroken at 7-years-old when he witnessed the Cubs 1932 World Series loss, later made every effort to help the team by throwing out a first pitch at Wrigley in 1993 and — legend has it — powered through his 94 years and multiple cancer battles just to see the Cubs reclaim the Series title.

Ed also managed to find a little time for fishing, duck hunting, mushroom hunting, painting, more golf, international cruising with the family, and keeping up with Phyl’s social schedule, which didn’t slow the least as retirement brought the couple more frequently to the Tampa Bay area where their son Eddie was working on a new restaurant idea called Hooters. “Bumpa and Boom Boom” ultimately made their permanent home in Largo, Florida, in the vibrant Royal Palms community. Together they proudly supported (and were graciously supported by) Clearwater Beach’s Chapel by the Sea, Morton Plant Hospital, and Moffitt Cancer Center.

Ed’s memory is honored by his loving wife, Phyllis Droste of Largo, Florida; one son, Edward C. (Marsha) Droste of Clearwater, Florida; two daughters, Linda Moon of Ankeny, Iowa and Sally (David) Pitts of Centennial, Colorado; three grandchildren, Ryan, Brian (Robyn) and Kylie (EJ), two step-grandchildren, Stephanie and Mike; three step great grandchildren, Emily, Jack, and Nick; a newly born great grandson James; and a sister, Dorothy Hertel of Waverly. Ed was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Marion Droste, and step-mother Elizabeth; a sister and her husband, Margaret (Rev. Ronald) Braulick; a brother in law, Dr. Elmer Hertel, and a son-in-law, Steve Moon.

A faithful servant of God, “Big Ed” was kind to, and loved by so many. He will be missed dearly by many…until we all meet again…

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Donald William Leisinger

Donald William Leisinger, 91, of Waverly, died Sunday, April 14, 2019, at the Waverly Health Center in Waverly.

Don was born September 23, 1927, in Waverly, Iowa, the son of Gustav and Marie (Mueller) Leisinger. He was baptized and confirmed in Waverly. Don attended St. Paul’s Lutheran School and Waverly High School, both in Waverly. He entered the United States Army on January 10, 1946 and served in the Philippines. His honorable discharge came on March 22, 1947. On January 15, 1950, he was united in marriage to Wanda Lageschulte at Faith United Brethren Church in Waverly. The couple made their home in Waverly where Don would own and operate Niewohner Hardware for 30 years. He then worked at GMT in Waverly until his retirement.

Don was a longtime member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Waverly where he served as Elder on the church council and chairperson of the Christian/Lutheran School. He served as Commander of the Waverly Amvets and was a member of the State Rose Society. He was very active as a Cub Scout Master, proudly seeing his sons through to the rank of Eagle Scout. He also enjoyed attending his sons’ school activities and going on family camping trips. Working on his acreage was one of his top past times.

Don is survived by four sons, Gene (Patti) of Eagan, Minnesota, Rich (Sandy) of Denver, Iowa, Ron of Waverly and Jim (Jenny) of Salem, South Carolina, 10 grandchildren, Brittany (Charlie) Metzig, Blake (Stephanie), Matthew (Felisa), Michael (Erin), Ryan (Mahren), Nicole (Pete) McCleary, Andy (Mindy), Jason (Elizabeth), Jonathon (Audrey) and James, and one brother, Eldon (Bev) Leisinger of Independence, Iowa. He is preceded in death by his parents, wife Wanda, sister Wilma Westendorf and a brother, Wilbert Leisinger.

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Military History – May 2019


Graves_at_Arlington_on_Memorial_DayMemorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces.  The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the war. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service.  It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.
Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.Annual Decoration Days for particular cemeteries are held on a Sunday in late spring or early summer in some rural areas of the American South, notably in the mountain areas. In cases involving a family graveyard where remote ancestors as well as those who were deceased more recently are buried, this may take on the character of an extended family reunion to which some people travel hundreds of miles. People gather on the designated day and put flowers on graves and renew contacts with relatives and others. There often is a religious service and a picnic-like “dinner on the ground,” the traditional term for a potluck meal in which people used to spread the dishes out on sheets or tablecloths on the grass. It is believed that this practice began before the American Civil War and thus may reflect the real origin of the “memorial day” idea.

Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.

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On Memorial Day, the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon.[41] It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.

Memorial Day observances in small New England towns are often marked by dedications and remarks by veterans, state legislators, and selectmen
The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon, their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

The National Memorial Day Concert takes place on the west lawn of the United States Capitol. The concert is broadcast on PBS and NPR. Music is performed, and respect is paid to the men and women who gave their lives for their country.

For many Americans, the central event is attending one of the thousands of parades held on Memorial Day in large and small cities all over the country. Most of these feature marching bands and an overall military theme with the National Guard and other servicemen participating along with veterans and military vehicles from various wars.

Read more about this topic at Wikipedia: Memorial Day

Military History – April 2019

Military History:  Believe it or not, but even old retired guys and younger working guys run into a time, where you just don’t catch up, therefore our Military History segment is going off center.  So “April, a month of firsts” contains some facts throughout our history that helped shape our country.  Many of them way before us or our Grandparents, but these “firsts” have had an impact on our lives and how we live, if we think deep enough.  More information on any of these can be found through Wikipedia or some key words in any trusted search engine.

April, a month of First’s

“not just April Fool’s Day”

April 2, 1792 – Congress established the first U.S. Mint at Philadelphia.  David Rittenhouse, an American scientist, was appointed the first director of the mint by President George Washington. Two lots were purchased by Rittenhouse on July 18, 1792, at Seventh Street and 631 Filbert Street in Philadelphia for $4,266.67. The next day, demolition of an abandoned whiskey distillery on the property began. Foundation work began on July 31, and by September 7, the first building was ready for installation of the smelting furnace. The smelt house was the first public building erected by the United States government. A three-story brick structure facing Seventh Street was constructed a few months later. Measuring nearly 37 ft. (11 m) wide on the street, it only extended back 33 ft. (10 m). The gold and silver for the mint were contained in basement vaults. The first floor housed deposit and weighing rooms, along with the press room, where striking coins took place. Mint official offices were on the second floor, and the assay office was located on the third floor. A photograph of the Seventh Street building taken around 1908 show that by then the year 1792 and the words “Ye Olde Mint” (in quotes) had been painted onto the facade.

April 3, 1860 – In the American West, the Pony Express service began as the first rider departed St. Joseph, Missouri. For $5 an ounce, letters were delivered 2,000 miles to California within ten days. The famed Pony Express riders each rode from 75 to 100 miles before handing the letters off to the next rider. A total of 190 way stations were located about 15 miles apart. The service lasted less than two years, ending upon the completion of the overland telegraph.

April 3, 1995 – Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman to preside over the Court, sitting in for Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist who was out of town.

April 4, 1887 – The first woman mayor was elected in the U.S. as Susanna M. Salter became mayor of Argonia, Kansas   Her election was a surprise because her name had been placed on a slate of candidates as a prank by a group of men who were actually against women in politics and hoped to secure a loss that would humiliate women and discourage them from running.   Because candidates did not have to be made public before election day, Salter herself did not know she was on the ballot before the polls opened.   When, on election day itself, she agreed to accept office if elected, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union abandoned its own preferred candidate and voted for Salter en masse, helping to secure her election by a two-thirds majority.

April 6, 1896 – After a break of 1500 years, the first Olympics of the modern era was held in Athens, Greece.

April 8, 1913 – The 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified requiring direct popular election of U.S. senators. Previously, they had been chosen by state legislatures.  The amendment was proposed by the 62nd Congress in 1912 and adopted in 1913 upon being ratified by three-fourths (36) of the state legislatures. It was first implemented in special elections in Maryland (November 1913) and Alabama (May 1914), then nationwide in the November 1914 election.

April 12, 1981 – The first space shuttle flight occurred with the launching of Columbia with astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen aboard. Columbia spent 54 hours in space, making 36 orbits, then landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

April 18, 1942 – The first air raid on mainland Japan during World War II occurred as General James Doolittle led a squadron of B-25 bombers taking off from the carrier Hornet to bomb Tokyo and three other cities. Damage was minimal, but the raid boosted Allied morale following years of unchecked Japanese military advances.

April 30, 1789 – George Washington became the first U.S. President as he was administered the oath of office on the balcony of Federal Hall at the corner of Wall and Broad Streets in New York City.

Lester Lavern Zelle

Lester L. “Les” Zelle, 95, of Waverly, Iowa, passed away on Thursday, March 21, 2019, at the Bartels Lutheran Retirement Community in Waverly, Iowa.

Lester was born on March 29, 1923, on a farm West of Waverly, Iowa, the son of Arthur and Emma (Mueller) Zelle. Lester attended St. Paul’s Lutheran School and Waverly High School graduating in 1941. He attended Iowa State College in Ames, until his induction into the U.S. Army on January 26, 1943 and then at University of Idaho while in the service. While stationed at Camp Butner in North Carolina he met his future wife, V. Frances Gooch during WWII. Lester served in the European Theatre of Operation as a truck driver for a 105 mm Howitzer and gun crew with Patton’s Third Army. He returned to the states in 1946 and was discharged at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin on April 2nd of that year. Lester and Frances where married on May 26, 1946, at Bullock’s Methodist Church, Hester, North Carolina. The couple made their home in Waverly, Iowa, where Les continued his education at Wartburg College, graduating in 1948 with a degree in Mathematics and Physics. Following his graduation, he became employed by the Schield Bantam Company and was a project engineer, responsible for many of the design features found on the highly successful Bantam cranes and excavators. Lester retired January 1986. On October 7, 2001, Frances passed away and in 2015 Lester made his home at Bartels Lutheran Retirement Community.

Lester was an active member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, where he served on Church Council. He was also a member of the Waverly Lions Club, American Legion and V.F.W. posts, and served for twenty years on the Bremer County Selective Service Board as a member and as chairman. Lester served twenty years on the Waverly City Council, twelve years on the Waverly Electric Utility Board, and was Mayor of Waverly from 1994 through 1997. He was also active in Waverly’s Sister City program and enjoyed several trips to Eisenach, Germany where he made long lasting friendships. In 2001, Lester and Frances were honored as Grand Marshals for the Waverly Heritage Days.

Lester is survived by three children and their spouses; Bruce Zelle and his wife, Candace (Carter) of Naperville, Illinois, Carolyn Zelle and her husband, Don Otto of Portland, Oregon, Lorraine Whitney and her husband, Dan of West Des Moines, Iowa; four grandchildren, Sarah (Zelle) Beckman, Brian Zelle, Lauren Whitney, and Daniel Whitney and his wife Danielle; three great granddaughters; Evelyn Beckman, Quinn Whitney, and Riley Whitney; and one brother, Rev. Edgar (Verona) Zelle of Waverly. Lester was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Emma; his wife, Frances; and a brother, Marvin Zelle.

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Eldon Eugene Kratchmer

Eldon Eugene Kratchmer, 88, of Waverly, Iowa, passed away on March 6, 2019, at his home with Sheba by his side.

Eldon was born on March 22, 1930, on the family farm in Butler County, Iowa, the son of Martin L. and Edna P. (Wright) Kratchmer. Eldon was baptized at the United Methodist Church in Waverly, Iowa. He attended country school at Butler #9 rural Clarksville, Iowa, and graduated in 1948 from the Waverly High School. Following his schooling he helped his parents on the farm and on January 7, 1952, he entered the U.S. Army and served during the Korean War. In June of 1952, he was wounded while serving with the 176th Armored Artillery and received the Purple Heart. He was honorably discharged on October 7, 1953 and returned to Waverly where he went to work for Carnation Dairy and also continued to farm. On March 20, 1955, Eldon was united in marriage to Joan I. Juhl at the United Methodist Church in Nashua. To this union two children were born, Keith and Kelly. The couple later divorced in 1988. Eldon farmed his entire working life and also worked at Standard Oil as a Route Salesman and was an insurance agent for 30 years with Danish Mutual Insurance Company, retiring in 2006.

Eldon was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Waverly. He was a lifetime member of the Amvets Post #79 and Farm Bureau. He had a very strong, independent German personality, and was extremely hardworking. He loved being outside and on his John Deere tractor. He took great pride in mowing his large lawn last summer, and rode in the combine while harvesting crops on his farm last fall. In his spare time, he enjoyed fishing, and woodworking, but most of all, spending time with his family, especially his grandkids.

Eldon is survived by his son, Keith E. (Rachel) Kratchmer of Clarksville, Iowa; his daughter, Kelly J. (Greg) Meyer of Sumner, Iowa; three grandchildren, Jordan (Cody) Brown, Jared (Emily) Skillen, and Jessica Skillen; two great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Margaret Kratchmer of Spooner, Wisconsin; and his canine German Shepherd companion, Sheba. He was preceded in death by his parents, Edna in 1975 and Martin in 1984; brother, Merlin; and sister, Donna (Harold) Willson.

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