Ivan Wagner  -  Thornton       

     Ivan Wagner, 84, of Thornton, passed away Sunday, July 20, 2014, at his home. Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m., Friday at First United Methodist Church in Thornton with Pastor Crystal Oberheu presiding. Interment will be at Pleasant View Cemetery, Thornton. Visitation will be 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., Thursday, at Retz Funeral Home, Thornton.

     Ivan Eugene Wagner was born on the family farm at Thornton a son of Leon and Alice (Nicolet) Wagner, March 23, 1930. He passed away in the same home after living on the farm for his entire life. Ivan graduated from Thornton High School and was a life-long member of the First United Methodist Church in Thornton.

     The family farm was Ivan’s home and his care for the land was second to none. He recently hosted a party for the Century Farm being in his family for 125 years. Ivan was a gentle God fearing soul who spent much of his spare time caring for people who were sick or old. He visited many people in the care centers and made certain to continue to visit them, especially if they had little or no family.

     Ivan was active in sharing the Gospel with people as long as his family can remember. His sharing and work for the Gospel included writing letters with Pen-Pals, especially with prison ministries, he also supported many children with his gifts and letters in other countries.

     He was active in his church and community holding offices in both, including the Pleasant View Apartments in Thornton. He thoroughly enjoyed hearing old Gospel music that made people think they were in heaven. He liked repairing cars and tractors and at times sold tires and seed corn.

     Surviving family members include his brother: Virgil (Margaret) Wagner, Charlottesville, VA; nephew: Daryl Wagner, Tacoma Park, Maryland; nieces: Kara (Wilson) Brown, Bedford, VA and their children: Kate, Daniel and Nick; niece: Kristin Wagner, Oakland, CA; close friend: Dale Hatfield and many cousins and friends.

     He is preceded in death by his parents Leon and Alice Wagner.

Lawrence Hansen   -   Sheffield 

     Lawrence Hansen, 84, of Sheffield, passed away Monday, July 21, 2014, at the Sheffield Care Center. Funeral services will be held 11:00 a.m., Thursday, at Zion St. John Lutheran Church in Sheffield with Rev. G. Kim Wills presiding. Interment will be at the Alexander Cemetery. Visitation will be 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Wednesday, at Retz Funeral Home, Sheffield.

     Lawrence Hansen was born April 22, 1930, at Alexander, Iowa, a son of Merle and Dena (Dorenkamp) Hansen. His family moved to Chapin in 1944 and settled on the family farm. Lawrence graduated from Chapin High School in 1947.

     Lawrence lived on the farm for 63 years until entering the Sheffield Care Center in 2007. In addition to farming he drove school bus for Sheffield, Chapin, Meservey, and Thornton students for 34 years. After retiring from farming Lawrence also drove for Access Inc., for several years.

     He was a member of Zion St. John Lutheran Church in Sheffield. He enjoyed bowling, playing cards and visiting with friends and spending time with his family. One of his fondest memories was his first airplane ride with his friend and pilot Jack Christensen.

     Lawrence is survived by two sisters: Delores (Howard) Cooper, Mason City; Vicki (John) Phillips, Newton; brother-in-law: Marvin Deam and several nieces and nephews.

     Preceding him in death are his parents and a sister, Norma Deam.

Memorials may be directed to the Sheffield Care Center or Zion St. John Lutheran Church in memory of Lawrence Hansen.

Harold R. Stark - Greene   

     Funeral Services for Harold R. Stark, 83, of Greene, will be 10:.30 a.m., Saturday, July 19, 2014, at the First Presbyterian Church in Greene with Pastor Galen Smith officiating. Burial will be in the Rose Hill Cemetery, Greene. Visitation will be 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Friday, July 18, 2014, at Retz Funeral Home, 519 N. First St. Greene.

     Harold Roy Stark was born July 14, 1931, on the family farm east of Riceville in Howard County, Iowa to Roy and Myrtle (Torney) Stark and died Tuesday, July 15, 2014, at the Liebe Care Center in Greene. Harold was educated in a one room schoolhouse graduating from the eighth grade in 1945, Riceville High School in 1949, and graduated from the University of Iowa in 1953 with a B.S.C. degree.

     Harold was employed by the International Harvester Sales Office in Davenport. His team performed a tractor square dance using a new Super C Farmall tractor that demonstrated a new hitch system. His next job involved the insurance and credit investigating field in the Des Moines and Boone areas. He then worked for the Iowa State Employment Service while looking for work in the agriculture field. In 1955 he began working for Van Nostrand Grain Co in Avoca.

     While working in Council Bluffs, the highlight of his life occurred when he met his future wife, Mary Husen, in a church group at the Congregational Church in Council Bluffs. They married February 5, 1956, in Council Bluffs. They moved to Emmetsburg to begin their married life and a job with Quaker Oats Company as an assistant manager from 1956-1959. While at Emmetsburg, two sons were added to the family: Steve in 1956 and Doug in 1958. In 1960 they moved to Rodman where Harold was manager of the Quaker Oats Elevator until it was sold in 1964.

     After searching the entire state for a job, he accepted the one where he would spend the rest of his working career, the manager of Packard Elevator. From 1964-1981, Harold managed Packard under the ownership of Persis Pooley and Phyllis Rottler. Under his leadership, Packard expanded in the grain, feed, fertilizer, seed, farm chemicals, and Hormel Packing hog buying areas to become one of the leading suppliers and service supporters to area farmers. In 1980, Harold joined Gary Rottler in purchasing the Packard Elevator and continued to manage daily operations. In 1995, he and his two sons, became owners of Packard Elevator. Harold retired in 1996 and in 2007 the elevator was purchased by Innovative Ag.

     Harold was active in many area organizations including Dealer Council for Golden Sun Feeds, Butler County Beef Producers and Pork Producers, Food Resources Bank, 4-H and Iowa State Extension Council serving as Butler County Director. He was a member of the Iowa State Advisory Council, and a member and state director of the Iowa Grain and Feed Association. When the Rock Island Railroad ceased to operate, he was active in organizing a group of shippers to purchase the track and start the Iowa Northern Railroad. Harold served as chairman of the Board of Directors until it was sold to its current owners.

     He was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church and served on many committees including being an Elder of the Church. He was active on the Greene Public Library Board, was a 32nd Degree Mason, and a member of I.O.O.F. (Odd Fellows). His most memorable times were spent with his family. He loved taking trips to see the country and playing golf. Harold was a loyal supporter of the Iowa Hawkeye football and basketball programs.

     Harold is survived by his wife of 58 years, Mary; two sons: Steve (Ann) Stark, Greene; Doug (Sara) Stark, Greene; four grandchildren: Amy (Luke) Johnson, Story City; Emily(Will) Schuldt, Waverly; Nathan Stark, Coralville; Collin Stark, Newton; one great- grandson, Leo Johnson; one step-great-grandson, Landon Johnson; one brother, Dean (Helen) Stark, Riceville; six nieces and two nephews; sister-in-law, Bonny Gebow.

     He is preceded in death by his parents, one brother and sister-in-law, Kenneth (Mary) Stark; two brothers-in-law, Earl Husen and Howard Gebow; and one nephew.

     Those planning an expression of sympathy may direct memorials to the Harold Stark Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 219, Greene, Iowa 50636

Eldon Zieman - Meservey      

Eldon Zieman, 76, of Meservey, passed away Wednesday, July 9, 2014, at his home. Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m., Saturday, at the First United Methodist Church, Thornton with Pastor Crystal Oberheu presiding. Interment with Veteran’s Honors will be at the Meservey Cemetery. Visitation will be 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Friday at Retz Funeral Home, 107 N. 2nd Street, Thornton.

            Eldon Harold Zieman was born September 2, 1937 at Thornton, Iowa, son of Harold and Mabel (Pual) Zieman. He attended school in Meservey, graduating in 1955. Eldon enlisted in the Army and served for 3 years being discharged in 1959.

            On September 22, 1957, Eldon was united in marriage with Beverly Williams. They lived in Hampton where Eldon worked at A.C. Benton John Deere Implement until 1969 when they moved to the family farm in Meservey. In addition to farming Eldon drove over the road trucks for Ruan & Dahlen in Clear Lake, traveling all over the United States.

            Eldon enjoyed family camping vacations with his family. Any time spent being outdoors and farming gave him pride and joy. He is remembered as a man who would help anyone who needed help.

            Family members include his wife: Beverly Zieman, Meservey; sons: David (Lucinda) Zieman, Meservey; Doug (Tina) Zieman, Clarion; daughter: Deb (Bob) Wiebusch, Mesa, AZ; grandchildren: Kelly (Sean) Arthur, and their children Brody and Cooper; Michael (Karina) Zieman, and their son Zander; Brian (Abby) Zieman and their son Easton; Beth (Dane) Holmgaard, and their children Connor, Kaden & Katrina; Jason Zieman and daughter Amarantha; Kendra Zieman; Brett Zieman, Nicole (friend Brett) and son Canyon; sisters: Shirley (Bub) Katuin, Goodell; Betty (Richard) Jolly, Gilbert, IA; Myra Frohling, Meservey; brother: Duane (Sandy) Zieman, Oregon; many nieces and nephews.

            Eldon is preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Mabel Zieman and a son, Daryl Zieman.



Clancy Wiebenga - Thornton  

     Clarence ‘Clancy’ Wiebenga, 72, longtime Thornton resident, passed away Tuesday, July 1, 2014, at Mercy Medical Center – North Iowa. Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m., Saturday, at the First Reformed Church, Meservey, with Rev. Rodney Meester presiding. Interment will be in Pleasant View Cemetery, Thornton. Visitation will be 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., Friday, at Retz Funeral Home, Thornton.

     Clarence ‘Clancy’ Jake Wiebenga was born July 28, 1941 in Yankton, South Dakota a son of Clarence and Hilda (Hento) Wiebenga. He attended country school and graduated from Avon High School in 1959. Clancy then attended and graduated from Southern State Teacher’s College in Springfield, SD.

     In 1963 Mr. Wiebenga began teaching Industrial Technology at Thornton High School. He liked Thornton and stayed in the school for 33 years teaching most of the time in Thornton. He also taught Building Trades in Sheffield following consolidations of the schools. Clancy also served as mayor of Thornton for several years.

     On September 3, 1965, Clancy was united in marriage with Mary DeVries at St Paul Lutheran Church in Thornton. They raised their two sons in Thornton, and he taught them his work ethic and techniques he had worked out over the years. His son Greg passed away in 1993 and Mary died in 1996. On May 28, 2005 Clancy married Julie Zirbel in Clear Lake.

     Clancy was always industrious, while growing up he kept busy on the farm gladly doing less desirable jobs to keep busy. While living and teaching in Thornton he kept busy as a carpenter, building many homes in the area and remodeling many others.

     An avid fisherman Clancy had many fishing trips to South Dakota and Minnesota with friends and family. He loved kids and had patience in his teaching. A good natured man with great humor he loved to laugh with his friends. Most will remember him with his red pickup truck.

     Surviving family members are his wife, Julie, Clear Lake; Son, Doug (Sara) Wiebenga, Cedar Rapids and their sons Landon and Colton; step-children: Cali (Spencer) Klooster, Garner, and their children Jordan and Logan; Jesse (Sarah) Reimer, Aurora, Colorado; mother-in-law, Lena  Peyton, Belmond; brother, David (Elaine) Wiebenga, Springfield, SD; sister, Shirley Wiebenga, Clear Lake; brother, Robert (Joyce) Wiebenga, Springfield, SD.

     He is preceded in death by his parents, first wife, Mary, and son Greg.



Dean Schmitt - Greene   

     Dean Schmitt, 77, formerly of rural Greene, passed away June 30, 2014, at Allen Memorial Hospital in Waterloo.  Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m., Monday, July 7, at St. Mary Catholic Church in Greene with Rev. Msgr. Walter Brunkan officiating.  Burial will be at St. Mary Cemetery, Greene.

      Dean Martin Schmitt was born January 14, 1937, on the Sinnwell place, rural Marble Rock, a son of Leo John and Florence Marie (Martin) Schmitt.  He was raised a member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Greene and graduated from Greene High School with the class of 1955.  In school he played football and basketball.  He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa.

      He worked for many years at the John Deere plant in Waterloo and ran his family farm.  In addition he operated a small campground, gaining many longtime friends in the process.  Dean enjoyed basketball, golf, and football as well as music and his flower gardens.  After his retirement he spent winters in Austin, Texas.

      Dean is survived by many cousins and is preceded in death by his father in 1960, his mother in 1983, and his brother, Lee in 1997.

James R. Nettleton      Greene      

     Funeral services for James R. Nettelton, 90, of Greene, will be 1:30 p.m., Saturday, June 28, 2014, at St. Mary Catholic Church in Greene with Rev. Msgr. Walter Brunkan officiating. Burial will be in the St. Mary Catholic Cemetery in Greene. Visitation will be 5-7 p.m., Friday, June 27, 2014, at Retz Funeral Home 519 N. First St., Greene, with a Rosary Service at 7 p.m.

     James R. Nettleton was born on December 29, 1923, in rural Greene, Iowa, a son of Louis and Katherine (Loughren) Nettleton and died Sunday, June 22, 2014, at the Rehabilitation Center of Allison of natural causes. He received his education in the Coldwater Twp. Country School.
     He married Grace Wildman in 1960. She died in 1999. Jim married Marilyn McInroy in June of 2000. Jim was self-employed as a dairy cattle buyer and seller.
     Jim was a life-time member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Greene. His hobbies included raising calves, going to the sale barns and attending the fall festivals of the local churches. The Twins and Vikings have lost a loyal fan with the departure of Jim.
     He is survived by his wife Marilyn and 2 step-sons-in-law, Joe Cochran and Fred Nordmeyer; 3 sisters: Marge (Jim) Mayer, Ellie (Jim) Hebert and Mary Ann (Jack) Aurand; his loving and loyal cat, Spottie.
     Preceded in death by his parents; 3 brothers: Gerald ‘Gene’, Bill and Clair; an infant sister, Mary Eileen; two step daughters: Joan Cochran and Jean Nordmeyer.
      In lieu of flowers the family request memorials be sent to the Greene Fire Department or Greene Ambulance.


Junior Allen -  Sheffield  

 Clifford ‘Junior’ Allen, 80, of Sheffield, passed away Saturday, June 21, 2014, at Mercy Medical Center – North Iowa. Funeral services will be 10:30 am, Wednesday, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Hampton with Fr. Mike Tauke presiding. Interment will be at Hillside Cemetery, Sheffield with Veteran’s Honors by Harlow Ray Massee Post 277, American Legion, Sheffield. Visitation will be 4:00 – 7:00 pm Tuesday at Retz Funeral Home, Sheffield.

     Clifford Junior Allen was born February 9, 1934 on a farm near Chapin, Iowa, a son of Clifford Milo and Florence (Oehlert) Allen. He graduated from Chapin High School and attended Iowa State University. In 1954 Junior entered the United States Navy, serving on the USS Hornet in the Pacific. After his term in the Navy, Junior returned to Sheffield and worked at Levitt’s Garage.

     On February 27, 1960 he was united in marriage with Geraldine Ann Morehouse at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Rockwell. They made their home in Sheffield and raised their two daughters, Julie and Janice.

     Junior began working at the Massey Ferguson dealership in Hampton and spent many years as Part’s Supervisor, later being transferred to the Mason City location. Prior to retirement Junior drove bus for Access Inc. in Hampton.

     Junior was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. His life revolved around working in the flower garden, watching TV and attending church when he was able. 

     Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 54 years, Geraldine; daughters: Julie (Dennis) Lane, & Janice (Jay) Jackson, all of Sheffield; grandchildren: Matthew and Marcus Lane, Sheffield; Jeremy Hansen and friend, Lindsay, Hampton; Haley Hansen, Chicago; great grandchildren: Isaiah, Connor and Hunter.

     He is preceded in death by his parents, sisters, Dorothy Scarcello & Margaret Lang and son-in-law, Ron Hansen.

David Caspers            

     David J. Caspers, 26, of Mason City passed away Saturday, May 24, 2014. Funeral services will be 10:30 am, Wednesday, May 28, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Thornton with Rev. Rhea Evanson presiding. Interment will be in Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Swaledale. Visitation will be 5:00 – 8:00 pm Tuesday at Retz Funeral Home, Thornton.

     David was born March 18, 1988, at Mercy Hospital, Mason City, son of Jon and Carol (Koppedryer) Caspers. He graduated from Rockwell-Swaledale High School in May 2006, and attended NIACC, where he studied Auto Mechanics.

     David loved the Iowa Hawkeyes and his chocolate lab, Stewie. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, disc golf and most recently, his new hobby of hunting morel mushrooms and spending time with his best friend since preschool, Brian Struchen.

     He was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Thornton, and was employed at Serta in Clear Lake.

     David is survived by his parents; sister: Joni; grandfather: Dale Caspers; aunts and uncles: Mary Caspers, Bill & Deb Caspers, Lori Caspers, Connie & Dale Hollenbeck, Larry & Kathy Koppedryer, Gary & Tammy Koppedryer, Marcia & Mark Liebe, and Dale & Stacey Koppedryer, many cousins, other relatives and friends.

     He was preceded in death by his grandparents: George & Merna Koppedryer and Jeannette Caspers.

     David’s final act of kindness was to give the gift of life through organ and tissue donation.

     Memorials may be directed to his family in his memory.

Betty M. Ponto         
     Betty M. Ponto, 85, formerly of Powersville, will be 11:00 a.m. on Monday at St. John’s United Church of Christ, Pleasant Hill, rural Nashua, with burial in the church cemetery. Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Retz Funeral Home, 519 N. First St. in Greene.

     Betty Mae Allen was born January 5, 1929, near Nashua, Floyd County, a daughter of Roy and Velma (Jacobs) Allen, and died Thursday (May 1, 2014) at the Chautauqua Guest Home #2 in Charles City. She received her education in the rural Riverton Township Schools and graduated from Nashua High School in 1947. She attended the Iowa State Teacher’s College (now, University of Northern Iowa) and worked as a teacher at the country school near Powersville.

     On Aug. 27, 1950, Betty was united in marriage to Roger H. Ponto at St. John’s United Church of Christ at Pleasant Hill. To this union were born four children. Upon having children, she became a dedicated homemaker.

     She maintained a large garden, and did lots of home canning. Betty fished with her husband and came to enjoy fishing since it allowed her to spend time with Roger and family. She enjoyed socializing and doing crafts as a longtime member of the local Hobby Club.

     Betty loved children of all ages, and took great pleasure in spoiling her nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. She was also a compassionate caregiver for numerous family members.

     She was a lifelong member of St. John’s United Church of Christ, Pleasant Hill, of which she was active in the women’s fellowship and was the church treasurer for many years.

     Living family members include her three sons, Jim (Laura) Ponto of Iowa City, Keith (Lily) Ponto of Cedar Rapids, and Mark (Donna) Ponto of Greene; seven grandchildren, Kevin, Erin, Eric, Evan, Zeke, Michael and Renee; and four great-grandchildren, Cooper, Megan, Jack and Ellie; one brother, Roger Allen.

     She leaves to join her husband, her daughter, Lori Jean Ponto, her parents, her brother, Lloyd Allen, and a brother who died in infancy.

     Those planning an expression of sympathy may direct memorials to the Betty Ponto Memorial Fund in care of the family 2557 290th St., Greene, IA 50636.