Rexine Johnson

Rexine Johnson, the daughter of Guy and Ida (Stream) Kinsman, was born August 26, 1922 at her parent’s farm home near Churdan, Iowa and departed this life January 30, 2020 at the Greene County Medical Center in Jefferson, Iowa. She lived a full life to the age of 97 years, 5 months and 4 days.

Rexine attended and graduated from the Churdan High School in 1940 and later attended Iowa Teacher’s College in Cedar Falls where she received a teacher’s certificate. She returned to Churdan and taught in country schools. She later worked in a café in Churdan.

On March 11, 1949, Rexine Kinsman was united in marriage to Boyce Johnson at the Little Brown Church at Nashua, Iowa. To this union were born three children. Following their marriage, Rexine and Boyce lived and farmed the Guy Kinsman farm. In 1982, Rexine and Boyce moved to their home in Churdan. Boyce passed away on May 13, 2007 and Rexine continued to make her home Churdan until 2018 when she moved to The Garden’s Retirement Community in Jefferson.

Rexine was an active member of the Churdan First Baptist Church and many local organizations. During their marriage, Rexine and Boyce were a part of a “Pitch Group” where couples would take turns hosting a card party at their homes on Saturday night. Rexine enjoy working on puzzles, socializing with friends and attending Paton-Churdan sporting activities.

Left to mourn her passing are two sons, Doug and his wife, Debra, of Clive and Larry of Ankeny, a daughter, Anita and her husband, Todd Van Horn of Jefferson, three granddaughters; Brittany Johnson, Stacy McElliott and Megan Anderson and four great-grand-children; Morgan and Moya McElliott and Broxton and Sadie Anderson. Those who preceded her were her parents, husband and three sisters; Ava Kinsman, Atha Tasler and Viola Lauver.

Funeral services were held Friday, February 7, 2020 at 10:30 AM from the First Baptist Church in Churdan with Pastor Bobby Palmer officiating. Burial was made in the Highland Township Cemetery. “On Eagle’s Wings” was sung by Brittany Johnson, Stacy McElliott and Debra Johnson and accompanied by pianist, Renaye Lindgren. The congregation sang “How Great Thou Art”.

Serving as casket bearers were Matthew McElliott, Tyler Anderson, Kim Tasler, Jay Tasler and Troy Paup.

Edith Knittig

Services will be held in April.

Edith Ilene (Cafferty) Knittig, daughter of Merritt and Mary (Anthony) Cafferty, was born December 12, 1926 in Rinard, Iowa. Edie attended school in Rinard, graduating in 1944.


On March 17, 1945, Edie was joined in marriage to Alvin Knittig. Three children were born to this union while they farmed north of Lohrville. In 1955, they moved to another farm west of Farnhamville and resided there until Alvin retired in 1988. They then moved to Jefferson where, in 2008, Alvin passed away. In 2010, Edie moved to a duplex in Ankeny and lived next door to her daughter Karen. From 2014 up until her death, she lived in Ankeny assisted living facilities at Vintage Hills and Mill Pond and finally at Trinity Center in Des Moines. Her struggle with dementia and Alzheimers came to a peaceful end on January 28, 2020 at the age of 93.


Edie was always actively engaged in persuing new interests and challenges. She attended Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge where she received her Licensed Practical Nurse degree on December 6, 1971. She continued her education and received her Registered Nurse degree on September 11, 1975. She was also officially licensed in Minnesota on September 15, 1980.


Edie loved walking, gardening, sewing and quilting. She achieved a Master Gardener’s degree in the early 1900s. Her accomplishments continued to grow with the creation of her own quilting business: A&E Quilting. She had a successful and fulfilling run from 1996 to 2008.


Edie was preceded in death by her parents; husband Alvin in 2008; daughter Linda in 2009; sisters Gladys Anderson, Minnie Boner, Leota Kelly, Beulah McClure, Iola Staley, and Violet Stamp; brothers Dale Cafferty and Lyle “Bud” Cafferty. Left to mourn her passing are her children Karen Hicks of Ankeny and Dennis Knittig of Minneapolis. Grandchildren: David (Cathi) Knittig of St. Paul, MN and Jane Rosenberger of Deephaven, MN. Great grandchildren: Meryl Rosenberger and Nolan Rosenberger of Deephaven, MN. Also surviving is brother Loren Cafferty of Phoenix, AZ.

William (Bill) Ostlund

William (Bill) Charles Ostlund, the son of John and Beverly (Juhl) Ostlund, was born April 5, 1947, in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and left this life on January 29, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. He lived his life to the age of 72 years, 9 months and 24 days.


Bill grew up in Webster City, Iowa, and graduated from Webster City High School in 1965. He was his class’ president. He attended and received his undergraduate degree from The University of Iowa in 1969. Bill received his Juris Doctor degree from The University of Wyoming in 1972. He remained a proud Hawkeye and Cowboy the entirety of his life.

On April 14, 1968, William Ostlund was united in marriage to Marcia Ann Niebuhr at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Webster City. They lived in Iowa City until Bill’s graduation from The University of Iowa in 1969. They then moved to Laramie, Wyoming, for three years, where Bill attended law school. Upon completion of his schooling in 1972, they lived in Anamosa, Iowa, where Bill was a judicial clerk for Iowa Supreme Court Justice Warren J. Rees. While in Anamosa, their son Andy was born on January 26, 1973. In July of that year, the Ostlunds moved to Jefferson, Iowa, where Bill began practicing law. Their daughter Sarah was born on March 13, 1974. Bill remained in private practice until being appointed a District Court Judge for the State of Iowa in 1994. After 21 years in private practice, 11 years as the county magistrate judge, in 1995 Bill began his 24-year tenure in Iowa’s Judicial District 2B on the bench as a judge. On Bill’s 72nd birthday, Judge Ostlund adjourned his court for the final time after serving as a judge for 35 years in total and began retirement.

Throughout Bill’s life he was involved in many organizations and activities. He was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Jefferson. Bill was a member of the University of Iowa I-Club and the Greene County I-Club and the Kansas City Iowa Club. He began attending football games at Kinnick Stadium as a young boy with his father and passed the tradition on to his children and even his grandson, George. Bill was a member of the Greene County Golf Club and a faithful follower of the PGA, attending The Masters Tournament in Augusta, GA, and The Ryder Cup. Bill was a member of the Greene County Bar Association and participated in grading bar exams for many years throughout his career. He also was a member of the Elks Lodge in Jefferson, Iowa. If you knew Bill in any way, there’s a good chance you have watched the annual Bell Tower Parade from the Ostlund’s front yard as this was a tradition near and dear to him. Bill collected many things over his life, but pens and watches were two of his favorites. Finally, Bill was an animal lover, especially dogs, being a proud and loving owner to Sadie, Annie, Rocky, Hallie and, his girl, Belle.

On Halloween morning 2019, Bill’s retirement was interrupted with what was the start of his ongoing health battles. He had a heart attack on Halloween followed shortly by an advanced cancer diagnosis. He battled these issues for three months with his daughter Sarah at his side throughout it all. Andy, Ann, George, Sarah and the rest of his family stood by their father, grandfather and brother during his fight.

William is survived by his son Andy and his wife, Ann, and their son-the light of Papa Bill’s life, George, and two grand dogs, Oliver and Cooper of Shawnee, KS, daughter Sarah, and three grand dogs, Bo, Weldy and Hazel Grace, of Webster City, his beloved pup, Belle, brother; John (wife Beth and sons Timothy and Michael) Ostlund of Centreville, VA, sisters; Mindy (husband Billy Harkins and daughter and son-in law Emily and John ) of Denver, CO, and Janis (husband Tim Graber and sons and daughters-in-law Matthew and Erin, TJ and Erin and daughter and son-in-law Jenny and Matt) of Costa Mesa, CA, great aunt and uncle; Shirley and Don Doolittle of Duncombe, IA, great nieces and nephews; Megan, Molly and Wyatt Burns, Taylor, Harper and Kensington Jo Graber, and Emily, Katelyn and Daniel Peters, as well as many other beloved nieces and nephews and cousins and friends. Those that preceded William in death were his wife, his parents, father and mother-in-law; Albert and Martha Niebuhr, a favorite grandma, Esther Juhl, and beloved friend, Dan Boonstra.

Memorials may be given to The University of Iowa Center for Advancement Iowa Law School Foundation (Iowa Law School Foundation) where funds will go to The University of Iowa College of Law’s Clinical Law Program that benefits those in need of legal help that otherwise may not be able to attain it as well as offering law students the opportunity to put their legal skills to use in a variety of practice areas and venues. (Address: One West Park Road, Iowa City, Iowa 52242) (Please note: Checks should be made payable to the Iowa Law School Foundation with either “Legal Clinic Fund” or “Account # 30425093” included on the memo line)

Services for William Ostlund will be held on Saturday, February 29, 2020, at 2:00 pm at Trinity Lutheran Church in Webster City, Iowa. Family will be present at the church prior to the service. A celebration of Bill’s life will follow the service at Webster City Links Golf Course, and we welcome all of you to join us. Interment of ashes will take place later at Graceland Cemetery in Webster City, Iowa.


Karen Schwarz

Karen Schwarz, the daughter of Otto and Florence (Voelker) Olesen, was born October 23, 1944 in Charles City, Iowa and departed this life October 15, 2019 at the Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. She lived her life to the age 74 years, 11 months and 22 days.

Karen grew up in Charles City and graduated from the Charles City High School in 1962. She later attended Hamilton Business College in Mason City, Iowa.

On September 5, 1964, Karen Olesen was united in marriage to Ron Schwarz in Charles City. Two children, Tony and Amy, were born to this union. The family made their home in Boone, Iowa where Karen raised her children and worked many years as a legal secretary, retiring in 2006. Karen and Ron were later divorced and Karen continued to live in Boone. Karen was working at a lounge in Boone when she met Gordon Kanke. They struck up a relationship and later Karen sold her home in Boone and she and Gordy moved to Hartley, Iowa where they made their home together. In 2015, Karen and Gordy moved to their present home in Jefferson.

Karen is survived by her longtime partner in life, Gordy Kanke of Jefferson, children; Tony (Mila) Schwarz of West Des Moines, Iowa and Amy (Brian) Strable of Ankeny, Iowa, a granddaughter, Jenna Strable, three brothers; Richard and wife, Marcia, Olesen and Eldon and wife, Beverley, Olesen, both of Charles City, Iowa and Jim and wife, Annette, Olesen of Albert Lea, Minnesota, a sister, Evelynn Zack of Downers Grove, Illinois and Gordy’s family Bill (Lori) Kanke of St. Joseph, Missouri and their children; Ethan (Chelsea) Kanke, Matthew Kanke and Phillip Kanke and Brenda (Greg) Poole of Delaware and their children; Sara and Dayle Poole. She was preceded in death by her parents.

A time of remembrance was held on Saturday, October 26, 2019, at the Brown Funeral Home in Jefferson.

Joyce Ann Spenla

Mass of the Christian Burial for Joyce Ann Spenla, 88, of Fairfield, PA., formerly of Rockwell City, will be held on Friday at 10:30 A.M. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lohrville with burial in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. Mrs. Spenla passed away August 15th at Fairfield, PA.

Joyce was born August 29, 1930 in Rockwell City, Iowa the daughter of the late Harley and Margaret Olson Horstman. She was married to Leo James Spenla for 53 years, serving as a Marine wife with four children for 20 years.
Joyce worked throughout the years as a phone operator, bookkeeper and retired from Herff Jones Yearbooks in Gettysburg after 19 years of service. She enjoyed service to her family, helping… as a Girl Scout Leader, reading, gardening and sewing. She was also very active in her church.
Mrs. Spenla is survived by a daughter, Cynde Overholtzer of Fairfield, PA, a son, Mike Spenla and his wife Patty of Jacksonville, TX, a daughter-in-law, Sheila Spenla of Springfield, MO, a sister-in-law, Eva Horstman of Des Moines, Iowa, 9 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Leo J. Spenla, two sons; Mark Spenla, Steven Jon Spenla, a brother, Bill Horstman and a sister, Lois Jean Ullman.


Merle Day


Merle L. Day, the son of Glenn and Jean (Campbell) Day, was born February 10, 1942 near Lake City, Iowa and departed this life October 3, 2019 at his home in Lohrville, Iowa. He lived his life to the age of 77 years, 7 months and 23 days.


Merle attended country school and later graduated from the Lake City High School. On October 27, 1963, Merle Day was united in marriage to Sylvia Garrett in Lake City. Merle and Sylvia made their home in Lake City and Merle worked at several jobs in the area. Later, they moved to Lohrville. Merle entered the United States Air Force in December of 1966. While stationed in the states, Sylvia joined Merle and they lived on base at Air Force bases in Texas and Washington. When Merle was transferred to an Air Force base in Korea, Sylvia lived with her parents. Merle received an honorable discharge in December of 1970 and he and Sylvia returned to Lohrville. Merle worked at the Knapp Standard Service Station for over 17 years and later drove trucks for the American Ready-mix concrete plant for 10 years and retired in 2008. Merle was a quiet person and enjoyed playing cards.


Merle was a member of the Methodist Church and the Lohrville American Legion and V.F.W.


He is survived by his wife, Sylvia, uncle and aunt, Dan and Kathryn Schamel, sister-in-law, Diana Garrett, nephew, Bryon Dudley and niece, Rachel Aems and several cousins. Those who proceed him in death were his parents, father and mother-in-law, Lloyd and Lois Garrett, brother-in-law, Dennis Garrett and sisters-in-law, Sally Dudley and Sue Ann Garrett.


Graveside services were held at 1:30 P.M. on Monday, October 7, 2019, at the Evergreen Cemetery near Lohrville with Pastor Lorinda Hoover officiating. Military Honors were conducted by the    Offutt Air Force Honors Detail.


Casket bearers were Terry Schamel, Tim Schamel, Jacob Schamel, Geno Grade, Paul Sievers and Jim Rossmanith.