Virgil Lenth

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 Virgil Dean William Lenth, 88, of Elkader, passed away Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, at the Elkader Care Center. He was born Feb. 12, 1934, in Farmersburg Township, Clayton County, to Arno and Hilda (Huebner) Lenth. Virgil attended Mecklenburg Country School and graduated from Elkader High School class of 1951. He served in the United States Navy from July 9, 1953, until he was honorably discharge on July 2, 1957.


On July 24, 1958, he was united in marriage to Caroline Ambrose at the St. Patrick rectory in Monona. The couple became parents of three children. The family lived on the farm near St. Olaf, which has been in the family over 150 years. Virgil worked at the St. Olaf Creamery for 22 years and raised beef cattle on the farm. For 15 years, the couple owned and operated the St. Olaf Tavern, where Virgil created the largest breaded pork tenderloin sandwich known in northeast Iowa.


Virgil was a member of the Farmersburg-St. Olaf American Legion Post #388 for 57 years, a long-time member of the St. Olaf Fire Department and a life-time member of Norway Lutheran Church. Virgil loved spending time going down to the “crick” and with his many pet dogs and kitties. He loved gardening, planting potatoes “on Good Friday,” hunting mushrooms and picking wild black raspberries. He often told stories about his days attending the Mecklenburg school, his Navy adventures in Japan and reunions. He was especially proud of his trips to Washington, D.C. on the Honor Flight in 2015 and to San Padro, Calif., in 2016 to visit the USS Battleship Iowa. He was quick to remember many birthdays of family, neighbors and friends, and gave them a phone call to help celebrate their day. His most special times were the visits from his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


Survivors include his wife Caroline of Elkader; his children, Randy (Lisa) Lenth of St. Olaf and Ronny (Angie) Lenth of Hiawatha; five grandchildren, Gregory (Mackenzie Cowden) Lenth, Courtney (Jeff) Rezin, Zachary (Renee) Lenth, Alexander (Hannah) Lenth and Aimee (Rev. Daniel Hanson) Lenth; six great-grandchildren, Atticus Lenth and Oliver Cowden, Campbell Rezin, Finley and Mya Lenth, and Nora Lenth; sister, Maxine Kuehl of Elkader; sister-in-law, Connie Lenth of Atkins; and several nieces and nephew and many friends.


Virgil was preceded in death by his son Ricky on July 11, 2016; his   parents; brother, Gary Lenth; brother-in-law, Howard Kuehl; nephew, Brad Kuehl; and niece, Sherry Henning.


Visitation was Nov. 7, at Norway Lutheran Church, rural St. Olaf. Funeral service was on Nov. 8, at Norway Lutheran Church, Rev. Marshall Hahn officiating. Interment followed in the church cemetery.


Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Elkader is assisting the family.

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