Garald “Gary” Rodewald

Garald Lee “Gary” Rodewald age 79, of Missouri Valley, Iowa passed away Monday, July 19, 2021 at Longview Nursing Home in Missouri Valley, Iowa. Gary was born in Fremont, NE in 1942 to LaVerne and Ellen (Smith) Rodewald and moved with his parents and two brothers, Ronnie and Dean to Missouri Valley in 1948. His favorite sister, Cheryle, completed the family later. Graduating from Missouri Valley High School in 1960, he married Virginia Bugenhagen in June of 1962. They have two children, Kelly and Lori. Throughout this life, Gary’s service to his community was constant and continual. Starting as a member of the Chamber of Commerce, he later became mayor and served on the Boards of the Parks Department, Culavin Heights, SWIPCO and Committee for Watson Steam Train Restoration. Gary spent 20 years as Chairman of the County Civil Service Commission and was a member of Kiwanis, serving as president. Gary’s two true loves were woodworking and fishing; both began at an early age with the encouragement of his father. Fishing each summer in Minnesota and a gift, at the age of ten, of a little Burgess jigsaw gave Gary the woodworking bug that continued thru life. An article in the local newspaper once described Gary well, stating “He has the rough hands of a carpenter, but they hide the artistry and nuance of a Renaissance man, an artisan and craftsman whose work goes far beyond simply putting hammer to nail”. Gary would go on to design and construct distinctive homes, museum-quality furniture, stained-glass works and gifts, made with love, for family members. His favorite projects were for his church, often using exotic woods from all over the world. Gary considered himself a small-town carpenter who “got a good feeling inside” when he was helping his family, friends, community and church with this time and talents.

Gary is preceded in death by his father and mother, LaVerne and Ellen Rodewald, brothers, Ronald and K. Dean, mother-in-law Esther Bugenhagen.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Virginia, daughter, Lori Larsen, son, Kelly Rodewald; grandsons, Cord and Neil Larsen, sister, Cheryle Ross, sisters-in-law; Carol Rodewald and Julie Hall, brothers- in- law; Ronnie and wife Connie, Don (Char Les), Bill and wife Kim, nieces, nephews and other relatives.

Visitation will be Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Missouri Valley, Iowa.

Family would like to invite everyone to a time of lunch and fellowship at the church following the service

Family will direct memorials.

In Loving Memory Of

Garald Lee “Gary” Rodewald

Born July 13, 1942 Fremont, Nebraska

Entered Into Rest July 19, 2021 Missouri Valley, Iowa

Celebration Of Life Service

11:00 a.m., Thursday, July 22, 2021 St. Paul Lutheran Church

Missouri Valley, Iowa

Officiating Pastor Jean McCartney

Organist Lyle Waterhouse

Music Selections “Blessed Assurance” “Create in Me a Clean Heart” Honorary Pall Bearers

Tom Rodewald Richard Rodewald

Cord Larsen Neil Larsen

Final Resting Place (At A Later Date)



  • Mike and Linda Thomas Posted July 21, 2021 8:25 am

    So sorry to hear of Gary’s passing.
    He was a wonderful neighbor and will be greatly missed.
    Our prayers are with Virginia and the entire family.

  • Steve and Ruth Pera Posted July 21, 2021 4:08 pm

    We have many fond remembrances of Gary after coming to Missouri Valley. Our son and his wife, who is wheelchair-bound, don’t know how they would have gotten by without the special baby crib Gary custom designed and made for them for their first son and then used for their second also. Rest in God’s peace.

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