Irvin Wirtjes, 83, of Forest City, passed away peacefully with his family by his side, Sunday, October 6, 2019 at the Good Samaritan Center in Forest City.
Funeral services will be held 1:30 P.M., Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at First Baptist Church in Forest City with Pastor Eric Weaver officiating.
Burial will be at First Baptist Cemetery (Oakland Cemetery) in Forest City with Military Honors performed by the Forest City American Legion Post #121.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 P.M., Tuesday, October 8th at First Baptist Church in Forest City.
Memorials may be directed to the First Baptist Church in care of the family.
Irvin was born to German parents, Herman F and Sena (Johnson) Wirtjes on September 17, 1936, the youngest of five children, on what was known as the Sheldahl farm in Lakota.
Irvin received all of his school education at Lakota School system and church education at Ramsey Reformed Church near Titonka. He served in the United States Army from April 1954 till his honorable discharge in February 1956, spending most of his time in Germany operating and conducting tank training for his fellow soldiers.
Following his military discharge, he worked on the farm until moving to Lakota in 1960. He then worked at a variety of jobs beginning at the Elmore Elevator shelling corn. He loved big machines and worked for McGuire/Will Road Construction running a roller, then advanced to a D-8 push CAT and Euclid scraper as the company built the Highway 169 near Algona and other Iowa projects. During the winter months, he worked for Lund Construction building homes in Colorado, gaining valuable experience that he could use the rest of his life.
After getting married, he and Sue moved to Forest City where he worked for Winnebago Industries doing base dirt work to build Big Bertha. He also worked a short time for Eyman Implement in the John Deere repairs department, but soon took a position with Winnebago County Secondary Road where he worked almost 30 years doing road work and plowing snow on the Bancroft Road. For several years, he was a volunteer fireman for the Forest City Fire Department.
A mutual friend brought his future wife (Sue) to Lakota for a visit. Irv and Sue met, fell in love, and were married in the Presbyterian Church in Lakota on October 28, 1967; they have spent all their married life in Forest City. When his siblings learned he was getting married, they were surprised for they didn’t think Irv would ever settle down and have a family! He was a loving husband and a fun and involved father. He was Dad to his Little Angel, Kari and to Little Buddy, Greg. He created many special memories of ordinary things, enjoyed family vacations, the favorite being in Colorado.
In his late 30’s he recommitted his life to Jesus and spent much time studying God’s word and serving in various capacities while attending the Congregational Church and later at First Baptist Church. He loved to volunteer to serve the elderly.
As his health began to decline, it didn't stop him from gardening and helping others, especially Greg on the farm and one time driving to Colorado Springs by himself to help at Kari's on a home project. In the recent past, Alzheimer’s has separated him from family and friends but he always had connection to Jesus as he spent much time in the Word and listening to Christian music. He enjoyed playing guitar, plunking on the piano, having coffee with friends, playing with grandchildren regardless of their stage of life be it Lego's, Hot Wheels, dress up or reading stories and enjoyed long walks with his best friend, Sue
Surviving is his wife, Linda Sue (Coyne); daughter, Karen Sue Learned of Colorado Springs, Gregory Alan (wife-Kristi) of Forest City; grandchildren, Benjamin, Jared, Matthias Learned; Abigail, Anna, Elise, Allison Wirtjes; siblings, Iona Berg, Violet Lemaster, Alvin (JoAnn) Wirtjes; in laws, Ron-Eileen Coyne, Dick-Paula Coyne, Betty-Jeff Walker, Rose Ream and many nieces/nephews.
Going before him were his parents and in laws, Linus-Rose Coyne: brother, Arthur (Doretta) Wirtjes;, in laws, Milford Berg, Verlin Lemaster, Maxine Lewis, Marjory Lanphier; nephews, Scott Allman, and Rodney Wirtjes.
Proverbs 3:27 says, “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.” Irv was always willing to lend a hand to a friend or neighbor. He was a good and willing worker and had reputation to go with it. He loved the Lord with all his heart and had such a longing for heaven. He was a kind and gentle man and taught his children the rewards of doing one’s best.
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