North Central Iowa
Genealogical Society
Box 237
Mason City, Iowa 50402-0237

Obituary Archive

Hancock County

Garner Leader
Garner IA

Britt News Tribune
Box 28,
42 Center Street West
Britt, IA
Kanawha Reporter

P.O. Box 190
Kanawha, IA

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The NCIGS Hancock County Archive

April 17, 1954 - February 25, 2013 

James J. “Jim” McDermott, 58, of Manchester, Iowa, died on Monday, February 25, 2013, at his residence in Manchester.  He was born on April 17, 1954, in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of James J. and Barbara (McNeil) McDermott, Sr.  He was raised, educated, and graduated in Rhode Island.  He received a B.A. Degree from Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant and a Master Degree from Cardinal Stritch College in Milwaukee.  He also received a specialist degree from Drake.
On December 20, 1975, Jim was united in marriage to Deanna Ahrens at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Dundee.  Jim was employed in education at Corwith, Clear Lake, and the last six years in special education at West Delaware Community Schools in Manchester.  Jim retired in 2012 and has been employed at Area Residential Care (ARC) for the past six months.
Jim was a member of Living Hope Church and Knights of  Pythias.  He  enjoyed soccer, fishing, and the Red Sox.
Survivors include his wife Deanna McDermott of Manchester; one son, James McDermott III of Madison, Wisconsin; his father, James McDermott, Sr. of Rhode Island; four siblings, Patty (Kevin) Ricci, Michael (Janice) McDermott, Sharon (Walter) Salsbury, and Cyndi McCarthy all of Rhode Island; and  in-laws, Dennis (Sandy) Ahrens of Manchester and Ellen (Lary) Becher of Arizona.
Jim was preceded in death by a daughter, Megan McDermott; his mother, Barbara McDermott; and his step-mother, Mary McDermott.

Posted on 6 March 2013

April 4, 1935 - March 9, 2013

Rev. Wayne Gjerde age 77, of Ames, died March 9, 2013 at Israel Family Hospice House in Ames.

Graveside services are being planned for a later date.

Wayne was born April 4, 1935 in Fertile, Iowa the son of Selmer and Helen Gjerde he grew up in the Garner area attended Waldorf College graduating from Upper Iowa University and receiving his Masters of Divinity from Dubuque Seminary. He married Helen Clemens May 22, 1962 in Dubuque. The couple served United Methodist Churches in Sherill Mound, Burr Oak, Greene, Osage, Osage, Ottumwa, LeMars ending his ministry in Beaman, Albion.

Wayne is survived by: his wife Helen Gjerde of Ames, daughter and son in law Mary and Erik Lemke granddaughter Margaret Lemke and a brother Charles (Tuck) all of Omaha.

On line condolences may be sent to:

March 30, 1965 - March 10, 2013 

Kandy K. Dewaard, 47 of Garner, died Sunday, March 10, 2013, at Mercy Medical Center North Iowa in Mason City.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 AM, Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at Garner Evangelical Free Church in Garner, with Pastor Haddon Anderson officiating.

Burial will be at Concord Township Cemetery in Garner.

Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 PM, Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at Garner
Evangelical Free Church and continue one hour prior to services.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Kandy Dewaard Memorial Fund.

Kandy was born on March 30, 1965 in Seoul, South Korea and adopted by her parents Lawrence and Donna Miller of Clear Lake. She graduated from Garner-Hayfield High School in 1984. On December 28, 1985 she married Todd DeWaard of Britt. To this marriage are two daughters, Brittany and A'lora and one son, Derrick.

At the age of 7 years old Kandy put her faith in Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior to begin her lifetime journey with Him.

Kandy enjoyed scrap-booking and making homemade cards. She enjoyed music and going to Christian Concerts. Family time was important to her. Some of the things she liked to do with them included shopping with her girls, playing games with her family, and going out to eat.

She will be missed by her husband, Todd; her children, Brittany (Colton) Bachman of Ames, IA., A'lora DeWaard of Ames, IA. and Derrick DeWaard of Garner, IA.; her parents, Lawrence and Donna Miller of Clear Lake, IA.; sister, Penny (Wade) Voxland of Burnsville, MN., Tim (Janet) Miller of Clear Lake, IA., Mark (Katie) Miller of Asia; mother and father-in-law, Ken and Linda DeWaard of Britt; sister-in-law, Tammy (Paul) Jacobson of Ames, IA.; brothers-in-law, Timothy (Angie) DeWaard of Lakeville, MN., Thomas (Tracy) DeWaard, Ozark, MO.; and her nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her grandpa and grandma Miller and grandpa and grandma O'Keefe.

November 10, 1934 - March 5, 2013

Robert “Bob” Arhart, age 78, died Tuesday, March 5, 2013, after a courageous battle against cancer.

Funeral services are scheduled for 12 p.m. Saturday, March 9, and will be held at Wesley United Methodist Church, 1405 S. Pennsylvania Ave., Mason City, IA 50401. Burial will be after the service at the West Side Cemetery in Marble Rock. Pastors Keith Scott and Mike Olmsted will be officiating the service.

A visitation will take place Friday, March 8, from 4-8 p.m. at the Wesley United Methodist Church in Mason City. Visitation will also be one hour prior to service on Saturday.

Those wishing to express their sympathy through a memorial can be made to Wesley United Methodist Church in Robert’s name or may direct them in care of the family by sending to Randy Arhart 2800 Second Ave. N.W. Austin, MN 55912.

Robert Dean Arhart was born Nov. 10, 1934, to Elston and Ella Mae (Ritter) Arhart in Union Township, Floyd County, Iowa. He attended Marble Rock Consolidated School and graduated in 1952. On March 3, 1956, he married the love of his life, Delores “Toodie” Krull. This union was blessed with four children: Randy, Janine, Kim, and Rick.

Bob grew up on a small farm. He began helping at the age of seven by driving tractor. At the age of 12 he rented 80 acres from his uncle. Bob also worked for two years with the Charles City Western Railroad as a section hand. In 1957, he began his career with Northwestern Bell Telephone Co. as a lineman in Waterloo. He worked his way up the company ladder as an installer and repairman, then to management with a transfer to Council Bluffs. His management career took him to Mason City in 1967 and then to Minneapolis in 1986. He retired in 1994, having never missed a day’s pay in close to 38 years. Bob and Toodie moved to Garner in 1998 where he enjoyed his retirement close to his family and friends.
He enjoyed the great outdoors and being one with nature. Prior to GPS lake maps, he could navigate to many secret fish-ing spots on Mille Lacs Lake by using shoreline landmarks and a compass. For numerous years he helped with the Boy Scouts of America as a scoutmaster where he received several awards and recognitions. He coached softball and little league baseball. He was a passionate golfer and enjoyed being on the course. Bob shared his skills and talents by volun-teering for his community and those less fortunate. He was always there to help others. This trait stood out in his love and devotion to his wife,as he was her caretaker while she struggled with dementia in her final years. Bob adored his family and enjoyed being a regular spectator for all of his grandchildren’s extra-curricular activities and sports. His heart was filled with love for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His beaming smile and quick wit brought joy and laughter to all that met him.

The legacy of Robert’s life will continue on in the hearts of his children: son Randy (Jane) Arhart of Austin, Minn. and their children Ryan (Kelsey) Arhart, Lindsay (fiancé Ryan Ranschau) and Ashley; daughter Janine (Brian) Hammarstedt of Mason City, and their children Michele (Dan) Werts and great-grandchild John Robert Werts, Amanda (Nick) Steege and great-grandchildren Noah, Tayden,and Derrick, and Matt Hammarstedt; daughter Kim (Kevin) Smith of Belmond, and their sons Kody and Kyle; son Rick (Tammy) Arhart of Rochester, Minn. and their daughters Abigailand Alexandria; sisters Judy (Jim) Miller of Cedar Falls, LaVonne Edmundson of Deerwood, Minn., along with many other beloved relatives.

Robert is preceded in death by his wife Delores; parents Elston and Ella Mae, step father Vern Merrill; brother Delaine Merrill.

Andrews Funeral Homes Belmond, 641-444-4474.

Posted on 12 March 2013

March 12, 1913 - March 15, 2013

FOREST CITY - Anna "Millie" Tschirki, 100, of Forest City died Friday, March 15, 2013 at the Westview Care Center in Britt.

Memorial services were held 1:30 p.m., Monday, March 18 at the United Methodist Church in Forest City with Rev. Jerald Swanberg and Rev. Robert Dodge officiating. Inurnment was in Madison Township Cemetery in Forest City. Petersen Lund Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Memorials may be directed to the Anna "Millie" Tschirki Memorial Fund and may be sent in care of the Petersen Lund Funeral Home 505 N. Clark St., Forest City, Iowa 50436.

Anna Mildred Tschirki, the daughter of Gus and Ida (Burseth) Hagen, was born March 12, 1913 on a farm near Forest City. She attended Forest City Community Schools and helped her family and neighbors on the farm. Later on, she moved to town and worked at a restaurant. On December 16, 1933 she was married to Christian Julius Tschirki at the Lutheran Church parsonage in Forest City. They farmed in the Hayfield area until 1972, when they moved into Forest City. Millie helped serve for some special events at Waldorf College, worked at The Doughnut Shop on Main Street in Forest City with her sister, Violet, and also was employed at the Forest City school cafeteria. She enjoyed crocheting, baking, gardening, shopping, playing cards and dancing.

She was a member of the United Methodist Church in Forest City, UMW, Forest City Senior Citizens and several card clubs.

Millie is survived by her two children, Donna Nedved of Britt and Robert (Mandy) Tschirki of Denver, Colo.; six grandchildren; fifteen great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Christian, in 1985; her parents; son-in-law, Don Nedved; three sisters, Gladys Anderson, Violet Tschirki and Alice Thorson; and a brother, Gordon Hagen.

Millie and Christian enjoyed and loved their family very much and were always there for them. Millie will be well remembered by her relatives and friends.

April 12, 1924 - March 14, 2013  

BRITT - Stella Kudej, 88, of Britt passed away Thursday, March 14, 2013 at Hancock County Memorial Hospital in Britt.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Stella Kudej was held on Saturday, March 16, 2013, at 1 p.m., at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 139 3rd Street South East, in Britt with Rev. Dennis Miller officiating. Burial was at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in Duncan.

Visitation was held on Saturday, March 16, 2013 one hour prior to services at the church.

Stella Lavonne Kudej, the daughter of Steven and Laura (Helgeson) Tschirki, was born April 12, 1924 on the family farm near Forest City. She was raised there and attended country schools. After her schooling, Stella did housekeeping for several families.

In January of 1956 Stella was united in marriage with Gene Kudej at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Duncan. The couple made their home in Britt. Stella worked at the old milk plant, Winnebago and finally in housekeeping at Westview Care Center before her retirement.

Stella was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Britt. She enjoyed crocheting, baking and watching television. Stella loved spending time with her family, and she always left them with many hugs and kisses. She will be remembered as a very kind person who thoroughly enjoyed life and having a good time in general.

Stella is survived by her nephew and niece Wayne and Becky Kudej of Britt; sister-in-law Florence Kudej of Madrid; aunt Mille Tschirki of Britt; along with several other nieces, nephews, other family members and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Gene on April 9, 1973; 2 brothers-in-law: Bob and Don Kudej; and sister-in-law Gladys Kudej.

December 28, 1938 - March 13, 2013

Ruth C. Dankbar, 74, of Garner, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family, on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at the Concord Care Center in Garner.

Memorial mass will be held at 10:30 AM, Saturday, March 16, 2013 at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Garner, with Fr. Dennis Miller officiating.

Inurnment will be at St. Boniface Catholic Cemetery in Garner, and will
follow services at the church.

A visitation wake will be held from 5 to 7 PM, Friday, March 15, 2013 at Cataldo Funeral Chapel in Garner, and will continue one hour prior to services at the church.

Ruth Carolyn Boyd was born December 28, 1938, to Leona (Boom) and Gaylord Boyd in Lake City, IA. She was the oldest of five girls and spent her early life helping on the family farm, southeast of Lytton, IA. She graduated from Lytton High School in 1956. Ruth attended Northwest Institute of Medical Technology in Minneapolis, MN. and graduated with a certificate in clinical laboratory techniques. After graduation, she returned to Iowa and started working at the Iowa Falls Hospital.

Ruth was united in marriage to Eugene (Gene) Dankbar on May 8, 1959. They moved quite often with the Milwaukee Road, as they were transferred from town to town. They moved their young family from western South Dakota to eastern Iowa before they settled in Gene's hometown of Garner, IA., in 1966.
She worked for the medical practice of Drs. Brownstone, Youngstrom, and Dankle in Clear Lake as a laboratory and x-ray technician from 1966 until her retirement in 1994. Following retirement, she enjoyed daily coffee with her friends, card club, and traveling to see her grandchildren. In their retirement, she was able to enjoy trips to Mexico and Hawaii. She loved her family and friends and enjoyed helping others. She will be missed dearly by all. Ruth was a member of St. Boniface Catholic Church, in Garner.

She is survived by her husband of nearly 54 years, Gene; her children, Gene, Jr. (Sandy) Dankbar of Rochester, MN., Johnna (Robert) Sweers of Guttenberg, IA., and Wendy (Ron) Ambrosen of Leland, IA.; her sisters, Karen West of Fort Dodge, IA., and LaDaun Wilkes of Des Moines, IA.; her grandchildren, Steve Dankbar, Melissa Dankbar, Zachary (Kalie) Sweers and their daughter, Mazie, Taylor Sweers and fiancee, Mandy Kakec, Kristen Sweers, Robby Sweers, Wesley Holland, Wade Holland, and Wyatt Holland.

She was preceded in death by her parents; infant sisters and brother, Ava, Marlys, and Gary, and sisters, Kathleen Casey and Marlene Anderson.

February 24, 1925  -  March 14, 2013

Wayne Norton Lawhorn, 88, Northwood, died Thursday, March 14, 2013, at his home in Northwood.

A memorial service and celebration of Wayne’s life will be held at 11:00 A.M. Tuesday, March 19, 2013, at the United Methodist Church, 1000 First Ave. North, Northwood, with Pastor Wendi Gillan officiating. Visitation will be held from 5:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. on Monday at the Conner Colonial Chapel, 1008 First Ave. South, Northwood. Visitation will also be held one hour prior to service time on Tuesday at the church.

Wayne Norton Lawhorn was born on February 24, 1925, in Garner, the son of Clarence and Ruby (Morse) Lawhorn. Wayne attended the Garner Community School, graduating from Garner High School in 1942. After his schooling, he farmed on the family farm in rural Garner. He was united in marriage to Frances “Fran” Lechelt on September 12, 1947, in Britt, and to this marriage they were blessed with three daughters, Linda, Julie, and Joan. After their marriage the family moved to Northwood in 1961, and Wayne began working for George Kesler at Veterans Petroleum in Northwood, later called Thermogas until he retired in 1987. After his retirement in 1987, Wayne enjoyed helping his son-in-laws farm. After 10 years into retirement, Wayne began working for Menards in Mason City until his second retirement. While at Menards, Wayne enjoyed helping and visiting with his customers.

Wayne enjoyed singing in the Barber Shop Chorus, the Minor Leaguers Quartet, singing solos, woodworking, boating, fishing, and in his earlier years hunting, but his great love and enjoyment was his family and grandchildren.

Wayne was a member of the Northwood United Methodist Church, Board of Trustees at the church, church choir, Garner Jaycees, Northwood Lions Club, River City Barbershop Chorus, and Minor Leaguers Quartet.

Those left to cherish his memory is his wife, Fran Lawhorn of Northwood; children, Linda (Chuck) Myhre of Northwood, Julie (Denny) Hauge of Ronan, MT, and Joan (David) Peterson of Northwood; his grandchildren, Kim Myhre of Mason City, Megan (Brian) Burke of Des Moines, Darcy (John) Corley of Polson, MT, Luke Hauge of Ronan, MT, Amanda (Don) Frost of Janesville, WI, Micah (Heather) Peterson of Grand Meadow, MN, Nathan (Katie) Peterson of Lakeville, MN, and Dalton Peterson of Ames; his great-grandchildren, Gabriel Burke, Trevor Corley, Emilie Corley, Mckenna Corley, and Alyssa Peterson; his brothers and sisters-in-law, Joanne (George) Kesler of Northwood, and Ron (Nancy) Lechelt of Idaho Falls, ID, and Ginny Lechelt of Park Rapids, MN; as well as many other extended family members and friends.

Wayne was preceded in death by his parents; and two sisters, Gladys and Evelyn; and his brother-in-law, Merrill Lechelt.

Conner Colonial Chapel: (641) 324-1543 

March 6, 1925 - March 20, 2013 

Agnes V. Liska, 88, of Hayfield died Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at the Muse Norris Hospice Inpatient Unit in Mason City.

Funeral services will be held 10:30 A.M., Friday, March 22nd at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Duncan with Fr. Dennis Miller officiating. Cremation will follow with inurnment at a later date in St. John's Catholic Cemetery.

Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 P.M., Thursday at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church with a Rosary Society rosary at 5 P.M. and a Scriptural wake service at 7 P.M. Visitation will continue one hour prior to services at the church. Cataldo Funeral Home in Garner is in charge of arrangements.

Memorials may be directed to St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church or Hospice of North Iowa.

Agnes Veronica Liska, the daughter of Charles and Emma (Ptacek) Brcka, was born March 6, 1925 on a farm west of Garner. She attended Garfield No. 8 country school and continued her education at Notre Dame Academy in Omaha. Agnes then returned home to help her family on the farm. On January 23, 1946 she was married to John Liska at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Duncan. After their marriage, they moved to Duncan where John was employed at the Brcka General Store. They experienced many moves to acreages while John worked for others, before renting a farm near Crystal Lake, where they farmed for several years. John also had his own trucking business and Agnes helped as a driver when needed. They bought a home in Hayfield in 1967 where they resided the rest of their married life. After John passed away in 2005, Agnes continued to live in Hayfield. She was an excellent seamstress and creative lady with her hands. Agnes enjoyed her family, baking, dancing and especially playing cards with her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

She was a member of St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Duncan, Rosary Society, Birthday Club, HW Club and the Garfield Hobby Club.

Agnes is survived by her seven children, Dan Liska of Hayfield, Linda (Tom) Lucke of Lancaster, WI, Mary (Rick) Bohl of Cedaredge, CO, Beverly (John) Olson of Forest City, Jim (Jackie) Liska of Kingman, AZ, Mike (Carla) Liska of Duncan and Larry (Monica) Liska of Wimberley, TX; fourteen grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, John; sisters, Sr. Miriam and Sr. Rosalie, Emma Tlach and Eleanor Garrison; and brothers, Edward, John and Charles, Jr.

1955 - 2013

Steven F. Rayhons, 57, of Phoenix, Ariz., formerly of Garner, died Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at his home.

Funeral services are pending at this time in Arizona. His wishes are to be cremated.

Expressions of sympathy should be directed to Lois Rayhons of Garner.

Steven Francis Rayhons, the oldest son of Francis and Lois Rayhons, was born in 1955 in Forest City, Iowa. He attended and graduated from Garner-Hayfield High School in 1974. He continued his education in the building trades program at North Iowa Area Community College. He and his family lived in Clear Lake and Garner and later moved to Arizona.

Steve was employed in the carpentry and masonry business all his life, first in the Garner area and the last 25 years in Arizona. His passions were riding his Harley throughout the country, hiking and horseback riding. Steve enjoyed spending time with his sons and grandchildren.

Steve is survived by his three sons: JW and wife Tiffany Rayhons and their four children, Preston Rayhons, Blake and wife Venecia Rayhons, all of Arizona; his mother, Lois Rayhons of Garner; siblings: Julie (Todd) Baker of Algona, Sue (Tim) Speers of Storm Lake, Dave Rayhons of Garner, Greg (Sandy) Rayhons of Garner, Jerome (Tracey) Rayhons of Altoona, Lisa (Dana) Sindelar of Indianapolis, Ind., and Laurie (Kevin) Merryman of Maxwell and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his infant son Clinton; his father, Francis Rayhons of Garner; and his infant sister Kathryn Rayhons; his grandparents Harlow and Dorothy Helps and Henry and Agnes Rayhons.

April 1, 1928 - March 31, 2013

Arlys M. VanNote, 84, of Garner died Sunday, March 31, 2013 at the Concord Care Center in Garner.

Funeral services will be held 10:30 A.M., Thursday, April 4th at the United Methodist Church in Garner with Rev. Paul Evans officiating. Burial will be in Concord Township Cemetery in Garner.

Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 P.M., Wednesday at the Cataldo Funeral Chapel, 160 E. 4th St., in Garner and will continue one hour prior to services at the church.

Arlys Mae VanNote, the daughter of Adolph and Lita Grell, was born April 1, 1928 in Mason City. She attended and graduated from Clear Lake High School. On July 8, 1951 she was married to Allen E. VanNote in Mason City. They made their home in Mason City where Arlys worked for a time as a teller at First National Bank. In 1964 they moved to Garner. Arlys was employed as a bookkeeper at Bock Oil Company and later Hancock County Co-op Oil until her retirement. She enjoyed crocheting, knitting and making Indian dolls. She especially loved animals, the outdoors and the autumn season. Her favorite flower was the purple violet and also the bleeding heart.

Arlys is survived her two children, Dan VanNote of Garner and his special friend, Becky Schnebly of Forest City and Dena Mauch and her husband, John of Des Moines; granddaughter, Tiffany Krcil and her husband, David; step-grandchildren, Angella Ramirez and her husband, Juan, and their son, Roberto, Amy Walther and her husband, Shawn, and their two sons, Austin and Jordan and Jonna Hayes and her husband, Jeremy, and their son, Connor; also a special friend, Shannon Boge.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Allen, Sept. 30, 1987; two sisters, Viola and Hazel; and a brother, Roger.

Posted on 4 April 2013 by Jay Lehmann

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