David Earl Moody was born on December 6, 1947, in New Hampton, Iowa, to Earl and Betty Jean (Slick) Moody. He passed away peacefully and privately at Veterans Memorial Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, on September 4, 2018. He battled, prostate cancer, lung cancer and brain cancer all as the result of his exposure to Agent Orange while serving his country in Viet Nam during 1968-69.
He was a complicated man. To anyone who would look into his past, one would have a clearer understanding of how he became so complicated.
Dave had an extreme sense of bravery in any situation. Perhaps his only fears were of snakes and bats. Snakes immediately succumbed to his wrath with a hoe. Bats (once in the house) were pursued with Dave wearing a baseball cap, donning leather gloves with a badminton racket in hand. Worked every time!
He grew up in a small Iowa town as the town rebel and “leader of the pack.” He was an independent thinker and wasn’t shy about making his opinions known and lived with every decision he ever made without regret. However, he was a very private and humble man. At an early age he was a wrencher and a grease monkey. He had an unquenchable thirst of how everything worked. The best way to satisfy that thurst was for him to take apart whatever challenged his curiosity to see if he could get it back together. He was generally successful, but any parts left over were put in a “parts place” so next time he came up short, he always had spare parts. He called it his “inventory.” The fact that his Dad owned and operated a gas station/truck stop was the perfect place for this guy to grow up. So accomplished was he in his knowledge of mechanics that the local school district entrusted him with its fleet of school buses. On many occasions he was called out of class by the superintendent to work on a bus that needed some repairs before the afternoon route. He loved doing that work, plus it got him out of class.
During the summer before his senior year in high school his brother, who was 2 years younger than him, was killed in a car accident on an Iowa gravel road at the age of 15. His parents were seriously injured in a separate car accident which rendered his Mom a slow recovery lasting many months.
Dave graduated from Fredericksburg High School in 1966. He was drafted into the U.S. Army. His basic training was taken at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. He fulfilled his AIT at Fort Polk, LA, which prepared him for serving his country in the jungles of Viet Nam. While in Nam he was assigned as a track commander and mortar man in 1968-69. He returned stateside to complete his service at Fort Carson, CO. He was honorably discharged with a rank of SP/4 (T) E4.
Upon returning from Viet Nam, he married Ronna Anderson. They later divorced. On August 8, 1981, Dave married Anna Shady at St. John Lutheran Church, Farmersburg, IA. Anna and Dave purchased a small acreage in Prairie du Chien, WI and moved there in 1986. They recently celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary. The sense of humor they shared helped make the marriage a success for all those years. Sometimes misunderstood by outsiders, it was the glue that held their relationship together.
David spent most of his life as a truck driver hauling milk, grain, livestock, van freight and groceries for Walmart. He worked for 8 years as the traffic manager at Gencor/Bituma in Marquette, IA dispatching oversize and legal load asphalt equipment. He organized, owned and operated an expedited freight company and pilot car service for 15 years. He escorted such things as milk/ice cream silos, generators, asphalt equipment, transformers, rocket launchers, wind turbines, gold mine equipment, everything except trailer houses.
In 2005 Dave co-partnered to form Baraboo River Express. In that entity he owned and operated his own semi-truck while continuing to transport groceries for Walmart. He passed his truck on to his daughter, Angela, in 2008. Dave continued driving a few more years for his co-partner making Walmart deliveries. Due to his health, he retired from full time truck driving in 2015. He later earned a 100% disabled classification by the Veterans Administration as a result of his exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Viet Nam.
Dave was a dedicated father and always had time for family. No matter how busy, or far away he was, – he had time to talk or rush to the side of a family member in need.
Dave loved the outdoors and was always busy on the small acreage he and Anna owned in Prairie du Chien, WI. He could always find some reason to drive his tractor around the yard hauling wood or moving Anna’s beloved rocks. He cut all their own wood which fed the basement wood stove and the living room fireplace. In retirement he applied his skills as the neighborhood handyman, working and repairing everything from farm tractors and equipment, lawn mowers and snow blowers to plumbing and electrical jobs. He recently developed a love for vegetable gardening and loved watching it grow. He also assisted at the LaRiviere Horse Park which adjoined their acreage, hauling horse manure, and doing odd jobs helping at the park. For a few years Dave broke and cared for a small herd of “Sale Barn” horses which the kids enjoyed trail riding in the Coulee.
Dave loved fishing, but in spite of living only a couple miles from the Mississippi River, he barely took time to go fishing. However, he never missed taking some of his adult children and grandchildren bullhead fishing in Minnesota each Memorial Day, a tradition his father instilled in him at an early age.
Because they owned Afghan Hounds (currently three) it was necessary to purchase a 36’ motor home for traveling. Dave and Anna did not believe in boarding these members of their family so where they went, so did all three hounds, and they were excellent travelers.
Dave is survived by his wife, Anna, of Prairie du Chien, WI; six children: Toni (Mike) Federer, Palo, IA; Angela (Asa) Sessions, Prairie du Chien, WI; Timothy Moody, Fredericksburg, IA; Troy (Ruthie) Moody, Belvidere, NC; Ryan (Katie) Moody, Burnsville, MN; and Shannon (Darin) Schoonover, Sumner, IA. In addition, survivors include nine grandchildren: Jacob, Kyle, Tyler, Kennedy, Luca, Meghan, Matthew, Owen and Olyvia; and one great-granddaughter, Felicity. Other survivors include siblings: Ronnie (Judy) Moody and Kathy (Dick) Schmadeke all of Fredericksburg, IA; a sister-in-law, Kathryn (Kent) Severson of Farmersburg, IA; several nieces and nephews, as well as many lifetime friends.
Dave was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Betty Jean (Slick) Moody, a brother, Harlan Moody, his maternal and paternal grandparents.
Dave and Anna were members of Faith Lutheran Church, an NALC congregation, Monona, IA.
Funeral Services will be held on Friday, September 14, 2018, at Hillcrest Baptist Brethren Church in Fredericksburg, IA at 11:00 AM preceded by visitation at the church from 9:00 AM until time of services. Pastor Todd Yeaton officiating. Burial will be in Rose Hill Cemetery also in Fredericksburg, IA.
Memorials may be given to Faith Lutheran Church, Monona, IA in Dave’s memory
Thornburg-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin is helping the family with the arrangements.