Author Archives: Steve Brown

John Brend

Services for John Brend, 84, of Churdan, will be held at 11 AM Friday at St. Patrick Catholic Church west of Church. Visitation will be from 9 AM to the time of service. Burial will be at a later date in St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggest to the St. Patrick Church or Stewart Memorial Hospice in Lake City.


John Joseph Brend was born on October 18, 1932 at home in rural Adaza to John (J.L.) and Elsie (Tasler) Brend. He departed his life at home on July 1, 2017. He was known as Jackie by family and in country school; which he attended until 6th grade then graduating from Lohrville High School in 1951. He married Geraldine (Jeri) Burke on February 20, 1952 at Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church in Lohrville.
Faith, farming, family and friends were his life – occupation and recreation. John farmed with his uncle the last two years of high school; then farmed on his own for 60 years; retiring in 2011. John celebrated his 65th wedding anniversary with Jeri this past year. He was a lifetime Cedar Township resident and lifetime member of St. Patrick Church serving as church and township trustee. John & Jeri were parents of four daughters and two sons. He is survived by his wife, and children Teresa (Mike) Johannsen of Dubuque, Cindy (Jay) Kane of Noank, Connecticut, Pam (Gary) Haberl of Lohrville, Pegi (George) Erickson of Paton, Joe (Kris) Brend of Ogden and Jim Brend of Twin Lakes, 18 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. In addition John is survived by five brothers, Larry, Dave, Dwight, Steve, and Tom. He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, Gary and Warren; infant son, John; and grandchild Jon and great-grandchild Jaiden.
Mass of the Christian burial was held at Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church in rural Churdan at 11:00 A.M. on Friday, July 7, 2017 with Fr. Lynn Bruch as the celebrant. John’s wishes were to have his body donated to the University of Iowa Hospital. Burial of ashes will be held at a later date in Saint Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery in rural Churdan. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church or Stewart Memorial Hospice.

Harriett Cole

On October 11, 1940, a daughter was born to Paul and Aloha (Briggs) Wilson at their home in Mallard, Iowa and they named her Harriett Ann Wilson. When Harriett was 11 years of age, she contracted polio which affected her lungs and legs. She spent 18 months in hospitals and was a one day from having to go into an iron lung when she started to recover. Harriett grew up in the Yetter and Lake City area and graduated from the Lake City High School in 1959. She then attended and graduated from A.I.B. in Des Moines in May of 1960.
On May 28, 1960, Harriett Wilson was marred to Don Cole at the United Methodist Church in Lake City. On the night of their marriage, Harriett and Don left to go to Santa Ana, California where Don had a job at a bank. Harriett and Don were blessed in their marriage with two children Scott and Terri. Harriett was a great house wife and was a babysitter of four little ones.
Harriett served the Lord since 1965. She taught Sunday school and belonged to the United Foursquare Women’s Organization in her church in California. With Harriett, going to church on Sunday was not an option but a must. She loved to do crossword puzzles, crochet baby sweaters and booties, and to read. Raising her two children, Scott and Terri was her top priority.
In 1976, Don and Harriett bought a flower shop which they worked side by side until 1996 when Harriett health started to take a toll on her. In 2003, they made what they considered their best decision; to move back to Iowa. Churdan was the town they picked to make their home for the best fourteen years. In their eyes, the people of Churdan are the greatest. Don and Harriett joined the Churdan United Methodist Church and Harriett was a member of the U.M.W.
Harriett is survived by her husband, Don, two daughters; Terri Cole and Dana Browne, both of Irwin, California, brothers; Gary (Janice) Wilson of Oklahoma and David (Jo) Wilson of Denver, Colorado, an aunt, Vera Melrose of Holden, Missouri and brothers-in-laws; Dick (Cindy) Cole, Tim (Denise) Cole and Tom (Sharon) Cole. Those who preceded her in death were her parents, her son, Scott, a sister, Sharon Wilson and sister-in-law and her husband, Josette and Kenny Custer.
Harriett passed away at her home in Churdan on May 2, 2017. She lived her life to the age of 76 years, 6 months and 21 days. Funeral services were held Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 10:30 A.M. at the United Methodist Church in Churdan with Rev. David Arulnathan officiating. Burial was made in the Highland Township Cemetery in Churdan. Musical selections, “Blessed Assurance” and “In the Garden” were sung by the congregation and accompanied by organist, Janice Tilley.
Serving as casket bearers were Dick Cole, Tim Cole, Tom Cole, Ray Brisco, Allen Parks and Bill Hubbs. Honorary bearers were Johnny and Beth Shoemaker, Charles and Jan Paup, Keith and Rhetta Wright, Eric and Nicole Flinn, Joyce Clark, Kathryn Carey, Ruth Nugent, Rita Schmitt, Barbara Winkelman and Victoria Arulnathan.

Doris Rutherford

Funeral services for Doris Rutherford, 90, of Churdan will be held at 11 am Saturday at St. Columbkille Catholic Church in Churdan with burial at a later date at St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery.
Visitation will be at 5 pm Friday at the church with a Rosary at 6:30 pm followed by a prayer service.
Survivors include her children; Anna Hemmerling of Omaha, Dorothy Whitver of Jefferson, Joyce Rutherford of Grand Junction, Linda Ringgenberg of Lake City, Kenneth of Jefferson and Larry of Pomeroy.


Doris Rose Rutherford, age 90, of Churdan, passed away on April 4, 2017 at Shady Oaks Nursing Home in Lake City.

Mass of the Christian Burial wasl be celebrated at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at St. Columbkille Catholic Church in Churdan with Fr. Jeff Schleisman as Celebrant and Fr. Lynn Bruch as concelebrant. Visitation was held at St. Columbkille Catholic Church in Churdan after 5:00 P.M. on Friday where there was a Rosary at 6:30 P.M. followed by a Christian Wake Service. Music for the Mass was by Lois Last as organist, Greg Carey as cantor and the St. Columbkille Catholic Church Choir. Lector for the Mass will be Matt Ringgenberg. Gift Bearers were be Allison Whitver and Jason Whitver. Mass Servers were Kolbe Rutherford and McKenzie Rutherford. Casket Bearers were be Doris’ Grandchildren: Deana Shriver, D. J. Tuhn, Eric Rutherford, Evan Rutherford, Allison Whitver, Jason Whitver, Jim Whitver, Tracy Venteicher, Wes Ringgenberg and Matt Ringgenberg. Burial will be in the St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Churdan.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Brown Funeral Home in Churdan. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the Churdan Volunteer Fire Department and may be left at the church.

Born May 16, 1926 in Earlham, Iowa, she was the daughter of Clarence and Della (McClure) Smith. Doris grew up in Earlham and graduated from the Earlham High School in 1945. Doris was married to Francis Rutherford on December 10, 1946. Doris took care of homebound residents in Churdan assisting them with cooking and cleaning. Doris was a devoted homemaker and in 1970, she went to work for the Greene County Medical Center as a dietary cook. She retired from there in 1990. Doris enjoyed quilting, crocheting, baking, and reading. In her retirement, Doris took several bus trips and enjoyed visiting many different places.

Doris is survived by her children: Anna Hemmerling (Steve Bosiljevac) of Omaha, Dorothy Whiver (Tom) of Jefferson, Kenneth Rutherford (Barb Shriver) of Jefferson, Joyce Rutherford of Grand Junction, Larry Rutherford of Pomeroy, and Linda Ringgenberg (Steve) of Lake City; 10 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by a sister-in-law Dorothy Rutherford.

Doris was preceeded in death by her parents, husband Francis in 1997, mother and father-in-law Edward and Naomi Rutherford, daughter-in-law Laura “Ben” Rutherford, a great-grandson, brother Edwin (Marge) Smith, sister Twila Eagen, and in-laws: Corliss and Mary McCabe, William Rutherford, Phil (Helen) Eagen, Robert Eagen.

Marcia Ostlund

Funeral services for Marcia Ostlund, 70, of Jefferson will be held Friday at 2:00 pm at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Jefferson with burial at a later date. There will be no visitation prior to the service but viewing will take place at the church. A gathering of remembrance for Marcia will be held following the service at the Jefferson Elks Lodge from 3:30 to 8:00 pm where the family will greet friends. Friends are encouraged to wear black and gold at the service as Marcia was a avid Hawkeye fan.

Survivors include her husband, Bill, son Andy, his wife Ann and their son, George of Prairie Village, KS., daughter Sarah of Webster City, brothers; Will Niebuhr of Indiana, Bob Niebuhr of Missouri, Don Niebuhr of Arizona, Butch Denise) Niebuhr of Perry sisters; Marilyn Albright of Iowa City and Marlyce Hollis of Florida, sisters-in-laws; Mindy (Billy) Harkins of Colorado and Janis (Tim) Garber of California and brother-in-law; John (Beth) Ostlund of Virginia.

Memorials are suggested to be given to Iowa Public Television or to the Jefferson Trinity Lutheran Church Choir Fund.

Marcia Ann Ostlund, the daughter of Albert F. and Martha (Peterman) Niebuhr, was born January 14, 1947, in Webster City, Iowa, and left this life on March 31, 2017, at her home in Jefferson, Iowa. She lived her life to the age of 70 years, 2 months and 17 days.
Marcia grew up in Webster City and attended Webster City High School. In her junior year, she moved to Perry and graduated in 1965. She attended Webster City Junior College and received an associate’s degree and later attended the University of Iowa.
On April 14, 1968, Marcia Niebuhr was united in marriage to William Ostlund at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Webster City. They lived in Iowa City until Bill’s graduation. They then moved to Laramie, Wyoming, for three years, where Bill attended law school. Upon completion of his schooling, they lived one year in Anamosa, Iowa, where Bill clerked for Justice Rees. During that year, their son Andy was born on January 26, 1973. Marcia and Bill came to Jefferson in July of that year. Their daughter Sarah was born on March 13, 1974. From the time of their marriage, Marcia worked several jobs to help with the financial needs during Bill’s schooling. After coming to Jefferson, Marcia started working for the Jefferson REC-Midland Power Co. and retired after 39 years on her 65th birthday in 2012.
Marcia was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Jefferson and an active member in the church choir. Marcia was an avid Iowa Hawkeye fan and was a member of the University of Iowa I-Club Foundation and the Greene Co. I-Club. She was also a member of the Greene County Golf Club and of the Beta Tau Delta Sorority. Marcia served on the Jefferson School Board for 13 years and served as a member of the Iowa Development Board.
Marcia was first diagnosed with breast cancer in August of 1999 and received treatments into 2000 until declared to be in remission. She did very well for several years. In 2010, she was diagnosed with a high-grade uterine cancer and completed treatment in March of 2011. Throughout her treatments, she continued to work until her retirement. She ALWAYS had a positive attitude! Her team, “Team MOjo”; MO for Marcia Ostlund, was along her side throughout as she “Kicked her ICK”. In 2012, her uterine cancer metastasized to her lungs causing her treatments to resume. In the early part of summer in 2016, her doctor discontinued her treatments. Marcia reminded us often that she was “LIVING with cancer” not “dying of cancer.” She remained at home with the help of her family, especially her daughter Sarah and friend Josh and other caregivers.
Marcia is survived by her husband of 48 years, William (Bill), son Andy and his wife, Ann, and their son, George, of Prairie Village, KS, daughter Sarah, and three “granddogs” of Webster City, and her beloved pup, Belle, brothers; Will (DeLaine) Niebuhr of Fort Wayne, IN, Bob (Sherry) Niebuhr of Savannah, MO, Don Niebuhr of Prescott, AZ, and Butch (Denise) Niebuhr of Perry, sisters; Marilyn (Darold) Albright of Iowa City, and Marlyce Hollis of Ocala, FL, sisters-in-laws; Mindy (Billy) Harkins of Lakewood, CO, and Janis (Tim) Graber of Costa Mesa, CA, and brother-in-law, John (Beth) Ostlund of Centreville, VA, as well as many beloved nieces and nephews. Those who preceded her in death were her parents, father and mother-in-law; John and Beverly (Juhl) Ostlund, a favorite grandma, Esther Juhl, a sister Martha Jean Niebuhr, brother-in-law Bill Hollis, sisters-in-law; Nancy Niebuhr and Beth Niebuhr and a niece Denise Albright.

Cathy Berger

Cathy Berger, the daughter of William L. and Gertrude (Trudy Van De Weerd) O’Brien, was born April 23, 1950 at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Fort Dodge, Iowa and departed this life March 27, 2017 at the Marian Home & Village in Fort Dodge. She lived her life to the age of 66 years, 11 month and 4 days.
Cathy attended Corpus Christi grade school and graduated from St. Edmonds High School in Fort Dodge in 1968. After high school, Cathy attended Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge and received a degree as a Dental Assistant. She then worked for Dr. Larson DDS in Fort Dodge for two years. When Cathy was 19, she gave birth to a daughter which, on the advice of her parents, she gave up for adoption.
On October 5, 1974, Cathy O’Brien was united in marriage to Roger Berger at Corpus Christi Catholic Church. Three sons were born to this union. Cathy and Roger made their home in Farnhamville, Iowa where Roger was employed at Berger Body Shop and Cathy worked part time with Merry Maids; a home cleaning service. Upon the birth of their first son, Cathy became a stay-at-home Mom; raising and caring for her children.
In November of 1986, due to Roger’s change of jobs, the family moved to Spencer and in 1987 they bought a house and moved to Everly, Iowa where Cathy became a telemarketing sales representative for Evertek Inc. During this time Cathy began her long struggle with M.S. In 1989 the family moved to Manning, Iowa and in 1990, another job change for Roger took the family to Edgerton, Wisconsin. In 1990, Cathy was officially diagnosed with M.S. In 2001, Cathy and Roger moved to Lohrville in order to obtain help and support in living with the challenges brought on by the M.S. During the remainder of her life, Cathy courageously dealt with this debilitating disease.
On March 10, 2006, Cathy became a resident of the Marian Home & Village. During her time at the Marian Home, Cathy became a member of a second family; consisting of the wonderful staff and residents. Cathy spent her time reading magazines, watching TV and attending prayer and Mass services when she was able. She developed many friendships while at the Marian Home and was an inspiration to many.
Cathy is survived by her husband, Roger, four children; a daughter, Sharon Weber and her children; Jordon and Jena of Omaha, three sons; Tony Berger of Beloit, WI., Brian Berger, his wife, Emily and their daughters, Lily and Faith of Menasha, WI., and Chad Berger and his friend, Cindy, of Janesville, WI., two brothers; Bill (Pam) O’Brien of Crosslake, MN. and Tom (Lou Jean) O’Brien of Des Moines, her mother-in-law Dorothy Berger of Lohrville, nine sisters-in-laws and seven brothers-in-laws and numerous nieces and nephews. Cathy’s parents preceded her in death.
Mass of the Christian burial was held at 1:00 P.M. Saturday, April 1, 2017, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lohrville with Father Lynn Bruch officiating. Burial was made in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery near Lohrville. Lois Last served as organist, John Berger as cantor, Carol Lee as lector, Hannah and Bennett Lee as altar servers at the service. Serving as Eucharist ministers were Carroll Lee, Joan Nepple and Jean Brown.
Serving as casket bearers were Tony Berger, Brian Berger, Chad Berger, Bill O’Brien, Tom O’Brien and Philip Bauer.
Visitation was held from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M Friday at the church with a prayer service at 7:00 P.M.

James Ryan

James Ryan,75, of Churdan, Iowa passed away March 10, 2017 at the Greene County Medical Center. Jim was the son of Edward and Louise Ryan. He is preceded in death by his parents, brother Michael Ryan and sister Virginia Hanson. Jim is survived by sister Rosemary Klitzke, sister-in-law Connie Ryan, brother-in-law Lee Hanson, 3 nieces and 4 nephews.
In accordance with his wishes, his remains were cremated and no services will be held at this time. Burial of his ashes will take place later in St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery west of Churdan.