Gary A. Westhoff

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Gary Allen Westhoff, 60, passed away from pancreatic cancer on April 23, 2023, at the University of Iowa Hospital, surrounded by his family during his last days and hours of life.

Visitation was Thursday, April 27, at Morris Funeral Home in Guttenberg and before services at the church.

Funeral services were Friday, April 28, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Guttenberg.

Burial was in the church cemetery.

“The Favorite Son” was born on Aug. 16, 1962, to Floyd and Betty (Deutmeyer) Westhoff. He attended St. Mary’s Elementary School in Guttenberg from 1968-1976 and he graduated from Guttenberg High School in 1980. He married the love of his life, Barb Belden, on May 29, 1982 and they made their home on a farm north of Guttenberg. They had three sons, each of whom they were extremely proud, Nicholas, Matthew and Daniel.

Faith, family and farming were all an important part of his life. He farmed with his father his whole life and when the boys were old enough, they joined in the family farming duties where they learned the importance of integrity, hard work and if you don’t do it right the first time you will redo it. He was a loving and faithful husband, a father who taught by example and a doting grandfather.

In 1978, he started digging graves, or as he put it, ‘planting people’. He took great pride that he could take care of people and their families during their time of mourning. He worked with many cemeteries in the NE Iowa area.

He was a Fourth Degree Knight for the Knights of Columbus and in 2021 he received the Clayton County Cattleman of the Year Award.

Gary had a great smile, laugh and a positive and realistic attitude toward life. He was proud of his family farm. Some days he figured out how to get 36 hours of work into a 24 hour day. Most days he had no concept of a clock. There were always things to be done, but given the opportunity, he loved to play euchre. He would always remind the family, “It’s not the cards, it’s how you play them.” He had a line and story for anyone who would listen. He was a big boy with a big heart. Calving season was his favorite time of the year. He loved to watch the calves run in the fields with their tails in the air.

He is survived by his wife of almost 41 years, Barb Westhoff of Guttenberg; two sons, Matt (Mindy) Westhoff of Garnavillo, Dan (Sarah) Westhoff of Mason City; one daughter-in-law, Jessie (Tony) Young of Guttenberg; 10 grandchildren, Rashell, Anna, Lily, Cole Westhoff and Tony Young Jr. of Guttenberg, Jackson Westhoff of Garnavillo and Evelyn, Amber, Mark and Luke Westhoff of Mason City; his parents, Floyd and Betty Westhoff of Guttenberg; three sisters, Cindy (Jody) Crow of Guttenberg, Sandy (Robert) Hendricks of Robins, Lori Westhoff of West Union; his mother-in-law, Pat Belden, and five nieces and nephews and their families.

He was preceded in death by his son, Nick Westhoff; a nephew, Paul Crow, and father-in-law, Russell Belden.

Gary said many times how much he appreciated the excellent care he received at the Guttenberg Hospital, Mercy Hospital in Dubuque and the University of Iowa Hospital. The family will be forever grateful for the many people who prayed for Gary and our family during these last five months. 

In lieu of flowers and gifts, all memorials will go toward the wishes of the family.

This is not goodbye. This is until we meet again.

Information is available at

Memorials may be sent to Morris Funeral Home (in care of the deceased), 207 S. First St., Guttenberg, IA 52052.

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