Garald Lee “Gary” Rodewald age 79, of Missouri Valley, passed away Monday, July 19, 2021, at Longview Nursing Home in Missouri Valley. Gary was born in Fremont, Neb. in 1942 to LaVerne and Ellen (Smith) Rodewald and moved with his parents and two brothers, Ronnie and Dean to Missouri Valley in 1948. His favorite sister, Cheryle, completed the family later. Graduating from Missouri Valley High School in 1960, he married Virginia Bugenhagen in June of 1962. They have two children, Kelly and Lori. Throughout this life, Gary’s service to his community was constant and continual. Starting as a member of the Chamber of Commerce, he later became mayor and served on the Boards of the Parks Department, Culavin Heights, SWIPCO and Committee for Watson Steam Train Restoration. Gary spent 20 years as Chairman of the County Civil Service Commission and was a member of Kiwanis, serving as president. Gary’s two true loves were woodworking and fishing; both began at an early age with the encouragement of his father. Fishing each summer in Minnesota and a gift, at the age of ten, of a little Burgess jigsaw gave Gary the woodworking bug that continued through life. An article in the local newspaper once described Gary well, stating “He has the rough hands of a carpenter, but they hide the artistry and nuance of a Renaissance man, an artisan and craftsman whose work goes far beyond simply putting hammer to nail”. Gary would go on to design and construct distinctive homes, museum-quality furniture, stained-glass works and gifts, made with love, for family members. His favorite projects were for his church, often using exotic woods from all over the world. Gary considered himself a small-town carpenter who “got a good feeling inside” when he was helping his family, friends, community and church with this time and talents.
Gary is preceded in death by his father and mother, LaVerne and Ellen Rodewald; brothers, Ronald and K. Dean; mother-in-law Esther Bugenhagen.
Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Virginia; daughter, Lori Larsen; son, Kelly Rodewald; grandsons, Cord and Neil Larsen; sister, Cheryle Ross; sisters-in-law, Carol Rodewald and Julie Hall; brothers- in- law, Ronnie and wife Connie, Don (Char Les), Bill and wife Kim; nieces, nephews and other relatives.
Visitation was Thursday, July 22 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Missouri Valley. A celebration of life service was held following the visitation. Pastor Jean McCartney officiated and Lyle Waterhouse was the organist. The music selections were “Blessed Assurance” and “Create in Me a Clean Heart”. The honorary pall bearers were Tom Rodewald, Richard Rodewald, Cord Larsen, and Neil Larsen. Family will direct memorials.
Arrangements by Hennessey Funeral Home Missouri Valley. www.hennesseyonline.com