Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 24, 2018

Gerald Keith Schimmelpfennig

Apr 09, 2018
Gerald Keith Schimmelpfennig -- 1932-2018

Gerald Keith Schimmelpfennig, 86, of Washington, and formerly of Batavia, IA passed away Thursday, April 5, 2018 at the Halcyon House in Washington, IA with his daughters by his side. Funeral services will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at the Cranston Family Funeral Chapel in Batavia with Pastor Rick Zickefoose officiating. Burial, with military honors, will be held in the Batavia Cemetery immediately following the service. Visitation will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at the Cranston Family Funeral Chapel in Batavia, with the family present to greet friends from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service. Memorial contributions in Gerald’s honor may be directed to the Brighton United Church or to the donor’s choice. Friends may sign the online guestbook at www.cranstonfamilyfuneralhome.com.

Gerald Keith Schimmelpfennig was born February 22, 1932 in Harper, IA to Harry and Dorothy Caskey Schimmelpfennig. He attended Brighton High School, graduating two years early with the class of 1948. Upon graduation Gerald began farming and in 1952 was united in marriage to Coletta Mae Garrels. In March of 1953, Gerald joined the United States Army where he proudly served his country until his honorable discharge in 1955. Upon returning home Gerald purchased a farm near Packwood, IA where he and Coletta began their family, becoming the proud parents of two daughters, LuAnne and Diana. After several years farming, Gerald sold the farm and purchased the Hotel Hunt in Fairfield, IA. He worked as owner/operator for 10 years, while also providing a taxi service for Fairfield. Gerald was an entrepreneur who also owned and managed several rental properties as well as starting R & S Hauling in the 1960’s. In 1970 he married Doris “Betty” Wilson and began working as a heavy equipment operator. He paired his strong work ethic with his love and knowledge for the job and began a successful dozing business. He did everything from start to finish, including the surveying of the job site. Gerald knew the value of a firm handshake and a man’s word and ran his business on those principles. Doris passed away in 1995 and Gerald found comfort in the work that he loved. Gerald retired from the business in 2002 and met Wanda Kessel. The two were married and enjoyed their time together before Wanda’s passing in 2004. Gerald was a member of the Brighton United Church and past member of the Elks, VFW, American Legion, and the Jefferson County Conservation Board. He loved working on bulldozers and shopping for parts. Gerald enjoyed the outdoors and the view from the window of the plane after he became a pilot in the 1960’s. He was serious about his work but always took pleasure in making people laugh. In his free time, he liked to go dancing and gambling at the casinos. He was proud of his country and was able to participate in the Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. with his grandson Josh in 2015. He was a loving father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother and friend who will be deeply missed.

Gerald was preceded in death by his parents; two spouses, Betty (1995) and Wanda (2004), and one brother, Darrel Schimmelpfennig.

Left to share his story are his daughters, LuAnne (Allen) Jones of Batavia, IA and Diana (Bill) Graham of Avoca, IA; four grandsons, Josh Hoover of Boone, IA, Jacob (Sarah) Graham of Fort Collins, CO, Jared (Gabriela) Graham of Onawa, IA, and John (Hannah) Graham of Ankeny, IA; eight great grandchildren, Kailee, Alissa, Bria, Brooke, Addelyn, Matthew, Elijah, and Olivia; two sisters, Vava Jones and Harriet Naert; one sister in law, Jo Ellen Schimmelpfinneg; special friend, Donna Guy, as well as many extended family and friends.


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