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Page 11


Women get excited over nothing
Then they marry him.
I have a question! I was reading a book with a setting of Yakama Washington. I got to thinking.  Peter Gaul, who I remember send birthday cards to us, lived in Yakama and his daughter married a St. Hildaries. My question is  how or why did he end up in Yakama? My wife had a great uncle who lived there. His reason was his wife had a thyroid problem that some how was helped by the climate or soil in Yakama. What was peter's reason for settling there?
Pete, the story as told in the 1952 Gaul centennial book goes like this:  Peter married in 1903 in Bancroft, Iowa.  In 1905 Peter and his wife decided to move west.  Peter worked in a mercantile store in Lewiston, Idaho, but they made their home across the river in Clarkston, Washington. His brother Joseph went west to join Peter, who then lived in Cottonwood, Idaho.  In 1915 Peter and Joseph's widowed mother and the rest of their living siblings migrated westward, settling first in Cottonwood, Idaho, and then Lewiston.  In 1920 Peter and his family moved to Yakima, Washington.  In Cottonwood Peter had owned and managed a general store.  After a severe siege of the  flu he was forced to move to the milder climate of Yakima, where he became one of the leading  real estate and insurance men of the city. 
So, it was, apparently, the climate at Yakima which induced the move there.
"Just because you have a computer
doesn't mean you can't be stupid."
                                     - OK! I didn't write this,
                                          but I probably should have. (Editor's Note)
     Willard "Bill" Gaul, 84, of Sioux City passed away Monday, May 5, 2008, at his residence.

Services were held Thursday, May 8, at Christy-Smith Funeral Home, Morningside Chapel. Burial was in Memorial Park Cemetery. Online condolences may be sent to

Willard Thomas Gaul was born Oct. 13, 1923, to Peter and Grace (Simmons) Gaul in Sioux City. Bill attended and graduated from Central High School with the class of 1941.

On May 7, 1965, Bill and Darlene Boyum were married in Grace United Methodist Church in Sioux City. Bill was a television and radio repairman, operating out of his own home. He was also a professional musician, performing in New York and other states, retiring in 1975. In his younger days, he worked for Jones Distributing. He was also a ham radio operator.

Bill is survived by his wife, Darlene; daughters, Roxanne Gaul and significant other, Art Fenical of Sioux City, and Rhonda and husband, Doug Freeman of Linwood, Kan. He is also survived by grandchildren, Megan and Eric Thurber, Charles Gaul-Fenical and Brenden, Mikaela and Jack Freeman.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

"Always remember,
you are absolutely unique.
Just like everyone else."

                                             - Margaret Mead

My Granddaughter Kimberly Anne Gaul and Yu Huang Bao "Sam" will marry 21 Jun 2008 at Heritage United Methodist Church  in Overland Park, Kansas.
Kimberly is the daughter of Robert and Linda Gaul.

Sam is the son of Guang Ming Bao and Rong Then Thang.
"Treat your wife like a thoroughbred
and she'll never be a nag."
Indianapolis, Indiana
pages 1188 - 1189
                              JOHN BISSEN
   Among the citizens of Westphalia township, Shelby county, Iowa, who
have built comfortable homes and surrounded themselves with valuable estates,
few have attained a higher degree of success than John Bissen.  He is one of
the many sterling citizens of German birth who have made this county their
home.    The thrift and frugality of the German peoples are proverbial and no
foreign country has sent more loyal or more energetic citizens to this country.
Whatever occupation they follow after reaching here, they always prosper
and become substantial citizens of their various communities.

   John Bissen, the son of Nicholas and Elizabeth (Huberta) Bissen, was
born November 11, 1857, in Luxemburg, Germany. His father was a veterin-
ary surgeon and farmer in his native country until he came to this country
in 1869 with his children.  His wife died in Germany in 1866, and, desiring
the better opportunities offered by the United States, he came here and set-
tled in Dubuque county, Iowa.     

   He bought a tract of timber land for five
dollars an acre and he and his sons cleared it, selling the timber for more than
enough to pay for the land.   Nicholas remained on this farm for eight years
when he sold it for forty dollars an acre and moved to Shelby county.   Here
he purchased one hundred and twenty acres of laud in Westphalia township
from Emil Hertert, paying thirty-three dollars and thirty-five cents an acre
for it.  On this farm Nicholas lived until his death, January 8, 1882.    To
Nicholas Bissen and wife were born five children: Peter, John, Mary, Eva
and Theresa.  Two of these children, Peter and Mary, are deceased.

   John Bissen was twelve years old when he left his native land with his
father.  He had already received the rudiments of an education.         After
coming to this state he attended school but, because of his unfamiliarity with
the English language, derived little benefit from his schooling.   At an early
age, he began work upon the home farm and continued to assist his father
until the latter's death in 1882.  He then worked out for a couple of years
and, after his marriage in 1884, started farming himself.   That he has been
remarkably successful is proved by the fact that he now has a fine farm of
five hundred and eighty acres in Westphalia township.    He also owns a ten-
acre tract in the Everglades, Florida, and a lot in a new town there.  His
land is well improved and yields a handsome income annually, mainly from
the sale of live stock.  He keeps all of the latest improved machinery upon
his farm, having found that better results are obtained.

   Mr. Bissen was married May 6, 1884, to Mary Gaul, the daughter of
William and Albertina (Tinner) Gaul, both natives of Germany.      William
Gaul and wife reared a family of several children: Paul, Peter, Nicholas,
Theresa, Katherine, Rosa, Jacob, and Mary, the wife of Mr. Bissen.      To
Mr. and Mrs. Bissen have been born nine children:    Nicholas, Lena, Kath-
erine, Jacob, Paul, John, Joseph, Peter and Barbara. Nicholas married Clara
Bock and has two daughters, Hilda and Mary.  Lena is the wife of Hubert
Jacoby and has four children: Mary, Leander, Mercedes and William.   Kath-
erine married Herman Esser and has three children: Alexander, Anthony and
Marcello.  Jacob died August 8, 1912.  The rest of the children are still liv-
ing with their parents.

   Mr. Bissen is a Democrat and takes an active interest in local affairs.
He has been road supervisor for thirteen years and in that capacity has per-
formed efficient service.   He and his family are members of the Catholic
church and contribute generously to its maintenance.
"The notion that there might be  better
or more convenient time to love
has cost many people a lifetime of regret."
Ray and Ann Schechinger of Westphalia announce the engagement of their daughter, Gina to Josh Stutheit both of Johnson, Neb. Josh is the son of Jane and Leroy Meyer, Johnson, Neb., and the late Gary Stutheit. The couple plans to exchange marriage vows on June 28 at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Westphalia.

Gina is the granddaughter of Mary Reischl, Earling; and the late Joe Reischl; and Margaret Schechinger, Westphalia; and the late Elmer Schechinger. Josh's grandparents are Ray Brody, Tecumseh, Neb.; and the late Mary Brody; and the late Erwin and Lucille Stutheit. Gina is a 2000 graduate of Harlan Community High School.

She is a 2004 graduate of Wayne State College where she received a bachelor of science degree in early childhood development and a 2007 graduate of Peru State College where she was awarded a bachelor of science degree in elementary education. Gina is employed part-time as a substitute teacher and part-time at Behaven Day Center.

Josh is a 1994 graduate of Johnson-Brock Public School. He farms and is employed as an ultrasound technician
"Prejudgments become prejudices
only if they are not reversible
when exposed to new knowledge."

                                    - George Bancroft
Richard and Phyllis McKean of Armstrong announce the engagement of their daughter, Amanda Catherine to Joel Nicholas Stamp, son of Dave and Jean Stamp, Woodbine. Amanda.

Joel will exchange marriage vows on July 19 at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Estherville.

Amanda is a graduate of Iowa State University. She is a certified public accountant for Ernst & Young LLP in Minneapolis, Minn.

Joel is also a graduate of Iowa State University. He is employed as the manager of information systems for General Mills Federal Credit Union in Minneapolis. Joel is also the executive officer of the 1133rd Transportation Company in Mason City as a 1st Lieutenant of the Iowa National Guard.
"We probably wouldn't worry
what other people thought of us
if we knew how seldom they do."
                     - Olin Miller

Patricia Gross, 69, died peacefully April 27, 2008 at Mercy Capitol in Des Moines. Visitation will be held on Wednesday at from 4 to 7 p.m. with a memorial service at 7 p.m.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Thursday. All services will he held at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Westphalia, Iowa and handled by Pauley Jones Funeral Home of Harlan, Iowa.

Pat graduated from St. Boniface High School in 1956. She was a member of the Order of the Sisters of Saint Francis from 1958 to 1971. Most recently she resided in West Des Moines and was a Licensed Practical Nurse with Nurse Force in Des Moines. She was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in West Des Moines.

She is survived by her mother Aquinata Gross of Earling, Iowa, 12 brothers and sisters, many nieces and nephews and many more friends.

Man, unlike the animals,
has never learned that the sole purpose of live
is to enjoy it.

                                                    - Samuel Butler
This my neices' husband (below), (Peter, Ferdinand, Marian).

Arrangements and Services For
Daniel Dale Greer - 49
Who Died On

Thursday, April 24, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008

2:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.
Pauley Jones Funeral Home

Harlan, Iowa
Family Will Greet Friends
Monday, April 28, 2008

6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.
Pauley Jones Funeral Home

Harlan, Iowa
Prayer Service
Monday, April 28, 2008

7:00 P.M.
Pauley Jones Funeral Home

Harlan, Iowa
Funeral Service
Tuesday, April 29, 2008

11:00 A.M.
First Assembly of God Church

Harlan, Iowa
Harlan Cemetery

Harlan, Iowa

He is survived by his wife Marian Greer and their children,

Ben and Lindsey Greer all of Harlan, IA; his sister and brothers: Suzanne (Mike) Rasmussen of Kirkman, IA;

Gary (Susan) Greer of Harlan and David (Jodi) Greer of Ft. Collins, CO

'A government big enough to give you everything you want,
is big
enough to take away everything you have.'
 ........ Thomas Jefferson

Ernest Haberberger

Wednesday, April 2, 2008
5:00 PM until 8:00 PM
7:00 PM until 7:30 PM
Scripture Service
Fouts Funeral Home
5th & Normal Street
Woodbine, IA 51579

Thursday, April 3, 2008
10:30 AM
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
7th & Normal St.
Woodbine, IA 51579

  Ernest Joseph Haberberger was born September 30, 1920, to George and Anna (Gross) Haberberger in Earling, Iowa. He was raised in Earling and attended school there. He worked for the CC Camp in the 1940s. In 1950 Ernest married Lou Ann Hopp. The couple was blessed with two boys. Ernest worked for several area farmers. He then worked for 25 years at Peterson manufacturing in Denison.

Ernest enjoyed visiting with his friends and family, especially his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He also enjoyed his garden and canning its produce.

Ernest died on Monday, March 31, 2008, at the Denison Care Center in Denison, Iowa attaining the age of 87 years, six months, and one day.

Ernest was preceded in death by his parents; four brothers; five sisters; two siblings in infancy; and one grandson, Shawn Haberberger. He is survived by his two sons, Gene Haberberger and his wife Marlys of Schleswig, Iowa, Lee Haberberger and his wife Patricia of Dow City, Iowa; six grandchildren; five great grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; eight step-great grandchildren; two sisters, Viola Hastert of Woodbine, Iowa, Geraldine Coleman of Council Bluffs, Iowa; and many other family and friends.

Mass of Christian Burial
10:30 am Thursday, April 3, 2008
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Woodbine, Iowa

Rev. Paul Strittmatter, SJ

Mrs. Merril McElwain
Max Poe

Honorary Pall Bearers
Gene Haberberger, Lee Haberberger
Duane Haberberger, Louise Haberberger

Pall Bearers
Erica Danes, Amber Haberberger
Steven Haberberger, Jeffery Haberberger
Tricia Haberberger, Tina Freeman
Tami Russmann, Dakota Collins

Final Resting Place
Woodbine Cemetery
Woodbine, Iowa


Patrick R. Gaul, 65 of Luxemburg, Iowa died suddenly Sunday, March 23, 2008 at Mercy Hospital in Dubuque.

Friends called from 2 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25, 2008 at the Kramer Funeral Home in Dyersville where the Parish Scripture Service were recited at 4 p.m.

Funeral services were at 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 26, 2008 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Luxemburg. Rev. Raymond Burkle will officiate and the Rev. Richard Gaul will concelebrate. Burial to be in the church cemetery.

Patrick was born June 8, 1942 on the family farm in Luxemburg, Iowa, the son of George C. and Alice (Hoeger) Gaul. He married Judith Diane Rhodes on May 23, 1964 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Dubuque. Together they farmed in the Luxemburg area until retirement.

Farming was Pat’s life and hobby. He took great pride in his 730 Case tractor and plow that Brian and Sheri restored. He enjoyed playing cards, Fast Track games, and vacationing with his brothers, sisters and friends. Pat looked forward to the 4th of July and New Year’s Eve Party’s with the "Dirty Dozen", as well as going for coffee at the Four Way. Pat was part of many organizations including Liberty Township Directors, New Vienna/ Luxemburg Fire Department Board of Directors, Dubuque County Farm Bureau – Liberty Township Director, Archer Oil Dealer and former county manager, Holy Trinity Church Choir Member, Former Parish Council Member, Multiple Systems Atrophy Support Group. Above all these things he was especially proud of his children and grandchildren.

Survivors include his wife Judy, three sons: Michael (Ann) of Urbandale, IA, Steven (Sue) of Dubuque and Brian T. (Sheri) of Luxemburg, a daughter: Peggy (Thomas J.) Roling of Dubuque, eleven grandchildren: Elizabeth and Ellie Gaul of Urbandale, Alex, Mitchell and Olivia Gaul of Dubuque, Austin, Amanda, Kimberly and Joey Gaul of Luxemburg, Lilly and Nathan Roling of Dubuque, two brothers: John Joe (Kay) Gaul of Peosta, IA and Daniel C. (Barb) Gaul of New Vienna, IA. three sisters: Phyllis Hildebrand of Dyersville, IA, Elaine (David) Shaw of Springville, IA and Karla (Bob) Kluesner of Farley, IA, brothers in law: David Rhodes of Dubuque and Steve (Tavia) Rhodes of Onawa, IA and several nieces and nephews.

Pat was preceded in death by his parents, George and Alice Gaul, father in law and mother in law, Merton "Dusty" and Eleanor Rhodes and brothers in law, Leonard and Jerome Hildebrand.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be given to the Holy Trinity Parish Building Fund or the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Pat’s family would like to thank Rev. Ray Burkle, Rev. Richard Schaefer, Rev. Dr. Ken Bickel, family and friends for their prayers and love. The family would also like to express their appreciation to the New Vienna/Luxemburg First Responders, EMTs, the Holy Cross Ambulance Crew, the staff at Mercy Hospital Dyersville, Dyersville Bi County Ambulance and Mercy Medical Center ICU, Dubuque. Due to their hard work and caring hearts, we were able to share one more day with Pat and say our final goodbyes.

HI, my name is Tony john Gaul,, living in surrey, I know that Gaul is a very rare name..
Services for 87-year-old Edwin Monty Rife of Avoca were held 1 pm, Saturday, March 22nd, at the Pauley Jones Funeral Home in Avoca.  Burial at the Graceland Cemetery.  Edwin Rife died March 13th, 2008 at Mercy Hospital.  Survivors include nieces and nephews.  Visitation was held from 2 to 7 pm, Friday, March 21st, at the Pauley-Jones Funeral Home in Avoca where they were in charge of the arrangements.

Arrangements and Services for

Edwin Monty Rife - 87

Who died on Thursday, March 13, 2008

Funeral Service

Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 1:00 PM

Pauley Jones Funeral Home

Avoca, Iowa


Graceland Cemetery

Avoca, Iowa


He is survived by his nephew Farrell (Karen) Weber of Anaheim, CA; his nieces:  Jane (Mark) Heim of Orange, CA; Sharon (Rev. William Simpson) of Spring, TX; Sheryl (Jim) Petersen of Omaha, NE; Diane (Mike) Weigert of Gretna, NE; Carole (Randy) Trively of Council Bluffs, IA; and Peggy Russmann of Omaha, NE



Bob and Luella Wilwerding of Defiance will observe their 40th wedding anniversary on March 23. The couple celebrated their anniversary with a family dinner. They are also planning a train trip across Canada in May.

The couple's two children and their spouses are Diane and Andy Yost, Logan; and David and Janet Wilwerding, Ankeny. The Wilwerdings have two grandchildren.

Bob Wilwerding and Luella Grote were married on March 23, 1968 at St. John's Catholic Church in Arcadia.



Paula Ann Kloewer and Gabriel Franklin Baughman Will Marry

Rick and Nancy Kloewer of Defiance announce the engagement of their daughter, Paula Ann to Gabriel Franklin Baughman, son of Jim and Lori Baughman, Kirkman.

Paula and Gabriel will exchange marriage vows on June 21 at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Defiance.

Paula and Gabriel are 2003 graduates of I-K-M High School and 2007 graduates of Morningside College. Paula was awarded degrees in elementary education and special education from Morningside. Gabriel received a degree in elementary education from Morningside.

She is employed as an elementary special education teacher at West Central Valley. He is employed as a substitute teacher and with JK Construction


KAUFMANN-Sr. Mary Rose RSM, age 97. Survived by sister, Dorothy McKeighon, of Illinois; nieces and nephews.

SERVICES Tues 10am, at Mercy Villa Chapel. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. WAKE SERVICE Mon 4pm, at Mercy Villa. Memorials to Sisters of Mercy Health and Retirement Fund.



1010 North 72nd St., 391-1664


A little old lady was running up and down the halls in a nursing home. As she walked, she would flip up the hem of her nightgown and say 'Supersex.' She walked up to an elderly man in a wheelchair. Flipping her gown at him, she said, 'Supersex.'

He sat silently for a moment or two and finally answered, 'I'll take the soup.'
MEL LANGENFELD, age 82, of Imperial, passed away Thursday evening, March 6, 2008, at the Chase County Community Hospital.

Survivors include, wife Kate; daughters, Connie Pribbeno and husband Jeff, all of Imperial, NE, Ruth Eechaute and husband Dean of Warrenton, MO; sons, Bill Lagenfeld, Mike Langenfeld and wife Susie all of Cool, CA, Gary Langenfeld, Scottsdale, AZ, John Langenfeld and wife Cindy of Wiggins, CO; 16 grandchildren, 1 great-granddaughter; brothers, Joe Langenfeld and wife Ann of Onawa, IA, Bob Langenfeld of Texas; sisters, Marie Graeve of Earling, IA, Delores Jacoby and husband Joe of Waterloo, IA, June Assmann of Dunlap, IA.

Visitation was Monday, March 10, 2 - 6 p.m. (MT) with Rosary at 7 p.m. (MT) Funeral Mass Tuesday, March 11, 10 a.m. (MT) all at Patrick Catholic Church with Father Bernard Lorenz officiating. Interment at Mount Hope Cemetery, Imperial. A memorial has been established to the St. Patrick's Parish Hall Building Fund.

An elderly Floridian called 911 on her cell phone to report that her car has been broken into. She is hysterical as she explains her situation to the dispatcher: 'They've stolen the stereo, the steering wheel, the brake pedal and even the accelerator!' she cried.

The dispatcher said, 'Stay calm. An officer is on the way.'

A few minutes later, the officer radios in. 'Disregard.' He says. 'She got in the back-seat by mistake.'
This is a notice I received from Kimberly for their new born. Evan is the  2nd son of Anthony and Kimberly Rose (Winters) Scheffler.
Pete Gaul
Evan Andrew

Baby Photo
Born on Feb 27, 2008 at 12:09 pm
Evan  weighed in at 7 lbs 3 oz and was 21 inches long.


Three sisters, ages 92, 94 and 96, live in a house together. One night the 96-year-old draws a bath. She puts her foot in and pauses. She yells to the other sisters, 'Was I getting in or out of the bath?'

The 94-year-old yells back, 'I don't know. I'll come up and see.' She starts up the stairs and pauses 'Was I going up the stairs or down?'

The 92-year-old is sitting at the kitchen table having tea listening to her sisters. She shakes her head and says, 'I sure hope I never get that forgetful, knock on wood.' She then yells, 'I'll come up and help both of you as soon as I see who's at the door.'

Arrangements and Services for

Louree A. Petersen - Age 65 who died on Thursday March 6, 2008


Public Visitation Monday, March 10, 2008 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Pauley Jones Funeral Home Harlan, Iowa


Pauley Jones Funeral Home Harlan, Iowa

Funeral Service

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - 11:00 AM

Pauley Jones Funeral Home - Harlan, Iowa

Interment: Harlan Cemetery - Harlan, Iowa


Louree is survived by her daughters:  Lisa and her husband Jamie Hess of Spencer, Iowa and Lila and her husband Aaron Howe of Omaha, Nebraska; and two grandchildren:  Megan and Hayle Hess of Spencer

They're Back! Those Wonderful Church Bulletins!
Thank God for church ladies with typewriters. These sentences
appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church

The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.
The sermon this morning: "Jesus Walks on the Water." The
sermon tonight: "Searching for Jesus."
Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 PM
in the recreation hall. Come out and watch us kill Christ the
Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get
rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring
your husbands.
The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled
due to a conflict.
Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community.
Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say "Hell" to someone
who doesn't care much about you.
Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.
Miss Charlene Mason sang "I will not pass this way again,"
giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have
a nursery downstairs.
Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need
all the help they can get.
The Rector will preach his farewell message, after which the
choir will sing: "Break Forth Into Joy."
Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in
the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school
At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What
Is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice.
Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition
of several new members and to the deterioration of some older
Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be
recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
Please place your donation in the envelope along with the
deceased person you want remembered.
The church will host an evening of fine dining, super
entertainment and gracious hostility.
Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to
------------------------------------------------ ---------
The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind.
They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
----------------------------------- ------ -----------------
This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park
across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to
Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM.
All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after
the B.S. is done.
The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the
congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the
pancake breakfast next Sunday.
Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM.
Please use the back door.
The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in
the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is
invited to attend this tragedy.
Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian
Church. Please use the large double door at the side

Arrangements and Services for

George F. Petersen - Age 68 who died on Friday, March 7, 2008

Pauley Jones Funeral Home

Harlan, Iowa Funeral Service was held on

Monday, March 10, 2008 at 1:00 PM at the

Immanuel Lutheran Church

Harlan, Iowa


Interment: Harlan Cemetery

Harlan, Iowa


George is survived by his wife Karma Petersen of Harlan, IA; his children:  Brett Petersen of Iowa City, IA, Lisa (Ray) Christensen of Highlands Ranch, CO, and Darrin (Joy) Petersen of Harlan; and his sisters:  Aldine (Larry) Lippold of Avoca, IA; Ardis (Elliott) Svendsen of Harlan and Vicki (Paul) Weible of Marion, IA


Two elderly women were out driving in a large car - both could barely see over the dashboard. As they were cruising along, they came to an intersection. The stoplight was red, but they just went on through

The woman in the passenger seat thought to herself 'I must be losing it. I could have sworn we just went through a red light.' After a few more minutes, they came to another intersection and the light was red again. Again, they went right through. The woman in the passenger seat was almost sure that the light had been red but was really concerned that she was losing it. She was getting nervous.

At the next intersection, sure enough, the light was red and they went on through. So, she turned to the other woman and said, 'Mildred, did you know that we just ran through three red lights in a row? You could have killed us both!'

Mildred turned to her and said, 'Oh, crap, am I driving ?'
Irene A. Nissen, 84, of Cedar Falls, died Sunday, Feb. 17, 2008 at the Cedar Falls Lutheran Home from complications of leukemia.
She was born March 22, 1923, in Elk Horn, daughter of George and Esther Louise Dahl Petersen. She married Raymond A. Nissen on Feb. 21, 1945, in Elk Horn. He died March 20, 1995.
Mrs. Nissen earned a bachelor’s degree in education and later a master’s degree in library science from the University of Northern Iowa. She taught elementary school in several locations prior to moving to Cedar Falls in 1966. She was a third-grade teacher at Humbert and Lincoln Elementary Schools in Cedar Falls, retiring in 1988. She was a member of Nazareth Lutheran Church and taught Sunday School for many years.
Survivors include: three sons, Luther Lynn (Avise) of Mount Ranier, Md., Bruce Allen (Karen) of Hollywood, Fla., and Marlin Ray of Cedar Falls; and four grandsons, Samuel, Leif, Jared and Martin.
Preceded in death by: her parents; two brothers, Gordon and Phil Petersen; and a sister, Norma Molgaard.
Memorials: may be directed to Nazareth Lutheran Church Sunday School program.
Condolences can be left at

As a senior citizen was driving down the freeway, his car phone rang. Answering, he heard his wife's voice urgently warning him, 'Herman, I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on Interstate 77. Please be careful!'

'Heck,' said Herman, 'It's not just one car. It's hundreds of them!'
GENEVIEVE OPPOLD, age 93, formerly of Panama, IA, died on Saturday, March 1, 2008, at Immanuel Fontenelle Home in Omaha, NE.

Survived by daughters, Pat Leuschen, of Omaha, Beth Muenchrath and her husband, Roger Erpelding of Des Moines, IA, and Alice and her husband Earl West of Ashland, NE; sons, Tim Oppold of Panama, IA and his friend Debbie Garrett of Dunlap, IA, and Frank Oppold and his wife, Joanne also of Dunlap; 13 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren.

VISITATION was on Monday, March 3rd 6-9pm at Pauley Jones Funeral Home in Harlan, IA with family greeting friends from 6-8pm;

Visitation was held Tuesday, March 4 from 8am-9pm at Pauley Jones Funeral Home with a Wake Service at 7pm. Mass of Christian Burial held on Wednesday, March 5, 2008, at 10:30am at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Panama, IA with burial at St. Mary's Cemetery in Panama. PAULEY JONES FUNERAL HOME
In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth and populated the
Earth with broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, green, yellow and red vegetables
of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.
Then using God's great gifts, Satan created Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and
Krispy Crème Donuts. And Satan said, "You want chocolate with that?" And Man said, "Yes!" and Woman said, "and as long as you're at it, add some
sprinkles." And they gained 10 pounds. And Satan smiled.
And God created the healthful yogurt that Woman might keep the figure that
Man found so fair. And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat, and
sugar from the cane and combined them and Woman went from
size 6 to size 14.
So God said, "Try my fresh green salad!" And Satan presented Thousand-Island Dressing, buttery croutons and garlic toast on the side. And Man and Woman unfastened their belts following the repast.
God then said, "I have sent you heart healthy vegetables and olive oil in
which to cook them." And Satan brought forth deep fried fish and
chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter. And Man gained more weight and his cholesterol went through the roof.
God then created a light, fluffy white cake, named it
"Angel Food Cake,"
and said, "It is good." Satan then created chocolate cake and named it
"Devil's Food."
God then brought forth running shoes so that His children might lose those
extra pounds. And Satan gave cable TV with a remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels. And Man and Woman laughed and cried
before the flickering blue light and gained pounds.
Then God brought forth the potato, naturally low in fat and brimming with
nutrition. And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy
center into chips and deep-fried them.
And Man gained pounds.
God then gave lean beef so that Man might consume fewer calories and still
satisfy his appetite. And Satan created McDonald's and its 99 cent double
cheeseburger, then said, "You want fries with that?"
And Man replied, "Yes! And super size them!"
And Satan said, "It is good."
And Man went into cardiac arrest.
God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.
Then Satan created HMOs.
Services for 85-year-old Bernadette Kirlin of West Des Moines, was held at 10:30 am, Saturday, February 23rd, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Panama.  Burial was at the Magnolia Cemetery. 

Bernadette Kirlin died Saturday, February 16th, 2008 at her home.  Survivors include 4 sons, Timothy Kirlin of Woodridge, IL, Joseph Kirlin of West Des Moines; Frank Kirlin (friend - Debra Perkins) of Pembrook Pines, FL and Kevin Kirlin (wife - Elizabeth Nelson) of West Des Moines; 1 daughter, Rosemary Kirlin of West Des Moines; 2 brothers, Jerome Croghan of Manning and Tom Croghan (Jean) of Omaha, NE; 5 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild.  The Pauley-Jones Funeral Home in Harlan is in charge of the arrangements.

Arrangements and Services for

Bernadette Kirlin - Age 85

Who died on Saturday

February 16, 2008


Friday, February 22, 2008

8:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Pauley Jones Funeral Home - Harlan, Iowa

Visitation with the Family

Friday, February 22, 2008

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM and

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Pauley Jones Funeral Home - Harlan, Iowa

Rosary Service

Friday, February 22, 2008

7:00 PM

Pauley Jones Funeral Home - Harlan, Iowa

Mass of Christian Burial

Saturday, February 23, 2008

10:30 AM

St. Mary of the Assumption

Panama, Iowa


St. Bridget's Catholic Cemetery, Magnolia, Iowa


Bernadette is survived by her children:  Timothy (Sharon) Kirlin of Phoenix, AZ, Joseph Kirlin of West Des Moines, IA, Frank Kirlin and his wife Debra Perkins of Pembroke Pines, FL, Kevin Kirlin and his wife Elizabeth Nelson of West Des Moines, and Rosemary Kirlin also of West Des Moines; five grandchildren; one great-grandchild; two brothers:  Jerome (Catherine) Croghan of Manning, IA, and Tom (Jeanne) Croghan of Omaha, NE; sisters-in-law:  Kathleen Croghan of Falls Church, VA, Margaret Croghan, and Adelaide Croghan of Panama, IA; and brothers-in-law:  David Griffith and Jim Kohles of Harlan.

The day finally arrived.   Forrest Gump dies and goes to Heaven.   He is at
The Pearly Gates, met by St. Peter himself.  However, the gates are closed,
And Forrest approaches the gatekeeper.

St. Peter said, "Well, Forrest, it is certainly good to see you.   We have heard a lot about you   I must tell you, though, that the place is filling up fast, and we have been administering an entrance examination for everyone.  The test is short, but you have to pass it before you can get into Heaven."

Forrest responds, "It sure is good to be here, St. Peter, sir.
  But nobody ever told me about any entrance exam.  I sure hope that the test ain't too hard.
Life was a big enough test as it was."

St. Peter continued, "Yes, I know, Forrest, but the test is only three questions.

What two days of the week begin with the letter T?

How many seconds are there in a year?
What is God's first name?"

Forrest leaves to think the questions over.  He returns the next day and sees St. Peter, who waves him up, and says, "Now that you have had a chance to think the questions over, tell me your answers"

Forrest replied, "Well, the first one -- which two days in the week begins with the letter "T"?  Shucks, that one is easy
.   That would be Today and Tomorrow." !

The Saint's eyes opened wide and he exclaimed, "Forrest, that is not what I was thinking, but you do have a point, and I guess I did not specify, so I will give you credit for that answer.
  How about the next one?" asked St. Peter.

"How many seconds in a year? Now that one is harder," replied Forrest, but I thunk and thunk about that, and I guess the only answer can be twelve."

Astounded, St. Peter said, "Twelve? Twelve?  Forrest, how in Heaven's name could you come up with twelve seconds in a year?"

Forrest replied, "Shucks, there's got to be twelve: January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd... "

"Hold it," interrupts St. Peter.
  "I see where you are going with this, and I see your point, though that was not quite what I had in mind....but I will have to give you credit for that one, too.  Let us go on with the third and final question. Can you tell me God's first name"?

"Sure," Forrest replied, "it's Andy."

"Andy?" exclaimed an exasperated and frustrated St Peter.

"Ok, I can understand how you came up with your answers to my first two questions, but just how in the world did you come up with the name Andy as the first name of God?"

"Shucks, that was the easiest one of all," Forrest replied.  "I learnt it from the song,

St. Peter opened the Pearly Gates, and said: "Run Forrest, run."
Give me a sense of humor, Lord.
Give me the ability to understand a clean joke,
To get some humor out of life,  And to pass it on to other folk..
Ken and Kim Schneider, Portsmouth, were honored Saturday, Feb. 9 as Shelby County Cattle Producers of the Year, at the annual Shelby County Cattlemen's Banquet held in Defiance.

      Approximately 400 people turned out for the annual event to recognize those individuals and businesses that contribute to the cattle industry in Shelby County. The association board also awarded its annual scholarships at the banquet.

      Ken Schneider has been a resident of Shelby County his entire life, just like his father and grandfather. He graduated from St. Boniface High School in Westphalia in 1962, participating in baseball and basketball.

Three retirees, each with a hearing loss, were playing golf one fine March day. One remarked to the other, 'Windy, isn't it?'

'No,' the second man replied, 'it's Thursday.'

And the third man chimed in, 'So am I. Let's have a beer.'

Kenneth and Kim Schneider of Portsmouth will mark their 25th wedding anniversary today, February 12. The couple will celebrate their anniversary with a dinner with their children and grandchildren.

Their children are *Michelle and David Thompson, Johnston; *Cynthia Schneider, Johnston; *Doug Schneider, Portsmouth; Valerie and David Jansen, Ames; Mike Schneider, Portsmouth; Andy Schneider, Ames; and Julie Schneider, Portsmouth.

The Schneiders have two grandchildren.


An elderly Floridian called 911 on her cell phone to report that her car has been broken into. She is hysterical as she explains her situation to the dispatcher: 'They've stolen the stereo, the steering wheel, the brake pedal and even the accelerator!' she cried.

The dispatcher said, 'Stay calm. An officer is on the way.'

A few minutes later, the officer radios in. 'Disregard.' He says. 'She got in the back-seat by mistake.'
Bridget Nicole McHugh and Jacob Lee Musfeldt both of Missouri Valley plan to marry on Saturday, September 13 at the United Methodist Church in Missouri Valley.

Parents of the couple are Russell and Tracy McHugh, Missouri Valley; and Richard and Jean Musfeldt, Irwin.

Bridget is a 1999 graduate of Missouri Valley High School. She received a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Bridget is employed as an elementary teacher at Underwood Community School.

Jacob is a 2003 graduate of IKM Community High School and a graduate of Iowa Western Community College where he earned a degree in criminal justice. He is a police officer with the City of Missouri Valley.

Two elderly ladies had been friends for many decades. Over the years, they had shared all kinds of activities and adventures. Lately, their activities had been limited to meeting a few times a week to play cards. One day, they were playing cards when one looked at the other and said, 'Now don't get mad at me .. I know we've been friends for a long time, but I just can't think of your name! I've thought and thought, but I can't remember it. Please tell me what your name is'

Her friend glared at her. For at least three minutes she just stared and glared at her. Finally she said, 'How soon do you need to know?' 

Dennis and Lynette Croghan of Manilla announce the engagement of their daughter, Maria to Joe Anastasi both of Polk City. Joe is the son of Dennis and Mary Ann Anastasi, Defiance.

The couple plans to exchange marriage vows on March 29 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Manilla.

Maria is a 2002 graduate of IKM High School and a 2006 graduate of Iowa State University where she earned a bachelor's degree in finance. She is employed as a reimbursement analyst.

Joe is a 2000 graduate of Harlan Community High School and a 2003 graduate of Vatterott College where he was awarded an associates degree in HVAC technology.

He is employed as a commercial HVAC technician.


Brenda Finken and Brian Heese both of Earling exchanged marriage vows on October 13, 2007 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Earling. Father Tom Coenen performed the 2:30 p.m. double ring ceremony.

Parents of the couple are Dean and Sandy Finken, Earling; and Russ and Judy Heese, Earling.

Grandparents of the bride are Ivo and Mick Finken, Earling; and the late Edward and Margaret Hatterman, who were Dunlap residents. Grandparents of the groom are Vince and Cathy Heese, Earling; and Charlie and Marie Klein, Earling.

The bride was escorted down the aisle by her father. Brenda carried a handkerchief given to her by her Grandma Finken. She also carried a rosary she had borrowed from her maid of honor which had belonged to her Grandma Hatterman.

Tracy Finken, Earling, attended as her sister's maid of honor. Attending as bridesmaids were Cheri Schmidt, sister of groom, Portsmouth; Tina Schwarte, Earling; Liz Buckley, Earling; Krystal Wageman, Earling; and Jackie Frum, Earling. The bride's personal attendants were Chrissy Stephens, cousin of bride, Omaha; Chantel Sonderman, Panama; and Jessie Bruck, Earling.

Flower girl was Marissa Schmidt, niece of groom, Portsmouth. Ringbearer was Jacob Klein, cousin of groom, Dunlap. Serving as honorary ringbearers were Ethan Heese, nephew of groom, Earling; and Corbyn Parsons, nephew of bride, Earling.

Best man was Randy Heese, brother of groom, Earling. Serving as groomsmen were Jeff Schmidt, brother-in-law of groom, Portsmouth; Brent Finken, brother of bride, Omaha; John Buckley, Earling; Jay Wageman, Earling; and Brian Gross, Omaha.

Ushering the guests were Micheal Kramer, cousin of groom, Omaha; Joe Muenchrath, Earling; Jamie Schwery, Earling; and Brad Tremel, Earling. The bride and groom's mothers served as candlelighters. Offertory gifts were presented by fathers of the bride and groom.

Music was provided by soloist and pianist Tyler Gubbels, cousin of groom, Omaha; and soloist Amanda Findlay, Omaha.

Following the ceremony, a reception and dance were held at St. Joseph's Parish Hall in Earling. Reception hosts and hostesses were Jeff and Cindy Klein, uncle and aunt of groom, Earling; and Phil and Donna Stephens, uncle and aunt of bride, Denison.

The bride is a 1998 graduate of Harlan Community High School. Brenda is a graduate of Xenon International School of Hair Design in Omaha. She is a licensed cosmetologist. Brenda is a hairstylist at Mane Gallery Salon in Omaha.

The groom is a 2001 graduate of Harlan Community High School and a graduate of Western Iowa Tech in Sioux City where he was awarded an electrical certificate. Brian is employed as a customer engineer with FDR in Omaha.

Brenda and Brian spent their honeymoon in Cancun, Mexico. The Heeses are at home in Earling.


Mary Heese of Earling, Iowa celebrated her 70th birthday on February 22. Her husband, Francis, and their children planned a card shower in her honor.

Cards will reach her if sent to 1818 Hwy. 191, Earling, Iowa 51530.

Their children are Pam and Brian Gubbels, Harlan; Frank and Shari Heese, Harlan; Vicki and Loren Jorgenson, Omaha; Shelli and Larry Schaben, Earling; Joe and Denise Heese, Earling; and Scott and Jennie Heese, Omaha.

The Heeses have 18 grandchildren.

Services for 76-year-old Robert Eugene Langer of Oakland were held 1:30 pm, Friday, February 22nd, at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Avoca.  Burial will be at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Hancock.  Robert Langer died Tuesday, February 19th, at the Oakland Manor Nursing Home. 

Survivors include his wife, Glenda Ann Langer of Hancock; 3 daughters, An Clemon of Vancouver WA, Shelly Smith (Reid) of Exira and Lisa Christiansen (Andy) of Council Bluffs; 1 son, Terry Langer (Debbie) of Minatare, NE; 1 brother, Don Langer of Avoca; 8 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. 

Visitation will be held 2 to 9 pm, Thursday, February 21st, at the Pauley-Jones Funeral Home in Avoca, with the family greeting friends from 6 to 7 pm.

Arrangements and Services for

Robert E. Langer Age 76

Who died on Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Thursday, February 21, 2008

2:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Pauley Jones - Avoca Chapel

Family Will Greet Friends

Thursday, February 21, 2008

6:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Pauley Jones - Avoca Chapel

Funeral Service

Friday, February 22, 2008

1:30 PM

Trinity Lutheran Church

Avoca, Iowa


Oak Hill Cemetery

Hancock, Iowa


Arnold Knudtson of Harlan marked his 90th birthday on February 11.

His family planned a small family and close friends celebration on February 10.

Arnold has three children, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
[His son, Lee, is married to Cathy Wehr, daughter of Joseph P. and Agnes M. (Schechinger) Wehr]
The family of Laverne "Wimpy" Williams had a card shower in honor of his 80th birthday on February 10.

Cards may still reach him if sent to 904 Lincoln Way, Woodbine, Iowa 51579.

Laverne and his wife, Darlene (Enie) have three sons: Randy and Judy Williams, Avoca; Rick and Pat Williams, Missouri Valley; and Bruce and Vivian Williams, Woodbine; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Dear Marthann,
When you sent the item on the 60th wedding anniversary of Genevieve you attached a family tree, and I noted that it was somewhat incomplete as to her Gaul ancestry, in light of recent discoveries in that line.
So here are additions to be made to that line
1.  great-great-grandfather, No. 20 on the tree, Joachim Friedmann, died on 27 Dec 1852
2.  Her great-great grandfather , no. 22 on the tree, Andreas Wenzel, was born 11 Sept 1785 and died 4 May 1853.
3.  Her great-great-grandmother, no. 23 on the tree, Magdalena Shupp (no "e"), was born 20 Jan 1790.  We still do not know her date of death.
4.  No. 40 on the tree is blank but now can be filled in:  The parents of Joachim Friedmann are Ignaz Fridmann and Barbara Weiler.
5.  No 42 on the tree is blank but now can be filled in:  The parents of Rufina Friedmann are Johann Georg Friedmann and Scholastica "Salome" Streibich.
6.  No 44 on the tree is blank but now can be filled in.  The parents of Andreas Wenzel are Leo Wenzel and Katharina Haubler  (The "a" has an umlaut).
7.  No. 46 on the tree is blank but now can be partially filled in:  The mother of Magdalena Schupp is also Magdalena Schupp.  We do not know the father's name.
Research by Stephen Schafer and Chuck Friedman is responsible for knowing some of this and I am most grateful for their excellent research. They are descendants of Andreas Wenzel and Magdalena (nee Schupp) Wenzel, as are Pete and I.

My Mom is in intensive care at Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs,
she has an obstruction in her small intestine and a hernia.

The doctor says she is not in good enough shape to do surgery.
They pumped her stomach.
He wants to see if it will correct itself.
Please say a prayer for her.
Marthann Kohl-Fuhs
706-5th St.
Defiance, IA 51527-3004
Vernon and Genevieve Scheuring of Defiance marked 60 years of marriage on February 10. Their family requested a card shower in their honor. Cards were sent to 1020 2300th Street, Defiance, Iowa 51527.

Their family includes Jim and Cindy Scheuring, Defiance; Alice and Jim Huber, Omaha; Chuck and Darla Scheuring, Council Bluffs; Kathy and Mike King, Hutchinson, Minn.; Jane Scheuring, Fremont, Neb.; and Dale and Lisa Scheuring, Defiance.

The couple has 18 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Vernon is a retired farmer. Genevieve is a homemaker. Vernon Scheuring and Genevieve Gaul were married on February 10, 1948 in Earling.
John J. Schulte, Sr., age 77. Carpenter and Veteran. Preceded in death by wife, Mary Ann Schulte. Survived by sons, John, Jr, Mark, Frank; daughters, Kathy Henrich and Vicky Orris and families; grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Memorial Gathering held on Sunday February 10th from 1-5pm at 2302 N. 70th St.
Norman and Joyce Kenkel of Earling will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on February 17.

A card shower is planned in their honor. Cards may be sent to 1133 Highway 37, Earling, Iowa 51530.

Their children are Kevin and Colleen Kenkel, Earling; Craig Kenkel, San Francisco, Calif.; Cindy Gerdts, Clarinda; Karen Shelley, Grimes; Phil and Cindy Kenkel, Maryville, Mo.; Doug and Dina Kenkel, Niwot, Colo.; Lyle and Kay Kenkel, West Des Moines; Lynn Kenkel, Earling; Jill and Mark Campbell, Iowa Falls; and Troy and Heather Kenkel, Moorhead, Minn.

The Kenkels have 18 grandchildren. Norman Kenkel and Joyce Jacobsen were married on February 17, 1958 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Earling.

Mary Ann Weis

Sunday, February 3, 2008
10:00 AM until 8:00 PM
Family will receive friends 2 - 4 & 6 - 8
Rosary at 3:00
Fouts Funeral Home
Woodbine, IA 51579

Sunday, February 3, 2008
7:00 PM until 7:30 PM
Scripture Service
Fouts Funeral Home
5th & Normal Street
Woodbine, IA 51579

Monday, February 4, 2008
10:30 AM
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
7th & Normal St.
Woodbine, IA 51579


Mary Ann (Pauley) Weis was born July 22, 1920, to Hobert and Anna (Mickels) Pauley near Panama, Iowa. She attended country school as well as school in Panama. Mary Ann married S. H. (Bud) Weis on June 12, 1943, at Santa Maria, California while Bud was serving in the U. S. Army. After Bud’s honorable discharge, the couple lived in Council Bluffs, Iowa, St. Paul, Minnesota, and for 15 years on a farm near Westphalia, Iowa. In 1962 they moved to a farm seven miles east of Woodbine. Bud died on their 43rd wedding anniversary, June 12, 1986. Mary Ann moved into Woodbine on July 1, 1986.

Mary Ann was baptized and confirmed at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Panama. She was known to everyone as a happy person with a genuine feeling for her family and people around her. Mary Ann and Bud enjoyed 10 winters in Mission, Texas and one year in Phoenix, Arizona. Mary Ann loved to travel. She and her husband visited all 50 states, and Mary Ann also visited Europe. After Bud’s death in 1986, Mary Ann spent an additional six winters in Texas.

Mary Ann died on Friday, February 1, 2008, at Rose Vista Nursing Home in Woodbine, Iowa at the age of 87 years, six months, and 10 days.

Mary Ann was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Bud; twin sisters, Martina and Martha Pauley; brothers, Leo, Zeno, Fred, Albert, Walter and Ralph Pauley; son-in-law, Doug Ridgeway; and great grandson, Ryan Stroeher. She is survived by her nine children, Robert (Mary) Weis of Woodbine, IA, Rosalie Ridgeway & Jack Spaulding of Ralston, NE, Ronald Weis and Loretta Miner of Council Bluffs, IA, Rodney (Jane) Weis of College Station, TX, Roland (Patty) Weis of Dunlap, IA, Roger (Donita) Weis of Chadron, NE, Ronda (Gene) Probasco of Woodbine, IA, Roxanne (Mike) Cumings of Ankeny, IA, Rory (Penny) Weis of Woodbine, IA; 24 grandchildren; 27 great grandchildren; sister, Marcella Schmitz of Harlan, IA; brother, Andrew (Grace) Pauley of Panama, IA; sister-in-law, Veronica Pauley of Woodbine, IA; and many other relatives and friends.

Mass of Christian Burial
10:30 am Monday, February 4, 2008
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Woodbine, Iowa

Rev. Paul Strittmatter, SJ

Gloria Schmitz, Sharon Buss, Traci Lacy,
Drew Cumings, Lindsey Weis

Honorary Pall Bearers
Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren
"The way to be a bore
is to say everything."

                        - Voltaire

LaVertus F. “Verdy” Klocke,

81 of 1101 4th Ave SE, Cascade, Iowa, died at 8:00 a.m., Friday, February 1, 2008 at Luther Manor in Dubuque, Iowa.


Friends and relatives of Verdy may call from 2 to 9 p.m., Monday, February 4, 2008 at the Reiff Funeral Home in Cascade, Iowa, where a wake service will be held at 4:00   p.m.


Services for Verdy will be held at 10:30 A.M., Tuesday, February 5, 2008 at St. Martin’s Catholic Church in Cascade, Iowa, with Rev. Douglas Loecke officiating.  Burial will be held at Calvary Cemetery in Cascade, with full Military Honors afforded by the Cascade American Legion Post #528.  Taps will be played by a nephew, Bob Grote.


Verdy was born September 29, 1926 in Randolph, Nebraska, son of John J. and Catherine (Weis) Klocke.  He received his education in the former St. Francis School in Randolph, NE.  On June 2, 1947 he was united in marriage to Rita Kramer in Defiance, IA.  Verdy farmed in Randolph, NE until 1956 when the moved to Cascade where Verdy farmed until his retirement. 


Verdy was a World War II Marine Veteran.  He was a member of the Cascade American Legion Post #528 and a member of St. Matthias Parish in Cascade.  Verdy was a   recipient of the Dubuque County Conservation Award.


Verdy loved his wife, Rita, his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.  He also enjoyed working on the farm, playing cards with everybody while munching on his peanuts, going to McDermott’s, and Marilyn’s for coffee.  Verdy never lost his wit and sense of humor…even in his last days.


He is survived by his wife, Rita Klocke of Cascade, IA, five children, Linda Klocke of Chicago, IL, Kathy (Bernie) McDermott of Worthington, IA, Darlene Walsh of Bellevue, IA, Tom (Donna) Klocke, and Vic (Lori) Klocke both of Cascade, IA; nine grandchildren, Trista Kluesner, Travis McDermott, Jennifer Steines, Tim Walsh, Melissa Sweeney, Stephanie Klocke, Jake Klocke, Mandy Bohlken and Paige Klocke; nine great grandchildren, Aiden, Halle and Julia McDermott, Taylor, Trevor and Ty Kluesner, Keegan and Aubree Steines, and Brennan Bohlken; two brothers, Alex and Elmer Klocke both of Cascade, IA; and a sister, Marjorie VanSlyke of Randolph, NE.


He is preceded in death by his parents; one son, Timothy John Klocke on August 13, 1968; one grandson, Jason McDermott and one sister, Adeline Kramer.


Memorials for Verdy may be given to the Alzheimer’s Association or Hospice of Dubuque.


The family of Verdy would like to thank the staff of Luther Manor, especially Marsha, Lynn and Alex and the staff of Hospice of Dubuque, especially, Dawn and Sheila.


Online condolences may be left for the family at


"If you are ashamed of being a wallflower,
imagine how the wall feels."
                                 - Jacob Churosh
Daniel M. SwinarskiAge 84 years of Omaha, passed away January 17
Preceded in death by: Wife of 35 years, Ann; Son, Patrick
Survived by: Children, Ralph (Efigenia) Daniel J. Greg Thomas (Victoria) Sharon (Ignacio) Herrera James Jerry Grandchildren, Jamie Geoffrey
Visitation: Wednesday, 4:00 to 8:00 PM with a Wake Service at 7:00 PM at Braman Mortuary
Funeral Mass: Thursday, 10:00 AM at Holy Ghost Church (5219 S. 53rd St.)
Interment: Holy Sepulchre Cemetery
Daniel served in the United States Army during the conflicts of World War II. He was a longtime employee of Armour and Company and BC Dressed Beef.

Memorials may be given to Holy Ghost Church.

"You don't know what enough is
until you have had
more than enough."
- Billie Holliday

Thomas Urban Leuschen, Sr., 67, Flower Mound, Texas, died January 14, 2008 at his home following a courageous battle with cancer.

Services will be held Saturday, Jan. 19 at 1 p.m. at J.E. Foust and Son Funeral Home in Grapevine, Texas with burial at a later date in Harlan.

Leuschen is survived by his wife, Kathy; sons Cal (Diane), Chris (Marti), Carl (Marci) and Tom (Jenny), and his grandchildren Joe, Katie Beth, Will and Jacob. He also is survived by his mother, Anna Mae Leuschen, of Harlan, and by his brother and sister-in-law, Nick (Barb) Leuschen of Norfolk, Neb.
J. E. Foust & Son Funeral Home
523 S. Main Street
Grapevine, Texas 76051
Phone: 817-481-2525
Fax: 817-481-4436
"We have been told
we can never be too rich
or too thin.
we can also never be
too careful."
John and Isabel Klein of Harlan will mark their 60th wedding anniversary on January 26. They plan to celebrate their anniversary with their family at a later date.

The couple has three children: Linda and Larry Clausen, Des Moines; Dan Klein, Raleigh, N.C.; and Bob, deceased. The Kleins have seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

John Klein and Isabel Heese were married on January 26, 1948 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Earling
"Only the mediocre
are always at their best."
Debra Joanna Jensen and Jason John McCarthy
both of Kansas City, Mo., were married at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Harlan on August 25, 2007. The 3 p.m. double ring ceremony was performed by Pastor Heather Ploen.

Parents of the couple are Dalton and Gayl Jensen, Harlan; and Don and Sandy McCarthy, Monticello. Grandparents of the bride are Charles and Twyla Grabill, Harlan.

The bride was escorted down the aisle by her father. Maid of honor was Jamie Holtz, Des Moines. Attending as bridesmaids were Nikki McDoungh and Liz Zabel both of Des Moines. Flower girl was Taylor Jones, Dallas Center. Ringbearer was Logan Riley, nephew of groom, Manchester. Best man was Chris Porter, Monticello. Serving as groomsmen were Tim McDoungh, Des Moines; and Rod Zabel, Dallas Center. Ushering the guests were Scott Porter, Monticello; Don McCarthy Jr., brother of groom, Monticello; and Tulley Riley, brother-in-law of groom, Manchester. Candlelighters were the groom's nieces, Morgan McCarthy and Courtney McCarthy both of Monticello. Music was provided by organist Jennifer Perkins, Harlan.

Following the ceremony, a reception and dance were held at the C.G. Therkildsen Activity Center in Harlan. Reception hostess and guest book attendant was Deb Holtz, Walnut. Punch pourer was Brooke Grabill, cousin of bride, Harlan. Cake server was Michelle Tupy, cousin of bride, Ankeny. The rehearsal dinner was held at Club 191 in Portsmouth.

The bride is a 1999 graduate of Harlan Community High School and a 2006 graduate of William Penn University. Debra is employed as a medical records clerk at Truman Hospital in Kansas City.

The groom is a 1998 graduate of Monticello High School and a 2006 graduate of Iowa State University. Jason is employed as a software engineer with Cerner Corp. in Kansas City.

Debra and Jason spent their honeymoon in San Diego, Calif. The McCarthys are at home in Kansas City, Mo.
"The world is so fast
that there are days when the person
who says it can't be done
is interrupted by the person
who is doing it."
                        - Anon
Roger L. Wilke, 55, of Emerson died Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2008, at his residence following a brief illness with cancer.

Services will be 10:30 a.m. Monday at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Emerson. Burial will be in Rose Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday, with a prayer service at 7 p.m., at the church. Arrangements are under the direction of Munderloh Funeral Home in Emerson.

Munderloh Funeral Home
311 W Warnock Street
Nebraska 68733
Phone: (402) 695-2633

Tom retired in his early 50's and started a second career. However, even
though he loved his new job, he just couldn't seem to get to work on time.

Every day, he was 5, 10, 15 minutes late.

But he was a good worker and really sharp, so his boss was in a quandary
about how to deal with it. Finally, one day, his boss called him into the
office for a talk.

"Tom, I must tell you, I truly like your work ethic, you do a bang-up job,
but being late for work nearly every day is quite annoying to me as well as
your fellow workers."

Tom replied, "Yes, sir, I know. I'm sorry, but I am working on it."

"That's what I like to hear," his boss said. "However, the fact that you
consistently come to work late does puzzle me, because I understand that you
retired from the United States A ir Force , and they have some pretty rigid
rules about tardiness. Isn't that correct?"

"Yes. I did retire from the Air Force, and I'm mighty proud of it!" said Tom.

"Well, what did they say when you came in late?" asked his boss.

"They said, 'Good morning, General'."

Melvin Schechinger
of Manilla celebrated his 80th birthday at an open house on Sunday, January 20 from 1-4 p.m. at Sacred Heart Church Hall in Manilla.

Relatives and friends were invited to attend. Melvin's children are Pam and Reggie Schwartz, Des Moines; Dan and Rita Schechinger, Manilla; Scott Schechinger, Manilla; Terry and Jody Schechinger, Manilla; Dale and Kathy Schechinger, Manilla; Janet and Jeff Graen, Des Moines; Jay and Jeana Schechinger, Manilla; and Mae and Jeff Saunders, Nevada. Melvin has 32 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
A dog had followed his owner to school.
His owner was a fourth grader at a public elementary school.

However, when the bell rang, the dog sidled inside the building and made it
all the way to the child's classroom before a teacher noticed and shoo'ed
him outside, closing the door behind him.

The dog sat down, whimpered and stared at the closed doors. Then God
appeared beside the dog, patted his head, and said, 'Don't feel bad
fella'....they won't let ME in either.'
Jessica Schechinger and David McCool
both of North Liberty, Iowa; exchanged marriage vows at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Harlan on July 21, 2007. Pastor Heather Ploen performed the 3 p.m. double ring ceremony.

Parents of the couple are John and Cindy Schechinger, Harlan, and Bob and Julie McCool, Tennant. Grandparents of the bride are Jeanette Swensen, Elk Horn, and the late Levi Swensen; and Margaret Schechinger, Harlan; and the late Elmer Schechinger. Grandparents of the groom are Larry and Juanita McCool, Tennant; and the late Eugene and JoAnne Lefeber, who were Portsmouth residents.

The bride was escorted down the aisle by her father. Maid of honor was Jaimi Schechinger, sister of bride, Tiffin. Attending as bridesmaids were Hollie Jacobsen, cousin of bride, Harlan; Christine Bartelson, Des Moines; Katie Patten, Omaha; Jessica Keane, cousin of groom, Council Bluffs; and Katie Goeser, Ames. Junior bridesmaid was Abigail Schechinger, niece of bride, Harlan. The bride's personal attendant was Amy Schechinger, sister-in-law of bride, Harlan. Best man was Craig Buck, Earling. Serving as groomsmen were Adam Wyant, Tabor; Cory Buck, Tennant; Seth Boos, Omaha; Brady Hess, St. Louis, Mo.; and Mike Frerk, Paullina. Junior groomsman was CJ Schechinger, nephew of bride, Harlan. Ushering the guests were Seth Wilson, Council Bluffs; Nick Treinen, Carlton, Neb.; Rob Schechinger, brother of bride, Tiffin; and Jordan Schechinger, brother of bride, Harlan. Candlelighters were mothers of the bride and groom.

Music was provided by Konnie Schechinger, aunt of bride, Harlan; and Mary Schechinger, cousin of bride, Harlan. Readers were Ashley Schechinger, sister of bride, Harlan; and Denise Bradley, North Liberty. Program and guest book attendants were Jessica Ring, niece of bride, Harlan; and Jennifer Schechinger, niece of bride, Harlan. Flower hostess was Connie Ridgley, Panora. Gift attendants were the bride's aunts, Michelle Jacobsen, Harlan; and Penny Jacobsen, Kimballton.

Following the ceremony, a reception, dinner and dance were held at Veteran's Auditorium in Harlan with Galen and Donna Grabill, uncle and aunt of bride, Harlan, serving as host and hostess. Cake and punch servers were the groom's aunts, Charlene Lefeber, Portsmouth; and Kathy Keane, Panama. Special effects for the reception were created by Adam Schechinger, brother of bride, North Liberty.

The groom's parents hosted the rehearsal dinner at Norma Jean's in Panama. The bride is a 2003 graduate of Harlan Community High School and a 2007 graduate of the University of Iowa where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in biology.

Jessica is a first year medical student at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City.

The groom is a 1998 graduate of AHST and a 2002 graduate of Northwest Missouri State University where he was awarded a bachelor of technology degree in agri-business. David is employed as a tractor control supervisor for Heartland Express Inc. in North Liberty.

Jessica and David spent their honeymoon in Costa Rica. The McCools are at home in North Liberty.
"When they discover the center of the universe,
a lot of people will be disappointed to discover
that they are not it."
                                      - Bernard Bailey
Julie Kenkel and Matt McDavitt both of Kansas City, Mo., exchanged marriage vows at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Panama on August 25, 2007.

The bride's uncle, Father Leonard Kenkel, Creston, performed the 3 p.m. double ring ceremony. Parents of the couple are Gene and Pat Kenkel, Panama; and Steve McDavitt, Kansas, Ill., and the late Brenda McDavitt.

The bride was escorted down the aisle by her father. Julie's accessories included an opal ring belonging to the groom's great-grandmother McDavitt. The bride's bouquet contained both her grandmothers' (Ella Tunink and Anna Kenkel) wedding rings. Maid of honor was Jackie Kenkel, sister of bride, Overland Park, Kan. Attending as bridesmaids were Jill Schrader, sister of groom, Charleston, Ill., and Chrissy Caniglia, Council Bluffs. The bride's personal attendants were Lauren Angelo, Arlington, Va.; and Kavita Patel, Jersey City, N.J.

Best man was Duane Bennett, Grayslake, Ill. Serving as groomsmen were Craig Spinner, Greenwood, Ind.; and Tony Kenkel, brother of bride, Chicago. Ringbearers were the groom's nephews, Drew Shrader and Nate Shrader both of Charleston, Ill. Ushering the guests were John Kenkel, brother of bride, Olathe, Kan.; and Steve Ladley, Overland Park, Kan.

Music was provided by organist Jodie Wingert; trumpeter Randy Mages; and vocalist Jeannie Rowell. Eucharistic ministers were Lauretta Kenkel, godmother of bride, Panama; Sister Sylvia Kenkel, aunt of bride, Atchison, Kan.; and Joyce Kenkel (Dave), aunt of bride, Panama. Offertory gifts were presented by the bride's parents. Program and guest book attendants were the bride's cousins, Nicole Ciecior, Hastings, Neb.; and Valerie McClain, Broken Arrow, Okla. Mass servers were Brent Ciecior, cousin of bride, Lincoln, Neb.; and Johnathan Sears, cousin of bride, Ankeny. Lectors were Leah Lonsbury, Madison, Wisc.; and Pat Kenkel, aunt of bride, Hickory Hills, Ill.

Following the ceremony, a reception and dance were held at St. Mary's Parish Hall with Jim and Kathy Tunink, godfather and aunt of bride, Columbia, Mo., serving as host and hostess, Cake servers were the bride's aunts, Pat (Damian) Kenkel, Panama; Joyce (Sylvan) Kenkel, Panama; Eileen Woods, Marne and Pam McClain, Broken Arrow, Okla.

The bride is a 1996 graduate of Harlan Community High School. Julie was awarded a doctor of pharmacy degree from Drake University. She is employed as associate director, respiratory at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals.

The groom is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University where he received a bachelor's degree in marketing and speech communication. Matt is employed as general manager at a lawn and landscape company.

Julie and Matt spent their honeymoon in Ambergris Caye, Belize. The McDavitts are at home in Kansas City, Mo.
Editors Note: This is just food for thought (entertainment!) No recommendation intended.


 Recently I was checking my 401k account and thinking about retirement, as everyone does when they hit 55. I saw an article about nursing and retirement homes and the expenses. Then it hit me. No nursing home for me!

Here is my plan: I'm checking into the Holiday Inn. With the average cost for a nursing home reaching $188 per day, there is a better way when we get old and feeble. I have already checked on reservations at the Holiday Inn.

For a combined long-term stay discount and senior discount, it's $49.23 per night. That leaves $138.77 a day for breakfast, lunch, dinner in any restaurant I want, or room service. It also will leave enough for laundry, gratuities, and special TV movies; Plus, I'll get a swimming pool, a workout room, a lounge, and washer and dryer. I'll also get free toothpaste, razors, shampoo and soap. And I'll be treated like a customer, not a patient. Five dollars worth of tips a day will have the entire staff scrambling.

There is a city bus stop out front, and seniors ride free. The handicap bus will also pick me up if I fake a decent limp. Ride the church bus free on Sundays. For a change of scenery, take the airport shuttle bus and eat at one of the nice restaurants there.

While you're at the airport, fly somewhere. Meanwhile, the cash keeps building up. It takes months to get into decent nursing homes. On the other hand, Holiday Inn will take your reservation today. And you are not stuck in one place forever -- you can move from Inn to Inn, or even from cit! y to city. Want to see Hawaii? They have a Holiday Inn there, too. TV broken? Light bulbs need changing? Need a mattress replaced? No problem. They fix everything and apologize for the inconvenience. The Inn has a night security person and daily room service. The maid checks if you are OK. If not, they will call an ambulance or the undertaker which ever one is needed. If you fall and break a hip, Medicare will pay for the hip, and Holiday Inn will upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life. And no worries about visits from family. They will always be glad to visit you, and probably check in for a mini-vacation. The grandkids can use the pool.

What more can you ask for? When I discussed my plan with friends, they came up with even more benefits that Holiday Inn provides retirees. Mo! st standard rooms have coffee makers, reclining chairs, and satellite TV -- all you need to enjoy a cozy afternoon. After a movie and a good nap, you can check on your children (free local phone calls), then take a stroll to the lounge or restaurant where you meet new and exotic people every day.

Many Holiday Inns even feature live entertainment on the weekends. Often they have special offers, too, like the Kids Eat Free program. You can invite your grandkids over after school to have a free dinner with you. Just tell them not to bring more than three friends. Pick a Holiday Inn where they allow pets, and your best friend can keep you company as well. If you want to travel, but are a bit skittish about unfamiliar surroundings, you'll always feel at home because wherever you go, the rooms all look the same. And if you're getting a little absent-minded in your old days, you never have to worry about not finding your room -- your electronic key fits only one door and the helpful bellman or desk clerk is on duty 24/7.

Being natural skeptics, we called a Holiday Inn to check out the feasibility of my plan. I'm happy to report that they were positively giddy at the idea of us checking in for a year or more. They even offered to negotiate the rate. We could have easily knocked them down to $40 a night! "So, when I reach the golden age I'll face it with a grin. Just forward all your emails to the Holiday Inn!"
Graveside services for 91-year-old Gerda Christensen of Harlan were held 2 pm, Monday, January 14th, at the Harlan Cemetery. 

Gerda Christensen died Thursday, January 10th, 2008 at Elm Crest Retirement Community. 

Survivors include 2 sisters, Lillian Paulsen of Harlan and Glenda Hanson (Franklin) of Omaha, NE. 

Visitation will be held noon to 8 pm, Sunday, January 13th, at the Pauley-Jones Funeral Home in Harlan.
"We should be strengthening
the hand of the  poor
rather than simply
putting something into it."

Will Rose
Kia Gertrude Coenen
Kia Gertrude Coenen was born on Thursday, January 3, 2008 at Myrtue Medical Center,

Kia's parents are Russ and Penni Coenen of Dow City. Kia arrived at 4:07 p.m. on Thursday and weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces, being 20 inches long.

Kia has a brother, Triston, 5. Kia's grandparents are Ivan and Edna Malone of Dow City and Randy and Lila Coenen of Arion. Her great-grandmother is Bernadine Coenen of Harlan.

click here to view pedigree.
"A pessimist is someone
who complains about the noise
when opportunity knocks."

-  Michael Levine
Jennifer Gross and Alexander Jensen
Will Marry

Joe and Gail Gross, of Earling, Iowa, announce the engagement of their daughter, Jennifer to Alexander Jensen both of Houston, Texas.

Alex is the son of Bruce and Mary Jensen, Ogallala, Neb. Jenny is the granddaughter of Louis and Virginia Jensen, Harlan, and the late Leo and Ruth Gross, who were Earling, Iowa residents.

The couple plans to marry on March 15 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Earling, Iowa.

Jenny is a 2001 graduate of Harlan Community High School and a 2005 graduate of the University of Nebraska at Kearney, where she was awarded a degree in education. She is employed as a fourth grade teacher at Collins Elementary School in Houston.

Alex is a 1998 graduate of Ogallala High School and a 2003 graduate of the University of Nebraska at Kearney where he earned a degree in education. He is employed as a physical education teacher at Heflin Elementary School in Houston.
click here to view pedigree.
Kenneth and Helen Nollen of Independence will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on Sunday, January 20 with a Mass at 10 a.m. at St. John's Catholic Church followed by a family dinner at a local restaurant.

Their family includes William, Clutier, Iowa; Terry,
 Albuquerque, N.M.; Frances and Brian Swarts, Independence, and Michael (deceased).

The Nollens have nine grandchildren and five
great-grandchildren. Kenneth Nollen of Defiance and Helen Baker of Harlan were married on January 19, 1948 at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Harlan. The Nollens reside at 502 8th Ave. S.W., Independence, Iowa 50644.
click here to view pedigree.
"Just for fun" . . .

During his sermon one Sunday, the local preacher told his congregation that the entire range of human experience could be found in the Holy Bible.

He confidently stated, "If anything can happen to humans, it is described somewhere in the Holy Bible."

After the service, a woman came up to the preacher and said "Reverend, I don't think the Holy Bible mentions anything about PMS."

The preacher told the woman he was certain he could find a reference to PMS somewhere in scripture.

During the following week, he searched diligently, book by book, chapter by chapter, and verse by verse.

On the following Sunday, the woman came up to him and asked, "Did you find any references to PMS in the Bible?"

The preacher smiled, opened his Bible and began to read "... And Mary rode Joseph's ass all the way to Bethlehem

My name is Matthew Hanegmon and I am writing you because I came across your website while doing research on my family's history. 

My mother comes from the Friedman family, whose great-great grandfather was Joseph Friedman (the father of Anna Marie Friedman who married John Gaul from your family).  I just wanted to inform you of that connection and tell you what a great job of putting together your family's history you have done. 

I have downloaded a copy of the Gaul Family Book off of the website and find the information very informative for my the research I am currently doing, but was wondering if there might be any additional information for the Friedman side that you would be willing to share with me?
Thanks for the consideration.
Matt Hanegmon

Ed. Note:

Thank you for your e-mail. We are ALWAYS interested in sharing information about our family and history. You may wish to contact Dewie Gaul or Peter Gaul, our noted historians and publishers of family history. I will e-mail your request for information on the Friedman side of the family to them (they may read it from this website, also). I would love to read it and post it to this website. Please share it with us whenever you receive it.
Thank you for your interest. We are delighted to hear from you.

                                                                              - Bill Anderson
The local news station was interviewing an 80-year-old lady because she had just gotten married -- for the fourth time.
The interviewer asked her questions about her life, about what it felt
 like to be marrying again at 80, and then about her new husband's occupation.
"He's a funeral director," she answered.
"Interesting," the newsman thought.
He then asked her if she wouldn't mind telling him a little about her
 first three husbands and what they did for a living.  She paused for a few moments, needing time to reflect on all those years. After a short time, a smile came to her face and she answered proudly, explaining that she'd first married a banker when she was in her early 20's, then a circus ringmaster when in her 40's, later on a preacher when in her 60's, and now in her 80's, a funeral director.
The interviewer looked at her, quite astonished, and asked why she had
 married four men with such diverse careers.
She smiled and explained, "I married one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go."
visitor length
This is for your information:
Visit Length (in the last few days) to

164 visits: Less than 5 secs
16 visits: From 5 secs to 30 secs
39 visits: From 30 secs to 5 mins
27 visits: From 5 mins to 20 mins
9: visits From 20 mins to an hour
27 visits: Longer than an hour

Margaret Schechinger celebrated her 80th birthday
when her family hosted an open house party in her
honor on Sunday, January 6 from noon - 4 p.m. at St. Boniface Parish Center in Westphalia.

Margaret has 15 children and spouses, 72 grandchildren and 35 great-grandchildren.


Services for 48-year-old Brent "Pinky" Christensen of Kimballton will be held 10:30 am, Thursday, January 10th, at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Kimballton.  Burial will be a the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery.  Brent Christensen died Friday, January 4th, 2008 as the result of an accident south of Kimballton.  Survivors include his companion, Janice Goettsch of Kimballton; 2 sisters, Carol Behrend of Manilla and Donna Rathman of Springdale, AR.  Visitation will be held after 2 pm, Wednesday, January 9th, at the Ohde funeral Home in Kimballton.


Brent Layne, son of Edward Howard and Betty Kathryn (Biederman) Christensen was born February 22, 1959 at Harlan, Iowa. He was baptized and confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Kimballton where he was a lifetime member. Brent attended Elk Horn Kimballton Schools where he earned the nickname “Pinky” and graduated in 1977.

After high school Brent spent his life farming in the Kimballton area.  He was a very loving, loyal and dedicated companion, son, and friend.  Brent was always willing to lend a hand and share his great sense of humor.

On January 4, 2008, Brent died in an accident just south of Kimballton.  He was 48 years 10 months and 13 days of age. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Brent is survived by his companion Janice of their home in Kimballton; two sisters Carolyn and husband Wayne Behrend of Manilla and Donna and husband Duane Rathman of Springdale, AK; four nieces: Debra Reed; Wendy and husband Scott Kalbaugh; Tracy and husband Chris Anzalone and Britt and husband Mike Graham; six great-nieces and nephews: Trey and Kyler Kalbaugh; Michael, Aliesha and Nolan Reed; and Brandi Graham; other relatives and many, many friends.

"Half of the American people
have never read a newspaper.
Half never voted for President.
One hopes it is the same half."

                 - Gore Vidal

The family of Betty Olson of Harlan is requesting
a card shower in honor of Betty's 80th birthday on January 11.

Cards will reach her if sent to 411 7th Street, Harlan, Iowa 51537.

Betty and her husband, Ole, have five children and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Their children and spouses are Linda and Jim Brown, Alabama; Patty and Allen Cox, Harlan; Dan and Candi Olson, Harlan; Bob and Tomi Olson, Texas; and Don and Lenda Olson, Spirit Lake.
"Cats regard people
as warmblooded furniture."
              - Jacquelyn Mitchard

Ronald and Bonnie Eggerss of Shelby celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary on January 7. Their children planned a card shower in the couple's honor.

They are the parents of three children; Kimberli and her husband, Jerry Buck, Shelby; Roger Eggerss, Shelby; and Pamela and her husband, Brian Christensen, Bridgewater.

Ronald is a retired farmer and Bonnie is a homemaker. Ronald Eggerss and Bonnie Messerschmidt were married January 7, 1953 at the First Presbyterian Church in Shelby.

"Parents were invented
to make children happy
by giving them something
to ignore."
  - Ogden Nash

Roger and Phyllis Heller of Defiance celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on December 28. They marked their anniversary with a family celebration.

They are the parents of twin daughters,
Janet and Jeff Theulen, Defiance; Jannette
and Bob Bogler, Harlan; and one son, Ken
and Christiane Heller, Killeen, Texas. The
Hellers have seven grandchildren.

Roger is a retired electrician having worked at McClellan Electric in Denison.

Phyllis is also retired and was employed at CDS. Roger Heller and Phyllis Wilwerding were married on December 28, 1957 in Logan.


Jennifer Morrison
and Gary Patrick both of Ogden were married on October 13, 2007 at the First Baptist Church in Boone.

Pastor John Swoyer performed the 3:30 p.m. double ring ceremony.

Parents of the bride are Mary and RodneyMcCumber, Newton, and Dave and Robin Powell, Ponca City, Okla. Mary McCumber and Dave Powell are former Harlan residents. Parents of the groom are Larry Sr. and Meri Jo Patrick, Davenport, and the late Nancy Patrick. The bride was escorted down the aisle by her father, Dave Powell. Attached to the bride's bouquet were a handkerchief that belonged to her grandmother, a handkerchief that belonged to the groom's mother and the groom's mother's wedding rings.

Matron of honor was Angela Powell, sister-in-law of bride, Boone. Attending as a bridesmaid was Jill Powell, sister of bride, Tucson, Ariz. Junior bridesmaid was Kaitlyn Morrison, daughter of bride, Ogden. Flower girl was Marin Powell, niece of bride, Boone. The bride's personal attendant was Jenny Muessigmann, Boone. Best man was Larry Patrick Jr., brother of groom, Boone. Serving as groomsman was Matt Muessigman, Boone. Junior groomsman was Dilon Morrison, son of bride, Ogden. Ringbearer was Caleb Powell, nephew of bride, Pleasantville. Ushering the guests were Jim Powell, brother of bride, Boone; Joe Powell, brother of bride, Pleasantville; and Mike Stokes, Ogden. Junior usher was Reece Powell, nephew of bride, Boone. Candlelighters were Mary McCumber and Meri Jo Patrick. Music for the ceremony was a violin duet by Gretchen Theesfield and Leah Theesfield. The sisters are members of the Des Moines Symphony.

Following the ceremony, a reception and dance were held at Seven Oaks Lodge. Guest book attendant was Sue Geilman, Boone. Cake servers were Meri Jo Patrick and Jen Shipley, sister of groom, Lake Havasu City, Ariz. The cake was made by Maxine Gaul, Earling. The rehearsal dinner, hosted by Larry and Meri Jo Patrick, was held at Old Maine Brewery in Ames.

The bride is a 1993 graduate of Harlan Community High School. Jennifer is employed as a customer service representative at CDS in Boone.

The groom is a 1988 graduate of Davenport West High School. He attended Iowa State University for two years. Gary is employed as a production specialist #4 at Ag Leader Technologies in Ames. Gary and Jennifer plan to take a honeymoon at a later date. The Patricks are at home in Ogden.

"My mother had a great deal of trouble with me,
but I think she enjoyed it."
                  - Mark Twain

Services for 83-year-old Betty L. Robinson of Beatrice, NE, formerly of Shelby, will be held 10 am, Wednesday, January 9th, at the Shelby United Methodist Church in Shelby.  Burial will be at the Shelby Cemetery.  Betty Robinson died Friday, January 4th, 2008 in Beatrice, NE.  Survivors include 2 daughters, Darlene Boerger (Walley) of Beatrice, NE and Irene Bertsch (Dan) of Indianola; 1 brother, Ralph Hobbie (Joann) of Nebraska City; 2 sisters, Dorthea Boardman (James) and Delores Wade (William) all of Nebraska City, NE; 5 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.  Visitation will be held  9 am to 9 pm, Tuesday, January 8th, with family  visitation from 6 to 8 pm at the Burmeister-Johannsen  Funeral Home in Shelby.
Betty Lou (Hobbie) Robinson
August 2, 1924 - January 4, 2008

Betty Lou Robinson, the daughter of Karl and Louise (Giitterger) Hobbie, was born on August 2, 1924, on her parents’ farm in rural Nebraska City, Nebraska. She attended District #12 school in rural Nebraska City and graduated with the Nebraska City High School Class of 1942. After attending Normal Training at Peru State College in Peru, Nebraska, Betty taught country school in District #12 for several years. In 1944, Betty married Elmer Cogdill. She completed her four-year degree at Peru State College in 1962. In 1963, Betty began teaching first grade in Shelby, Iowa; she continued in this position for 27 years.

In July, 1976, Betty married William Dean Robinson in Harlan, Iowa. After her retirement, in 1990, she and Dean moved to Harlan. Dean died in August, 2000, and Betty became a resident of the Beatrice Good Samaritan Center in Beatrice, Nebraska, in 2002.

Betty was an active member of the Shelby United Methodist Church in Shelby, Iowa. She was also a member of both the Iowa and National Education Associations, and the Delta Kappa Gamma Sorority. Betty was also an enthusiastic Shelby resident, and enjoyed spending time crocheting, sewing, reading, and doing crafts. She loved to travel, and had visited Europe, Japan, and much of the United States; California was one of her favorite locations.

Betty L. Robinson died on Friday, January 4, 2008, at the Beatrice Good Samaritan Center in Beatrice, Nebraska, having reached the age of 83 years, 5 months, and 2 days.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by two daughters, Darlene (Walley) Boerger of Beatrice, Nebraska, and Irene (Dan) Bertsch of Indianola, Iowa; one brother, Ralph (Joann) Hobbie of Nebraska City, Nebraska; two sisters, Dorthea (James) Boardman and Delores (William) Wade, both of Nebraska City, Nebraska; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held on Wednesday, January 9, 2008, at the Shelby United Methodist Church in Shelby, Iowa, with Pastor Orris L. Drake officiating. Shirley Pattee served as the organist, and Reva Jean Drake was the soloist. Honorary casket bearers were Karl Hobbie, Kent Hobbie, Bob Boardman, Gene Hobbie, Larry Boardman, and Danny Boardman. Active bearers were Mike Wahl, Keith Svare, Christopher Riley, Joshua Boerger, Chris Ross, Gary Hobbie, and Karl Boerger. Burial was in the Shelby Cemetery in Shelby, Iowa. The Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Shelby was in charge of the arrangements.


The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways
, but narrower viewpoints.

We spend more, but have
less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, y
et more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read
too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate
too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've
been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.
We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes.
These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway
morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.

A time when technology can bring this letter to you,
and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up
to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with y
our heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and
your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
                                        - George Carlin

Jim R. Christensen, age 65, of Loveland, Colo., died on Tuesday, January 1, 2008, at his home.

Jim is survived by his wife Carol of Loveland, Colo. is children, Chris and his wife Beth of Pierson, Iowa and Craig and his wife Mary of Highlands Ranch, Colo., and Beth of Orlando, Fla.; grandchildren, Matthew and Heather Christensen of Sioux City, Iowa and Margaret and Elinor Christensen of Highlands Ranch, Colo.; his sisters, Joanne and her husband Norman Mathiasen and Barbara Hansen all of Harlan; sisters-in-law, Fran Christensen of Council Bluffs, Iowa and Carol J. Christensen of Harlan.

Family will greet friends from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a memorial service at 7:00 p.m. all at Viegut Funeral Home in Loveland, Colo. Visitation will be held Sunday, January 6, 2008 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Pauley Jones Funeral Home in Harlan, Iowa. A graveside service will be held Sunday, January 6, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. at the Harlan Cemetery in Harlan, Iowa followed by a lunch at Mickels Restaurant in Harlan.
Pauley Jones Funeral Homes
1304 N. Sawmill Dr., Avoca - 712-343-2453
701 Antique City Dr., Walnut - 712-784-3313
1304 9th St., Harlan - 712-755-3135
Submitted by:
Daniel J. and/or
Marthann (Kohl) Fuhs
706-5th St.
Defiance, IA 51527-3004

"The secret of joy in work
is contained in one word -
To know how to do something well
is to enjoy it."

                                      - Pearl Buck


Services for
Pauline Christine Ohlinger, 85 of Harlan will be held 11 am, Thursday, January 3rd, at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Harlan.  Burial will be at St. Mary's Cemetery in Portsmouth.  Pauline Ohlinger died Monday, December 31st, 2007 at Myrtue Medical Center in Harlan. 

Survivors include 3 sons, Darrell Ohlinger (Linda) of Sparks, NV, Kenneth Ohlinger of Harlan and Larry Ohlinger (Linda) of Harlan; 2 daughters, Janice McCoy of Osceola and Diane Freml (Gerry) of Harlan; 2 sisters, Helen Leinen of Des Moines and Marian Pedersen of Superior, NE; 1 brother, Harold Huebner of Portsmouth; 12 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. 

Visitation will be held 11 am to 8 pm, Wednesday, January 2nd with family visitation from 5 to 8 pm and a prayer service at 7 pm, Wednesday, January 2nd, at the Pauley-Jones Funeral Home in Harlan.
Pauley-Jones Funeral Home:

Arrangements and Services For

Pauline C. Ohlinger - 85

Who Died On -

Monday, December 31, 2007


Wednesday, January 2, 2008 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM

Pauley Jones Funeral Home  Harlan, Iowa

Family Will Greet Friends

Wednesday, January 2, 2008 

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Pauley Jones Funeral Home  Harlan, Iowa

Prayer Service

Wednesday, January 2, 2008 - 7:00 PM

Pauley Jones Funeral Home - Harlan, Iowa

Mass of Christian Burial

Thursday, January 3, 2008 - 11:00 AM

St. Michael’s Catholic Church - Harlan, Iowa


St. Mary’s Cemetery - Portsmouth, Iowa

"Acceptance of prevailing standards
often means
we have no standard
of our own."

                                     - Jean Toomer

Richard Lynn Jacobsen
February 12, 1933 - December 26, 2007

Richard Lynn Jacobsen, the son of Nels and Lillian (Hoover) Jacobsen, was born on February 12, 1933, in Harlan, Iowa. He was raised in Harlan and graduated from Harlan High School in 1951.

Richard served in the U.S. Air Force from February, 1952, until August, 1955. He moved from Harlan in 1961, and in 1972, settled in Phoenix, Arizona, where he resided for many years.
He was employed as a civil servant for the Veteran’s Administration in the Supply department. Most recently, Richard lived with his brother, Robert, before entering the University Park Nursing and Rehab Center Hospice in Des Moines, Iowa.

Richard enjoyed attending high school reunions. He also liked to watch horse racing, and at one time, he had even owned a race horse.

Richard L. Jacobsen died on Wednesday, December 26, 2007, at the University Park Nursing and Rehab Center in Des Moines, Iowa, at the age of 74 years, 10 months, and 14 days.

Richard was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Jean Alice Petersen. He is survived by one brother, Robert (Arlene) Jacobsen of West Des Moines, Iowa; one sister, Dolores Wiley of Norfolk, Nebraska; and other relatives and friends.

Funeral services were held on Saturday, December 29, 2007, at the Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Harlan, Iowa, with Pastor Gundar Lamberts of the First Baptist Church in Harlan officiating. Lee Nelson served as the soloist. Casket bearers were family and friends. Burial was in the Harlan Cemetery in Harlan, Iowa. The Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Harlan was in charge of the arrangements.

Ed. Note: My gratitude to Marthann Kohl-Fuhs for submissions to our family website. Thank you!


But a man's reach should
exceed his grasp
Or what's a heaven for?
   - Robert Browning

A High School Senior has been charged with motor vehicle homicide in connection with a classmate's death. Shelby County Attorney Marcus Gross Jr. filed the Class B felony charge Friday against Jared Schmidt, 18, of Manilla. He was previously charged with driving while intoxicated, first offense, and having an open container.
Lauren Lueth, 17, died of injuries suffered in the Nov. 24 crash. She was attempting to make a U-turn on County Road F-16 shortly after 11:30 p.m. when the car driven by Schmidt struck her vehicle. He and five other teens - passengers in both vehicles - were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
According to trial information filed in the case, Schmidt's blood alcohol level exceeded .08 at the time of the collision. Lueth and Schmidt were both seniors. Schmidt remains free on bond. His trial is scheduled for Feb. 26.
The Shelby County Crimestoppers has offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who supplied the alcohol. Anyone with information is asked to call (712) 755-8477.

"From your parents,
you learn love and laughter
and how to put one foot in front of the other.
But when books are opened,
you discover that you have wings."

                                     - Helen Hayes


91, of Portsmouth
, died Friday, Dec. 28th, at Myrtue Medical Center in Harlan. A Mass of Christian Burial service will be held 10:30-a.m. Wed., Jan. 2nd, at St. Mary Our Lady of Fatima Church in Portsmouth. Pauley-Jones Funeral Home in Harlan has the arrangements, where friends may call Tues. (1/1), from 11am-4pm. Visitation has also been scheduled at St. Mary's from 5-9pm Tuesday, along w/a Vigil service at 7-p.m.
Nicholas Anthony Bruck, age 91, of Portsmouth, Iowa, passed away Friday, December 28, 2007 at Myrtue Medical Center in Harlan, Iowa.

Nicholas was born in Earling, Iowa and moved to Portsmouth as a young boy, where he attended St. Mary's Catholic School. He served in the U.S. Navy during WWII for 10 years. He was a farmer 45 years. Nicholas was a member of St. Mary's Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Portsmouth.

Nicholas is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Alma, in 2001; daughter, Joyce Larsen; and his parents, William and Clara (Wideshausen) Bruck.

Survivors include his sons, Nick (Linda) Bruck, of Bettendorf, Iowa, Ronald Bruck and friend Terri Frasier, of Lincoln, Neb., Robert (Linda) Bruck, of Black Earth, Wisc., Richard (Laurie) Bruck, of Albion, Neb., Randy (Julie) Bruck, of Portsmouth, Iowa; daughters, Joan (Steve) Ingram, of Gretna, Neb., Jolene (Todd) Roecker, of Atlantic, Iowa, Janet (Rick) Guse, of Omaha, Neb.; son-in-law, Jim Larsen, of Newton, Iowa; brothers, Neil (Amelia) Bruck, of Dubuque, Iowa, Bill (Millie) Bruck, of LaMotte, Iowa, Mark (Helen) Bruck, of Portsmouth, Iowa; sisters, Helen Langenfeld, of Spencer, Iowa, Clara (Richard) Carroll, of Harlan, Iowa; 26 grandchildren; 32 great grandchildren.

Visitation Tuesday 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Pauley Jones Funeral Home in Harlan, and Tuesday 5 until 9 p.m. at St. Mary Our Lady of Fatima in Portsmouth, with vigil service at 7 p.m. Services Wednesday 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary Our Lady of Fatima. Burial in St. Mary's Cemetery. Memorials to John Ohlinger American Legion Post #547 of Portsmouth.

Arrangements and Services For

Nicholas "Nick" Bruck - 91

Who Died On - Friday, December 28, 2007

Visitation Tuesday, January 1, 2008  

11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.


Pauley Jones Funeral Home  Harlan, Iowa

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

5:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.

St. Mary Our Lady of Fatima Church - Portsmouth, Iowa


Vigil Service

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

7:00 P.M.

St. Mary Our Lady of Fatima Church - Portsmouth, Iowa


Mass of Christian Burial

Wednesday, January 2, 2008 - 10:30 A.M.

St. Mary Our Lady of Fatima Church - Portsmouth, Iowa


Military Rites

St. Mary’s Cemetery - Portsmouth, Iowa

Preceded in death by daughter, Joyce Larsen. Survived by 5 sons and spouses, Nick (Linda) Bruck, Bettendorf, IA, Ronald Bruck, Lincoln, Robert (Linda) Bruck, Black Earth, WI, Richard (Laurie) Bruck, Albion, NE, Randy (Julie) Bruck, Portsmouth, IA; 3 daughters and spouses, Joan (Steve) Ingram, Gretna, Jolene (Todd) Roecker, Atlantic, IA, Janet (Rick) Guse, Omaha; 3 brothers and spouses, Neil (Amelia) Bruck, Dubuque, IA, Mark (Helen) Bruck, Portsmouth, IA, Bill (Millie) Bruck, LaMotte, IA; 2 sisters and spouse, Helen Langenfeld, Spencer, IA, Clara (Richard) Carroll, Harlan, IA; son-in-law, Jim Larsen, Newton, IA; 26 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren.

Visitation Tues. 11 AM to 4 PM at Pauley Jones Funeral Home, Harlan, IA, from 5-9 PM with 7 PM Vigil Service all at St. Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, Portsmouth, IA. Mass of Christian Burial Wed. 10:30 AM at St. Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, Portsmouth, IA. Interment St. Mary's Cemetery, Portsmouth, IA.

                              PAULEY JONES FUNERAL HOME
                                       Harlan, IA 712-755-3135

My Wish for You in 2008 

May peace break into your house and may thieves come to steal your debts.  May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet of $200 bills.  May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips!  May your clothes smell of success like smoking tires and may happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy.  May the problems you had forget your home address!  
In simple words............
May 2008 be the best year of your life!!!
We were the only family with children in the restaurant.
I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, 'Hi.' He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment.
It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.

We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. 'Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,' the man said to Erik. My husband and I exchanged looks, 'What do we do?' Erik continued to laugh and answer, 'Hi.'

Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, 'Do ya patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek-a-boo.'

Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk.
My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.

We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door.
'Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,' I prayed.

As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing.
As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby's 'pick-me-up' position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man.

Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission
  laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder.

The man's eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby's bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.

I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, 'You take care of this baby.'
Somehow I managed, 'I will,' from a throat that contained a stone.
He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, 'God bless you, ma'am, you've given me my Christmas gift.'

I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, 'My God, my God, forgive me.' I had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes.

I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not.
I felt it was God asking, 'Are you willing to share your son for a moment?' when He shared His for all eternity. The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, To enter the
Kingdom of God, we must become as little children.'

If this has blessed you, please bless others by sending it on. Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us of what is really important. We must always remember who we are, where we came from and, most importantly, how we feel about others.

The clothes on your back or the car that you drive or the house that you live in does not define you at all; It is how you treat your fellow man that identifies who you are.


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Last Updated "2/4/08"