Meralda “Babe” Hansel


Meralda A. “Babe” Hansel, 86, of Elkader, died January 28, 2014, at University Hospitals in Iowa City. She was born in Guttenberg on December 5, 1927, to Clarence A. and Regina (Eilers) Frommelt. Babe grew up in Guttenberg and attended St. Mary’s Catholic School. While in Guttenberg, she worked at the button factory.

 She married Duane “Dewgie” Vorwald and four children were born to this union. Following their marriage, the couple moved to Elkader. In addition to raising her family, Babe worked at Elkader Wire and helped run the family businesses, The Rainbow Café, Dewgie’s Dugout, Elkader Theater and NAPA Auto Parts. The couple divorced, she then worked at Dean’s Super Value for a time, until she was hired at Central State Bank, where she worked until her retirement. She married Charles E. Hansel and the two of them enjoyed their time playing cards, fishing, taking Sunday drives and going to the casino. She loved feeding the birds and watching them from her living room window. For many years, Babe was a member of a woman’s card club.

Survivors include her children, Kevin (Roxi) Vorwald of West Union; Randy (Janeane) Vorwald of Elgin; Nancy (David) Dennler of Elkader; and Kim Vorwald of Elkader; five grandchildren, Brandi (Jeff) Burrow, Brynn Vorwald all of West Union; Beth (Cory) Rood of Petersburg; Kylie (Kimberly) Vorwald of Decorah and Tanor Vorwald of Cresco; eight great-grandchildren, Tylen, Jace, Cael, Ayden, Rowen Burrow, Rhyker Klatt, Karver Vorwald and Oliver Rood.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husbands and three sisters, Bernette Stannish, Rita Jackson and Veronica “Fronie” Walke.

A Mass of Christian burial was held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 1, 2014, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Elkader. Burial followed in the church cemetery. The visitation was from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, January 31, 2014, at Leonard Funeral Home and after 10 a.m. until mass time on Saturday at the church. Casket bearers were Jeff Burrows, Cory Rood, Kylie Vorwald, Jerry Olinger, Tanor Vorwald and Bill Jackson.

Leonard Funeral Home in Elkader was in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be left at

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