Leo Moser

Leo Moser, age 88 of Rock Rapids, IA died of natural causes Friday, January 24, 2014 at his home in Rock Rapids, IA.

Funeral service will be 10:00 AM, Tuesday, Jan. 28th, 2014 at the Apostolic Christian Church in Lester, Iowa.

Burial will follow at the church cemetery.

Visitation will be Monday, Jan 27th with the family present from 2:00 to 4:00 PM and again from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Apostolic Christian Fellowship Hall in Lester.

Leo C. Moser was born February 10, 1925, in rural Larchwood, IA, to John and Rose (Kellenberger) Moser. He was raised on the family farm near Hills, MN, and attended country school through the 8th grade. On June 8, 1947, Leo was united in marriage to Leona Mogler. They farmed for a short time with Leo’s father and then the couple moved to Sioux Falls, SD, where they co-owned and operated a small grocery store. In 1951, Leo and Leona moved to a farm south of Lester, IA, where they farmed and reared their two children. They moved to Rock Rapids, IA, in 1983. Leo continued working on the farm and for a number of years, Leo and Leona worked part-time for Tony’s Catering. In recent years, Leo volunteered many hours at the ACWR woodworks shop in Rock Rapids. He shared his love for music by playing his harmonica and accordion at local rest homes.

Leo’s faith was very important to him. He became a member of the Apostolic Christian Church in 1949. For 46 years, he served in the ministry and as a church Elder. He traveled extensively on behalf of the church.

Leo passed away unexpectedly from natural causes at his home in Rock Rapids on Friday, January 24, 2014.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years and his children, Wes (Esther) Moser of Lester, IA, and Myra (Arnie) Wulf of Sioux Falls, SD; eight grandchildren, Alex Moser, Trixie (Ethan) Metzger, Jessica Moser, Tessa Moser, Kara Moser, Caleb Moser, and Monica (Tomás) Romano, Tanya (Taylor) Gramm; five great-grandchildren; five sisters, Mariann (Elmer) Metzger, Estelle Leuthold, Evelyn (Roy) Metzger, Donna (John) Gerber, Janet Wysong, and one brother, Frank Moser. Also surviving are many nieces, nephews, and extended family.

He was preceded in death by his parents; grandson, Landon Wulf; four brothers, John, Johnny, Harry, and Donald; and two sisters, Ione DeHaan and Betty Leuthold.

The family requests that, in lieu of flowers or memorial items, donations be directed to Apostolic Christian Church – ACWR woodworks.

Ruth Johnson

Ruth Johnson, age 92 of Sibley, IA died Wednesday, January 23, 2014 at the Sibley Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Sibley, IA.

Funeral service will be held 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Sibley, IA with Rev. Barb Kopperud officiating. Burial will follow at Holman Township Cemetery in Sibley.

Family will be greeting guests Tuesday morning from 10:00 a.m. to the time of service at 11:00 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Sibley, IA.

For a complete obituary and online registry please visit: www.jurrensfuneralhome.com

Ruth Helen Johnson was born October 10, 1921 in Algona, Iowa. She was the daughter of Walter and Cora [Lenz] Will. Ruth grew up and attended high school in Algona. On September 7, 1941, Ruth married Glenn A. Johnson in Algona. Following a few years of military service, where Glenn served in active duty in WWII, Ruth & Glenn moved to Sibley, Iowa where they remained for all of their married life. Ruth’s strong work ethic was ever present as she raised her six boys while baking and keeping books for the family restaurant, greeting her customers at the family neighborhood grocery store and later working as the supervisor in the shipping department at Chase Bag Company, She enjoyed her many friends playing bridge and pinnacle and serving on various committees in her church and community, Ruth set a lasting example for her family, always placing first priority on the needs of her family and the her spiritual life at Trinity Lutheran Church in Sibley. She will always be remembered for her generosity to others, her calm demeanor and her engaging smile.

In the fall of 2002, Ruth and Glenn became residents of the Sibley Nursing and Rehab Center. Following Glenn’s death in December of 2003, Ruth fell victim of acute Alzheimer disease and died on January 22, 2014.

Those left to cherish her memory are her six sons: Doug and Cheryl of Oacoma, SD, Chuck and Susan of Waterloo, IA, Tom and Jane of Pierre, SD, Richard and Carol of Centennial, Co, Scott and Janet of Sioux Falls, SD, Max and Sharon of Tacoma, WA, with ten grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

Ruth was preceded in death by a their first, stillborn daughter, her parents, three sisters Barb Oppold, Reta Stratton and Doris Adams, and three brothers, Wayne, Don and Jim.

John & Bernita Shurr

John Shurr, age 95 formerly of Rock Rapids, IA died on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 and his wife Bernita Shurr, age 95 died Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at the Parkview Manor Nursing Home in Ellsworth, MN.

Memorial service for the couple will be 2:30 p.m. Friday, January 31, 2014 at the Jurrens Funeral Home in Rock Rapids, with Reverend Marcia Sangel officiating.

Visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. until time of service at the funeral home.

For a complete obituary and online registry please visit: jurrensfuneralhome.com

John B. Shurr was born March 17, 1918, and lived 95 years, 9 months, and 28 days. He was born on the farm in Kanaranzi Township, Rock County, MN, to George and Daisy (Walker) Shurr. He attended area country schools and graduated from Magnolia High School. He went to Mankato State College where he met Bernita Bell. John and Bernita were married August 27, 1940, at her parents’ farm near Walnut Grove, MN. For the next 69 years they lived at Lone Tree Farm, rural Ellsworth. The past four years they lived together at Premier Estates in Rock Rapids, IA, and Parkview Manor in Ellsworth, MN. John was a life-long farmer, working and living 91 years on the farm homesteaded by his grandparents. He took over the family farm in 1943 (at the age of 25) when his father suddenly died. Long after retirement he remained active in the farm operation, marketing his share of the crop until they moved to town. He was a sports fan who played baseball and softball in his early years and followed the Twins and Vikings later in his life. He was well read and continued his self-education with a particular interest in world history, philosophy, and religion. He was a member of Ellsworth Congregational Church and Stateline Presbyterian Church.

John is survived by his son, George (Margaret) Shurr of Ellsworth; two grandchildren, Sharla (Matt) Krell of Vermillion, SD; Robb (Joelle Wisler) Shurr of Nederland, CO; and four great-grandchildren, Paige and Jack Krell and Grayson and Nora Shurr. We are grateful for his quiet kindness, unassuming friendliness, humility, and Irish sense of humor.

He was preceded in death by his parents George and Daisy, an infant brother, sister Harriett Riedell of Mankato, MN, and his son Bob.

In lieu of flowers Rock Rapids Public Library and Ellsworth Parkview Manor are memorial suggestions.

Bernita Shurr was born March 25, 1918, and lived 95 years, 9 months, and 28 days. She was born on the family farm on the banks of Plum Creek near Walnut Grove, MN, to Merle J. and Lora (Adams) Bell. She attended area country schools and Walnut Grove High School. She then went to Mankato State College graduating with a degree in teaching in 1939. During her senior year she met John Shurr. Bernita and John were married August 27, 1940, at her parents’ farm. Their first home was a little house that had been part of the original homestead at Lone Tree Farm, rural Ellsworth. They moved to the main house in 1943 and lived on the Shurr family farm for a total of 69 years. The past four years they have lived together at Premier Estates in Rock Rapids, IA, and Parkview Manor in Ellsworth, MN. Bernita was an educator. She taught high school in Inwood, IA, Ellsworth, MN, and in Rock Rapids, IA, where she was the school librarian. She was part of a family tradition of teaching that extends for five generations. She was an avid reader who took comfort from nature. She appreciated the perspective on nature that Native Americans provide. She was intensely concerned about social justice issues and was a member of Ellsworth Congregational Church and Stateline Presbyterian Church. Bernita is survived by her son, George (Margaret) Shurr of Ellsworth; two grandchildren, Sharla (Matt) Krell of Vermillion, SD; Robb (Joelle Wisler) Shurr of Nederland, CO; and four great-grandchildren, Paige and Jack Krell and Grayson and Nora Shurr. We cherish the memory of her contagious enthusiasm, rigorous intellectual curiosity, and commitment to family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, John, of 73 years, her parents Merle J. and Lora Bell, sister Beverly Wing of Worthington, MN, and her son Bob.

In lieu of flowers Rock Rapids Public Library and Ellsworth Parkview Manor are memorial suggestions.


Donald Ney

Don Ney, 69 of Granville, Iowa passed away on January 22, 2014 following a brief illness at St. Lukes Unity Point Hospital in Sioux City, IA.

Memorial service will be at 10:30 a.m., Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Granville with Rev. Terry Roder officiating. Burial will be in the St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Granville. Visitation will be anytime after 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. There will be a parish rosary at 5 p.m., and vigil prayer service at 7 p.m., all at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Granville. Services have been entrusted to Fisch Funeral Home & Monument in Remsen. Condolences may be sent online to www.fischfh.com.

Don was born to Helen (Langel) and Lawrence Ney in Granville on May 9, 1944. Don went on to graduate from St. Joseph high school in 1962 and then served in the National Guard. Don went into farming, which he continued until his time of death. He, also, owned Don Ney trucking. Don was an over-the-road truck driver for twenty-nine years.

Don married Bonnie Jean Ruden in 1965, and through this union he was blessed with his son John. Bonnie died in 1967. Don went on to marry Joan Blatt Ney. Through this marriage, he adopted four children; Laura, Larry, Terry and Bob. Don and Joan went on to have Mary and Ken. Joan died July 26, 2006.

Don will be remembered for making friends where ever he went, for having a joke to share and for being the life of the party. Don loved to cook and attend to “prayer group”. We will miss his phone calls, his emails and so much more that cannot be contained in an obituary.

Don is survived by six children, John (Sarah) Ney of Oakharbor, WA, Laura (Bill) Woudstra of McCook Lake, SD, Larry (Laura) Ney of Jackson, NE, Bob(Darcy) Ney of Melvin, IA. Mary Ney (engaged to Greg Middleton) of Omaha, NE, and Ken ‘Kicker’ Ney of Granville, IA. His children gave him ten grandchildren; Bill (Fay), Kim (Sean), Christina, Breijanna, Blake, Brennan, Maddie, Lindsey, Mike and Tim. Don, also, has three great-grandchildren; brothers Jim (Pauline) Ney of Albuquerque, NM, and Mark (Barb) Ney of Bloomington, MN; sisters Judy (Irv) Block of Ashton, IA, Jane (Jim) Streff of West Plaines, MO, Joyce (Mark) Even of Rochester, MN; his mother-in-law, Lorraine Ruden of LeMars, IA; and several brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, friends and neighbors.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, both of his wives, brother Robert, sister-in-law Linda Ruden, and son Terry.

In lieu of flowers donations made be sent to Spalding Catholic School.


Kenneth “Ken” Mellema

Kenneth “Ken” Mellema, age 77 of Rock Rapids, IA died Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at his residence in Rock Rapids, IA.

Funeral service will be 2:30 p.m. Saturday, January 25th at First Reformed Church in Rock Rapids, IA, with Rev. Dan Haggar officiating. Burial will follow at Riverview Cemetery at Rock Rapids, IA.

Visitation will be Friday, January 24th from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. with family present from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at First Reformed Church of Rock Rapids.

Jurrens Funeral Home of Rock Rapids is in charge of services.

For a complete obituary and online registry please visit jurrensfuneralhome.com

Ken Mellema, son of Peter and Johanna (Schenk) Mellema was born on February 11, 1936, at their family home, 4 miles northeast of Rock Rapids, IA. It was the time of the 1936 blizzard, and the doctor was unable to arrive until (2) days after his birth, so his father delivered him. He spent his childhood and youth on the farm, attending country school and high school in Rock Rapids. His military service was a (6) year obligation from 1958 to 1964. His active duty days were spent at Fort Leonard Wood, MO., Fort Carson, CO., and Fort Riley, KS. He attained the rank of Sergeant, finishing as an SP5 Communication Specialist. Ken believed in education and was a constant source of information for his family. He was blessed with an excellent math mind, and so he attended and graduated from Nettleton Business College with a degree in business and accounting.

On November 22, 1962, he was united in marriage to Marlene Star at the Christian Reformed Church in Corsica, SD. Ken and Marlene were blessed with (3) treasured daughters: Cindy, Carrie, and Julie. They lived on the farm from 1963 – 1986, and enjoyed farm life. Every part of their farm life was done as a family; even 4-H garden and livestock projects, and walking or riding in the bean field to destroy the weeds. Since Ken and Marlene encouraged each of their daughters to pursue a college degree, the girls’ lives took them off of the farm. So in 1986, Ken and Marlene decided to sell the farm and move into Rock Rapids. Ken’s desire to continue learning brought him to attend and graduate from the Lincoln Graduate Center in real estate and appraising, the Mason City College of Auctioneering, and the Farm Bureau Insurance School. He sold all lines of insurance for Farm Bureau, sold real estate for Schnepf and Miller, auctioned, and appraised real estate for Mellema Appraisals. He also had a genuine interest in bettering lives through city and county government. This led him to run for the office of Lyon County Auditor. He was elected in 1986, and won (2) more elections, serving the county for 12 years before deciding it was time to retire. During his lifetime he served on many different boards: Co-op, Rural Electric Company, Central Lyon School, Merrill Pioneer Hospital, Rock Rapids Development, Central Lyon Foundation, and the Rock Rapids City Council. On the state level, he served on the State Auctioneer’s Board and the State Auditor’s Board.

His life interest was serving others. He was most interested in serving the church, his family, and the community. At the age of 17, he dedicated his life to Christ and became a member of the First Reformed Church in Rock Rapids. As a member, he served as Deacon, Elder, and Vice President of the Consistory. He also willingly served in teaching Sunday School for 55 years, taught catechism, was an RCYF sponsor, was a life-long member of the church choir, and sang in “The Reformer’s Quartet” for 52 years (which was the joy of his life)! He also loved his family with all of his heart. Ken and Marlene were able to drive to Texas to spend time with their (7) grandchildren there and to see the oldest three Madden grandchildren graduate from high school with honors. Another highlight was to see (2) of their grandchildren compete in tennis mixed doubles , as sister and brother, at the Texas state level, and receive the gold medal. Ken had the desire to help each of his grandsons, living in this area, develop a love for gospel music. For several years, every time the “Journey Bound” quartet sang in the area, they would go to Dell Rapids, and “load up” all (7) of the Austin and Grosz grandsons for a trip to hear “Journey Bound” sing. This involved a quick stop at “Burger King” before, and an ice cream treat afterwards. Upon their way home, the cd’s purchased were played with everyone singing along “at the top of their lungs!” The grandsons always looked forward to their visits, because they knew that Papa and Nana would stop at Casey’s and buy donuts to deliver to both homes whenever they went to Dell Rapids. The younger ones would be known to be looking out of the windows waiting for them to arrive. In turn, their children and grandchildren blessed their lives by giving them week-long trips to gospel quartet conventions in Palmetto, FL and Memphis, TN. Another favorite place to travel was to Branson, MO, to hear great, southern gospel music. A wonderful blessing was for Ken and Marlene to be able to celebrate 50 years of marriage with an open house. It was given in their honor, by their children, on Sept. 2, 2012 at the First Reformed Church. The entire family was home to help them celebrate, as well as many extended family members and friends.

Christmas Day also brings back special memories. This was when the grandchildren gathered around a birthday cake baked for Jesus. Before dinner, Ken would read the Christmas story as recorded in Luke 2 to the family. After lighting the candles, everyone sang, “Happy Birthday” to Jesus. Ken’s love for God was very apparent. Whenever he prayed it was as if he was talking to his very best friend, Jesus. He was known to reach out to young people; always having the desire for them to come to know the Lord. Young people he’d had in Sunday School were known to quote the words “Free Grace” to Ken upon seeing him years later, remembering his teaching that we are only saved by God’s Grace. He will lovingly be remembered by his wife as her “soul-mate and best friend”, by each of his daughters as a “loving Dad”, and by his grandchildren as their “beloved Papa”. It has always been Ken’s prayer to meet his family in Heaven some day! Grateful for having shared his life is his wife, Marlene; three daughters and sons-in-law: Cindy (Dave) Madden, Borger, TX.; Carrie (Mike) Austin, Dell Rapids, SD; Julie (Rich) Grosz, Dell Rapids, SD;14 grandchildren; and 2 sisters-in-law: Joyce Mellema and Lois Beckstrand. Ken was preceded in death by his parents and only brother, Dewey.

Robert “Bob” Geels

Bob GeelsRobert “Bob” Geels, age 70, of Sheldon, Iowa, passed away on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at Sanford Sheldon Hospital in Sheldon.

Funeral Services will be Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 1:00 P.M. at Bethel Reformed Church in Sheldon. Rev. Kenneth Carlson officiating. Burial in East Lawn Cemetery in Sheldon.

Visitation will be Friday, January 24, from 2:00 to 8:00 P.M. with the family present from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. at the Andringa Funeral Home Sheldon Funeral Service in Sheldon.

Online Expressions of Sympathy can be sent to www.andringafuneralhome.com

The Andringa Funeral Home Sheldon Funeral Service in charge of arrangements for Robert “Bob” Geels.

Robert (Bob) Geels, son of Andrew and Priscilla (Vermeer) Geels, was born on November 20, 1943 in Sheldon Iowa.

Bob was united in marriage to Ada Pennings on July 7, 1965 in Sheldon at the First Christian Reformed Church. Bob and Ada moved to Norfolk, Virginia where he served in the United States Navy. He spent his time aboard the Presidential Ship the USS North Hampton. After discharge, they returned to Sheldon and he was employed at Culligan Water Company and also worked for Norm Lensink as a carpet layer. Later Bob started his career in soybean processing at the Big 4, Land-O-Lakes, and AGP. Bob continued to lay carpet as a part time job for several years underGeels Floor Covering.

He was a member of Bethel Reformed Church in Sheldon, Iowa.

An avid bird and squirrel watcher, Bob also enjoyed hunting, fishing, and restoring old toys. Bob’s greatest love was his family and loved surrounding himself with his grandchildren.

He was diagnosed with small cell carcinoma December 2, 2013 and passed away on January 21, 2014 at the age of 70 years.
Those left to cherish his memories are his wife of 48 years, Ada Geels of Sheldon, IA; his son Timothy and wife Jammie Geels and grandsons Andrew, Tyler, and Austin from Dakota Dunes, SD; his son Daniel and wife Amy Geels from Gladbrook, IA along with Dad’s special friend “Paige”; his daughter Teresa and husband Brian Adams and grandchildren Chase, Braden, and Alexis from South Sioux City, NE; his daughter Debra Klein from Sanborn, IA and grandchildren Tanner Klein, special friend Dustin Moser and Treston Klein, also included are Deb’s special friend Victor Serr and his children Chris Wright and wife Jen; and great grandchildren Jadeyn and Jerica; John Serr and his fiancé Emily Van Dyke and Nate Serr; two brothers Dr. Edwin Geels and wife Helena of Sioux Center, IA, Don Geels and wife Carol; one sister Pat Oostenink and her husband Dick Oostenink III of Grand Rapids, MI; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents Andrew and Priscilla Geels, and stepmother Burdette (Bonnie) Geels.