Herman H. Emkes, 84, of Denver, Iowa, passed away Friday, August 5, 2016, at the Shell Rock Health Care Center in Shell Rock, Iowa.
Herman was born February 3, 1932, on the family farm in Grundy County, Iowa, the son of Anton and Jennie (Hempen) Emkes. He attended school through the 8th grade and then began working alongside his father on the farm. He served his country in the United States Army during the Korean War until his honorable discharge in 1957. On December 22, 1958, he was united in marriage to LaVonne (Meier) in Sutton, Nebraska. Together they would build, own, and operate the mobile home park south of Denver for over 40 years, during which they were members of the Manufacturing Housing Association. They also owned the laundromat in Denver for many years. Herman had various trucking jobs over the years, most notably with Schumacher Elevator Company in Denver for which he drove over 25 years and Warren Transport in Waterloo for over 15 years. On May 15, 2016, while a resident of The Meadows in Shell Rock, Herman was presented with an honorary high school diploma issued by the Iowa Veteran Administration.
Herman was a longtime member of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Denver. He was a 40+ year member of the American Legion Post in Denver where he served as Post Commander, Membership Chair and numerous other positions. He served as the 3rd District Vice-Commander of the American Legion. Herman was very involved with the Boy Scouts of America where he served as scout master for over 10 years and earned several awards including Silver Beaver Award, The Lamb Award, Order of Arrow, Wood Badge and the Scouting Lifetime Achievement Award. He and LaVonne were members of the Ostfriesen Heritage Society and longtime active members of the Denver Starduster square dance club.
Herman was the proud owner of a 1951 Kaiser-Fraiser and was a member of KFOCI. He modified several tractors and created implement replicas, fit with moving parts and accurate detail. He also belonged to the local PTOS (Preserving The Old Stuff) tractor club. Herman and LaVonne traveled around the world; he was very proud of the work accomplished while on a mission trip to New Life School in Guatemala. His newest project, a Civil War Memorial at the American Legion Post in Denver, was very important to him and will be carried out posthumously.
Herman is survived by his wife LaVonne; daughter, Rosemary (friend Scott Plum) Weidler of Shell Rock, Iowa; son, Gary (Barbara Lovejoy-Hess) Emkes of Waverly, Iowa; three grandchildren, Jessica (fiancé Andrew Hannon) Weidler, Caleb Hess, and Sarah (Wade) Janssen; two great grandchildren, Alex and Samantha Janssen; two brothers, Fred (Suzanne) Emkes of Cedar Falls and George (Molly) Emkes of Albuquerque, New Mexico; sister, Jeanette Kottke of Fredericksburg, Iowa and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents and a brother-in-law, John Kottke.
Read more at the Kaiser-Corson funeral home site.