Philip James Haefner, 83, of Lansing, Iowa, died Sunday, September 3 of natural causes associated with a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease at his home, with his loving wife and one of his daughters by his side. Philip was born August 7, 1934 in Marshalltown, IA, the son of John W. and Amy Florence (nee Gilson) Haefner.
He attended Marshalltown High School and graduated from Iowa State University in Ames, IA in 1956 with a major in Civil Engineering, and was a certified Civil Engineer / Professional Land Surveyor. He participated in the ROTC program in college and started working for Chicago Bridge and Iron immediately after college while he waited for his orders. During this time, he worked in Louisiana and in Gallup, New Mexico.
Philip was united in marriage to Patricia Ruth Frank of Gallup, New Mexico, on October 12, 1957, in San Angelo, Texas. They left immediately for his deployment in the Air Force at Great Falls, Montana.
Philip served in the United States Air Force from 1957, until being honorably discharged in 1960 at the rank of Captain. Upon Philip’s discharge from the Air Force, he returned to work for Chicago Bridge and Iron.
While working for Chicago Bridge and Iron, Philip and Patricia lived in several major cities as Phil was promoted and transferred. During this time they started a family and had 3 daughters, Valerie, Linda and Sharon.
Philip returned with his family to his home state of Iowa, moving to Lansing to become the Allamakee County Engineer in 1968, and then worked at the Lansing Company. He moved to Cedar Falls, Iowa, to take the position of Black Hawk County Assistant Engineer, and then went to work for Ryken Engineering, and finally started his own civil engineering and surveying company.
During his time in Cedar Falls, Philip and his family became very involved in the Waterloo Church of Christ, where he served as an elder. This love of ministry and his compassion for others led him to return to college to get his Master of Divinity degree from Lincoln Christian Seminary in Lincoln, IL, where he attended from 1983 until 1988. During this time he also worked as the Assistant City Engineer and ministered to a local nursing home group. Upon graduation, he took the position of minister at the Clarksville Church of Christ in Clarksville, Iowa. Philip retired from ministry and moved back to Lansing, Iowa, when his Parkinson’s became too debilitating. He continued to be active in the church at Soldiers Grove Church of Christ as an elder until even that was too difficult for him as the Parkinson’s progressed. During this time, he never complained and never wavered in his deep faith.
Philip is survived by his wife, Patricia Ruth Haefner of Lansing, IA; 3 daughters, Valerie Haefner of Dodgeville, WI, Linda (Dennis) Haugen of Roseville, MN, and Sharon Haefner of Chicago, IL; 4 grandchildren, Brian Brainard, Katharine Brainard, Nathan Haugen, and Trisha Haugen; a sister, Janice Halverson, of Waterloo, IA; and his nieces and nephews.
Philip was preceded in death by his parents and a nephew.
Visitation will be from 4-8 pm on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at Thornburg-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Lansing, Iowa.
Graveside Service will be at 1:00 pm on Thursday, September 7, 2017 at Oak Hill Cemetery, Lansing, Iowa with Military Honors.
Thornburg-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Lansing, Iowa is helping the family with arrangements.