Author Archives: Steve Brown

Lawrence Geisler

Lawrence J. “Larry” Geisler, age 84, died on September 11, 2017 at Methodist Hospital in Des Moines. Lawrence Jerome “Larry” Geisler, the son of Edward Geisler Sr. and Agnes Maloy Geisler, was born August 3, 1933. He attended a country school for eight years and was graduated from Churdan High School. He received degrees from Creighton and Iowa State Universities and taught for 25 years in the Marshalltown School System where he was also the head of the English Department in grades 7-12. He was involved in three summer institutes at Harvard University and was on the instructional staff of the institutes two of the three years. He had also taught at Benson High School in Omaha before moving to Marshalltown in 1964. He was one of the people instrumental in reviving the Iowa state spelling contest in 1976.

He was a frequent presenter at conventions of both the Iowa and National Council of Teachers of English and was cited twice for distinguished teaching. After taking early retirement, he returned to his boyhood home near Churdan in Greene County to live.

He was active in church, Community Theater, and political work in both Marshall and Greene counties. He served six years on the pastoral council of the Sioux City diocese, was a parish council chairman, and gave workshops in reading Scripture aloud in several churches. He was a Holy Land pilgrim at Easter of 1990 and received a life membership in the Knights of Columbus.

He played stage roles in three community theaters: Marshalltown, Greene County Players, and the Carroll Community Theater. He led literary discussions at the Churdan library for ten years and presented numerous programs in storytelling and poetry readings for organizations. A story be told on Des Moines WHO radio was a direct cause of a memorial bandstand being built in the city park in Churdan. In 1996, he received the Governor’s volunteerism award for Greene County and was the first recipient of the Greene County Impact Award in 2010, given for extensive volunteer work throughout the county.

As a grade school student, he was twice the county oral reading winner and that success continued throughout his life. He was frequently invited to read at weddings, funerals, anniversaries and many other occasions.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother Edward Geisler, Jr., two sisters, Lucille Kersey and Hazel Geisler, a brother-in-law, Kenneth Kersey, and two nephews, Daniel and David Geisler.

He is survived by nine nieces and nephews, Sandra, Donald, and Kathleen Kersey, Sylvene Hatfield, Anne Minnehan, and Patrick, John, Jerry, and Andy Geisler. He is also survived by a sister-in-law Mary Geisler, and two additional generations of nieces and nephews.

Mass of the Christian burial was held at 10:30 A.M. Saturday, September 16, 2017, at St. Columbkille Church in Churdan with burial in St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery, west of Churdan. Musical selections were sung by Greg Carey, Sheilah Pound and the church choir and accompanied by organist, Lois Last.

Serving as casket bearers were Greg Geisler, John Geisler Jr., Kirk Geisler, Spencer Geisler, Jerad Mount and Travis Venteicher. Honorary bearers were Roger LaVoie, Wayne Lautner, Dennis Hardy, Connor Juergensen, Cale Juergensen, Dan Borkowski, Justin Stream, Gene Blanshan, John Hunt and Richard McBride.

Visitation was held on Friday from 5 to 7 P.M. at the church with a Knight of Columbus Rosary at 6:15 P.M. and a prayer service at 6:30 P.M.

Suggestions for memorials are the American Lung Association or the Churdan Public Library at Churdan, IA. Communications to the family may be sent to either of two nieces, Sandra Kersey at Box 213, Churdan IA, 50050 or Sylvene Hatfield, at 410 140th Street, also of Churdan.

Sandi White

Sandra “Sandi” White, the daughter of Don and Mary (Underberg) Schleisman, was born February 22, 1943 at Carroll, Iowa and departed this life September 10, 2017 at the Regency Care Center in Jefferson, Iowa. She lived her life to the age of 74 years, 6 months and 18 days.
Sandi graduated from Kuemper High School in Carroll in 1960. She worked at St. Anthony’s Hospital during and following high school. On November 23, 1963, Sandra Schleisman was united in marriage to Jerry White at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Carroll. Sandi and Jerry made their home in Churdan and three children were born to this union; Steven, John and Stacie.
As well as being a devoted wife, mother and grandmother, Sandi worked outside of the home and was very active in her church and community. Sandi was on the Churdan City Council for several years and served one term as mayor. She was a member of the Community Betterment Council, the Greene Co. Area Development Commission, the Paton-Churdan Booster Club and Churdan Business Club. She coached little league as well as coached cheerleading at PC/JSPC in the late 80’s. Sandi was a member of St. Columbkille Catholic Church, the Catholic Daughters of America and Rosary Society. She was bookkeeper at White’s Service Station. She was a night dispatcher for Greene County L.E.C. and then became the County Sheriff’s secretary; working 21 years in all. Sandi wrote for the Churdan Reporter (Churdan News) and for the Advocate newspaper in Rockwell City. Sandi was a longtime breast cancer survivor being first diagnosed in 2002. Sandi’s greatest joys were her grandchildren and her faith.
Sandi is survived her husband, Jerry, children; Steven of Churdan, John and his wife, Aileen, and John’s children; Rachel and Noah of Omaha and Stacie Croghan and her husband, Brian, and their children; Jessica and Taylor of Templeton, a brother, Jim Schleisman of Farnhamville and nieces and nephews. Those who preceded her in death were her parents, a brother Don Schleisman Jr., a sister Jan Wiskus and father & mother-in-law, Earl and Doris White.
Mass of the Christian burial was held at 10:30 A.M. Thursday, September 14, 2017 at St. Columbkille Catholic Church in Churdan with Father Jeff Schleisman officiating. Burial was made in Highland Cemetery in Churdan. A prayer service was held at 7:00 P.M. Wednesday evening at the Brown Funeral Home in Churdan.
Serving as casket bearers were Jerry Wiskus, Anthony Minnehan, John Geisler, Jeff Schleisman, Ed Gross and John Shoemaker.

Gary Ohlinger

Gary Franklin Ohlinger
1954 – 2017

Gary was born the son of Owen (Bud) and Inez (Sporrer) Ohlinger on January 13, 1954 at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Carroll and passed from this life on September 7, 2017 at Regency Park Care Center in Carroll. He lived his life to the age of 63 years, 8 months and 4 days.
Complications occurred at Gary’s birth which led to cerebral palsy that left him without the ability to speak or walk. Inez and Bud cared for Gary until he was eight when it was necessary for Gary to become a resident at Woodward State Hospital. When Gary was older, he became a resident of New Hope in Carroll and later, Opportunity Living in Lake City. In 1999, he moved to the Regency Park Care Center in Carroll where he lived until his death. Gary was gentle soul even with his disabilities who found joy in simple things.
Gary is survived by his sister, Joyce Clawson and her husband, Greg, of Ankeny and nieces; Jill (Mike) Reyes, Sarah (Chad) Burgess and Ann (Brian) Tiernan. He was preceded in death by his parents.
A Catholic Memorial Service was held at 10:30 A.M. on Monday, September 11, 2017 at the Brown Funeral Home in Churdan with Father Jeff Schleisman officiating. Burial was made in St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery west of Churdan.

Paul Schmitt

Paul C. Schmitt, the son of John and Mary (Grace) Schmitt was born October 10, 1928 at Waterloo, Iowa and departed this life August 16, 2017 at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. He lived his life to the age of 88 years, 10 months and 6 days.
Paul started school in Marble Rock, Iowa and after his parents moved near Paton, he attended Dawson Country School. His parents then moved to a farm near Adaza and Paul graduated from Lohrville High School in 1946. Paul farmed with his father until he entered the U.S. Army. He served in Korea and was awarded the Korean Service Medal and four Bronze Stars. He was discharged from the service in 1952 and returned to work with his father.
On August 21, 1954, Paul Schmitt was united in marriage to Patricia Richtsmeier at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Wesley, Iowa. Six children were born to this union. After their marriage, Paul started farming on his own and presently resides on a Century Farm which has been in the Grace family since 1895. Paul was a well-respected farmer who enjoyed farming with his sons.
Paul was a member of St. Columbkille and St. Patrick Catholic Churches.
Paul is survived by his wife, Pat, a daughter, Kathleen Schmitt of Carroll, five sons and their spouses; Charles (Linda) of Lohrville, Anthony (Marty) of Des Moines, Kenneth (Angie) of Carroll, William (Janelle) of Alleman, and Steven (Liisa) of Minneapolis,
Minnesota, 12 grandchildren; Kelly Schmitt, Brittany Sickels, Stacey Netz, Stephen Schmitt, Britni Hubbard, Bryce Schmitt, Morgan Stipe, Devan Loew, Taylor Loew, Erik Schmitt, Lukas Schmitt, and Patrik Schmitt, 9 great-grandchildren and two sisters; Helen Babcock of Sioux Rapids, Iowa and Theresa Ward of Papillion, Nebraska. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Mass of the Christian burial was held at 2:00 P.M. Saturday, August 19, 2017, from St. Columbkille’s Catholic Church in Churdan with Father Lynn Bruch officiating. Burial was made in St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery in Cedar Township, west of Churdan. Serving as organist was Lois Last and cantor was Greg Carey with the St. Columbkille choir. Military rites were conducted by the Churdan American Legion with Taps being played by Paul’s nephew, Tom Ward.
Serving as casket bearers were Stephen Schmitt, Erik Schmitt, Lukas Schmitt, Patrik Schmitt, Bryce Schmitt, Tom Sickels, Zach Netz and Tony Hubbard. Honorary bearers were Kelly Schmitt, Brittany Sickels, Stacey Netz, Britni Hubbard, Morgan Stipe, Devan Loew and Taylor Loew.

Janice Tilley

Janice Tilley, the daughter of Joseph and Libbie (Korsa) Urban, was born September 1, 1930, at home in Elkhorn Township in Webster County, Iowa. She passed from this life August 14, 2017, at her home in Churdan, Iowa. She lived her life to the age of 86 years, 11 months, and 14 days.
Janice was educated at Tapper No. 7 Country School and Otho High School. Until she started kindergarten, she spoke only Bohemian. Since a small child, she shared her musical talents with family, friends, and communities.
On October 29, 1947, Janice Urban was united in marriage to Raymond A. Tilley at the Methodist Church Parsonage in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Four children were born to this union. Raymond and Janice lived and farmed east of Churdan for 45 years and moved to their present home in Churdan in 1993. Raymond passed away October 31, 1995, and Janice continued to make her home in Churdan until her death.
Janice was an active member of the Churdan United Methodist Church, a member of the United Methodist Women, served as chairman of the funeral and beef dinner committees for many years, and served as organist for both the Churdan and Paton Methodist Churches. Janice was a past member of the Paton-Churdan Activities and Music Boosters, a member of the Bohemian Hall, played drums with the Town and Country Band, and was an active volunteer of the Churdan Public Library.
Janice especially enjoyed gardening, music, sewing, and cooking for family. Holidays found her cooking for up to 60 people. She rarely missed activities involving her kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. She loved taking an active part in the farming operation, including driving tractors and trucks. She also enjoyed being an active member of her church serving God wherever needed.
Janice is survived by her four children and their spouses; Marilyn (Larry) Detwiler of Des Moines, Phyllis (Mike) Minnihan of Churdan, Dennis (Marilyn) Tilley of Churdan, and David (Carman) Tilley of Jefferson. She is also survived by 13 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, and a sister, Josephine (Leonard) Jondle of Promise City, Iowa. Those who preceded her in death were her parents, husband, brother, Eugene Urban, and sisters, Frances Volf and a twin sister, Jenny Urban.
Funeral services were held at 10:30 A.M. on Saturday, August 19, 2017, from the Churdan United Methodist Church with Rev. David Arulnathan officiating. Burial was made in the Highland Township Cemetery in Churdan. Serving as piannist was Lori Anderson; Soloists Doyle Carlson and Laura Minnihan sang musical selections “On Eagle’s Wings”, “The Lost Chord”, and “Amazing Grace”.
Serving as casket bearers were her grandchildren; Anneliese Detwiler, Jennifer Weeks, John Minnihan, Shea Minnihan, Kelly Minnihan, Mary Jo Koch, Lori Judge, Kimberly Stephenson, Tami Tilley, Stacy Hardaway, Jacque Cunningham, Travis Tilley, and Megan Walker.