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Alfred John Schwartz

February 9, 1928 November 27, 2014
Alfred John Schwartz
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Obituary for Alfred John Schwartz

Alfred John Schwartz, 86, died Thursday, November 27, 2014, at Virginia Gay Hospital in Vinton.

    Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, December 1, 2014, at First Christian Church in Vinton with Rev. Connie Wacht officiating. Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, November 30, at Van Steenhuyse-Russell Funeral Home in Vinton and also one hour prior to services at the church on Monday. Alfred will be laid to rest next to his wife Shirley in the Garrison Cemetery at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, December 1.

    Alfred was born February 9, 1928, on a farm in rural Benton County, the son of John and Gertie Burkey Schwartz. He graduated from the 8th grade in May of 1942. He helped his parents on the farm and worked for other area farmers. He worked at Quaker Oats in Cedar Rapids and for George Wilson in 1944 and 1945.

    Alfred proudly served his country from May 2, 1946, until October 18, 1947, in the United States Army. He was stationed in Yokohama, Japan, during WWII. Upon returning home, he worked at Ervin Motor Company until 1951, at which time he started farming in Garrison. In 1956, Alfred moved his family to a farm south of Vinton and remained farming and purchasing farms until his retirement in 1992. During his farming years, he also worked for the ASCS office and was a 4-H leader for 6 years. He raised seed corn for McCurdy Seeds as well. In August of 2011, Alzheimer’s caused him to move to Windsor Manor in Vinton, and then to the Lutheran Home in July of 2012.

    On January 7, 1949, Alfred was united in marriage with Shirley Ann Harwood in Dysart, Iowa. The couple raised their four children in Benton County. She preceded him in death on December 16, 2013.

    Alfred was a member of First Christian Church in Vinton. He served on the Pioneer Cemetery Board and spent many hours cleaning and restoring the headstones. He helped his grandson Ross Hanson complete his Eagle Scout award by restoring a pioneer cemetery in Winneshiek County. Alfred enjoyed genealogy and spent a lot of time researching his roots.

    Alfred is survived by three daughters: Dianne (Greg) Hanson of Decorah; Roxann (Gary Rees) Schwartz of Guthrie Center; and LuAnn (Dan) Hilton of Newhall; one son, Gene (Chris) Schwartz, of Shellsburg; 7 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.

    He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Shirley; seven brothers: infant twins at birth, Marion, Harry, Kenneth, Wayne and Eldon Schwartz; and one grandson, Alan John Schwartz.

    A memorial fund has been established.

Alfred’s family would like to thank the staff at the Vinton Lutheran Home and at Virginia Gay Hospital for the excellent care he received.

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