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MESSAGE: (#638939) James Weldon Lewis
DATE: 4/29/2017 at 12:14:12
James Weldon Lewis, age 96, died peacefully in the early hours of Sunday, Jan.
15, 2017, at Oak Terrace Assisted Living in North Mankato. His wife, Bernice
Lewis, and other family members were at his side.
Weldon, as he was known throughout his life, was born on Nov. 24, 1920, in
Terril, Iowa. He was the son of Walter and Hazel (Sausaman) Lewis. Weldon
graduated from Terril High School in 1938. As a child of the Great Depression,
he worked various jobs from an early age in order to support himself and his
Despite being deferred from military service during World War II because his
work in construction was considered essential for the war effort, Weldon
enlisted in the U.S. Navy in August 1942 at Norfolk, Va. After basic training,
Weldon volunteered to serve as a combat corpsman (medic) attached to the
Marines. In 1943 and 1944 he served as a front-line corpsman and
battalion-aid-station operating-room technician during the invasions of
Tarawa, Saipan and Tinian, some of the most ferocious battles against the
Japanese in the Pacific. Weldon's company commander recommended him for a
Meritorious Service Ribbon for assuming "responsibilities far above his years
and experience" during the "heavy casualties phases" of the Saipan and Tinian
By the end of the war, Weldon had earned several medals and the rating of
Petty Officer First Class. During his time with the Navy and Marines, he
traveled across the U.S. and was bivouacked in places from New Zealand to
Hawaii. He stood review to (and managed to shake hands with) such luminaries
as Admiral Chester Nimitz, commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific fleet, and
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Of most importance, as a Marine combat corpsman
he helped save the lives of many young men.
After the war he returned to his hometown of Terril. He took a job with Iowa's
Dickinson County in 1949 and eventually became a foreman of the county's road
maintenance operations. He was widely respected for his diligence in keeping
county roads open during the winter months. He retired from the county in 1984
but remained active. He was a longtime member of the First United Methodist
Church in Terril. He served on its board and spent much time helping with
church maintenance and other matters. Weldon was also a member of the Walsh
American Legion Post 432 in Terril for over 70 years and participated in many
His hobbies over the years included hunting, fishing, gardening, playing
horseshoes and entertaining the family with bawdy songs from his days in the
military. Weldon was a caring and considerate father of three children. He
would give anything for them and always made sure to put his medical training
to work binding their childhood wounds.
In 2000 Weldon and his wife moved to Minnesota. They lived at Old Main
Retirement Village in Mankato until 2015, when they moved to Oak Terrace
Assisted Living in North Mankato.
Weldon is survived by his loving wife of 70 years, Bernice; his sons and their
spouses Jim (Cathy) of Coralville, Iowa, and Chuck (Roxy) of Mankato;
son-in-law and spouse Larry Grootveld (Karen); four grandchildren; 10
great-grandchildren; and a niece, nephew, four in-laws and their children. He
was preceded in death by his parents; his daughter, Barbara; his sister,
Emogene; his granddaughter, Jennifer; and other relatives and friends.
Weldon's body was donated to the Mayo Clinic Department of Anatomy at
Rochester, Minnesota. It was his wish to help those studying in the medical
field, in part because of his service in the medical branch of the military. A
memorial service with military honors will be arranged during the spring at
Terril. The family suggests memorials may be sent to the Navy-Marine Corps
Relief Society, Attn: Development, 875 N. Randolph St., Ste 225, Arlington, VA
22203. The Relief Society also accepts donations through its website.
Published on January 20, 2017
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MESSAGE: (#637376) Julie Fillenwarth (1953-2017)
DATE: 4/15/2017 at 20:45:16
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to the Avera Cancer Institute
Center for Precision Oncology in Sioux Falls, SD, the Okoboji Blue Water
Festival at Historic Arnolds Park, Inc. or the Lakes Area Dog Park.
Julie Fillenwarth, 63, of Arnolds Park, IA, passed away peacefully on April
14, 2017 at Spencer Hospital. She fought metastatic breast cancer with an
uncommon courage, carrying her crusade through traditional treatments,
immunotherapy and ultimately a clinical trial in hopes of not only prolonging
her own life but those of cancer patients in the future.
Julie was born on October 3, 1953 to Ken and Ruth (Hartkopp) Fillenwarth. At
an early age she worked with her grandfather, A.T. Fillenwarth and later with
her father Ken at Fillenwarth Beach, the West Lake Okoboji resort the family
has owned and operated since 1918. The resort and lake life would come to
define her. She often referred to it not as a job but as a way of life.
After their father's death in 2014, Julie and her beloved sister Lynn assumed
ownership of the business, and Julie continued to manage the resort. Before
her passing, Julie and Lynn made plans to ensure that the resort would
continue long into the future with its rich tradition.
Julie embraced the Okoboji lifestyle as a youngster, learning to swim, water
ski and operate boats as a young girl. Stories abound of her affinity with the
lake and her graceful transition into management of the resort.
She graduated from Estherville High School in 1971 a BS in psychology in 1975
from the University of Iowa and a JD from Creighton in 1978. After law school,
Julie joined her mother, Ruth, sister Lynn and brother-in-law Rich Meyer in
the practice of law at Fillenwarth & Fillenwarth Attorneys in Estherville. She
served as Assistant Dickinson County Attorney from 1987-1991 and as Assistant
Emmet County Attorney from 1991-1999. She retired from the active practice of
law in 1999 to devote herself fulltime to the management of the resort.
Julie served on the board of the American Lung Association of Iowa from
1983-2001 and on the national board of the American Lung Association from
1989-2001. She helped organize the Okoboji Tourism Association and served on
the board of Historic Arnolds Park, Inc. (HAPI). She also served on the
Sustain the Park campaign and a host of local committees. She continued to be
active until her death in the Okoboji Tourism Committee, Iowa Great Lakes
Water Safety Council, Iowa Great Lakes Association and the HAPI Foundation.
She was a member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Spirit Lake.
Julie always enjoyed a good party, a good cause and her happy life with family
and friends. The cancer stole her body but not her indomitable spirit. She
would want her friends and family to enjoy life, work hard, have fun and laugh
about something each and every day.
Julie is survived by her husband, Gregory Drees; sister Lynn Fillenwarth;
brother-in-law Rich Meyer.
She was preceded in death by her grandparents A.T. and Sadie Fillenwarth and
Charles and Anna Hartkopp and her parents, Ken and Ruth Fillenwarth.
Interment Lakeview Gardens
>From Henry-Olson Funeral Home
Do you contribute to the IAGenWeb project? Do you photograph cemeteries
and upload photos to the Iowa Gravestone Photo Project? Do you
transcribe military records, histories, birth indexes, etc., and submit
to individual county coordinators? Do you transcribe and add obituaries,
biographies and/or documents to the county message boards?
If you answer yes to any of these, you already have the potential to be
a great county coordinator. Having a desire to share with others about
their family history is the most important aspect of the position.
Having a knowledge of web page editing or the true desire to learn to
use a web editor or hand code, is the second most important.
The counties needing coordinators are: Guthrie, Jones, Jackson, Sac,
Ida, Poweshiek, Crawford, Scott, Harrison, Carroll, Greene, Lyon, Adams,
Pottawattamie, Franklin and Emmet.
Please contact the Welcome Hostesses with your choice today!
Conni & Cindy
IAGenWeb Welcome Hostesses
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