Donald T. Newbern

On Tuesday, October 29, 2013, Donald T. Newbern was called home to be with his Lord. His strong faith and his loving family sustained him in his last battle. A service was held at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Guttenberg, Iowa, at 11 a.m. on Friday, November 1, 2013, by Pastor Shane Anderson. Jean Pensel was the organist. Military honors were conducted by American Legion Post 373, Guttenberg and the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard. Inurnment was at 1:30 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Clayton Center.

Donald Theron Newbern was born December 10, 1933, in Elkader, Iowa, at the Elkader Hospital operated by his grandmother, Caroline Glawe. He was the son of Kenneth M. and Edna C. (Glawe) Newbern. He was baptized and confirmed at Peace United Church of Christ in Elkader, Iowa. Don graduated from Elkader High School in 1952. He entered the United States Air Force in 1952, and proudly served his country during the Korean War. He attended State University of New York and received his honorable discharge in 1956, as a S/Sgt.

On October 28, 1956, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Guttenberg, he married the love of his life, Arma Jean Schroeder of Garnavillo, Iowa. They celebrated 57 years of marriage on October 28, 2013. They were blessed with three children, Dawn Alane, Bruce Alan and Jill Denise.

Don was active in many organizations in Elkader. He served on the board of directors of both the Elkader Junior and Senior Chamber of Commerce, served as vice president of the board of the Four Oaks County Club, was a Boy Scout director, and served as cub master, coached little league baseball and served as a member of the Elkader Fire Department. The family belonged to Bethany Lutheran Church and he served on many church committees and taught Sunday school. After moving to Guttenberg in 1998, they became members of St. John’s Church. He served on several committees. The most rewarding thing he experienced with his wife, Arma Jean, was serving communion to shut-ins of their church.  He enjoyed this very much and looked forward to doing it. He was a member of the American Legion in both Guttenberg and Elkader. He served as adjutant in Guttenberg. He was a member of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees. He was always a Hawkeye fan although he did support the Cyclones, Texas Longhorns, and the Panthers.

Don retired in 1994 from the USDA-Soil Conservation Service. He served for 24 years, and was happy to have had the opportunity to work with the farmers, the stewards of the land of Clayton County.

He is survived by his soul mate wife, Arma Jean, Guttenberg; daughter, Dawn (Mike) Bilsten, Houston, TX; son, Bruce (Karen) Newbern, Sturgeon Bay, WI, daughter, Jill (Dr. Terry) Boelter, Sanborn, IA; nine grandchildren, Andrea (Shane) Pratt, Austin, TX, Anna and Megan Newbern, Sturgeon Bay, WI, Emily (fiancé Derick Rouer) Newbern, Brussels, WI, Jake Mohr, Columbus, OH, Halie Mohr, St. Louis, MO, Kate Mohr, Ames, IA, Nick Boelter, Laguna Beach, CA, and Alison (fiancé Dan Johnson) Boelter, Okoboji, IA; great-grandson, Peyton Pratt, Austin, TX. He is survived by one brother, Richard (Mary) Newbern, Guttenberg, one brother-in-law, Garry (Lonna) Schroeder, Guttenberg and four nephews, Galen, Brian (Melinda), Jeff and Aaron Schroeder.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Dean; sister-in-law, Doretta; nephew and niece Kevin and Patty Newbern; niece, Kenlyn Boelter and his father and mother-in-law, Floyd and Ora (Haverland) Schroeder.

Don’s faith and family were the most important things in his life. He will be sadly missed by those who loved him.


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