Harry LaVerne Butikofer, 101, of Elgin passed away on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, at Gunderson Palmer Hospital, West Union, following a long life and a brief illness. He was born November 10, 1917 at home on the family farm immediately south of Elgin to Albert and Marie (Schupbach) Butikofer. Harry attended Cheery Valley country school in rural Clayton County.
Harry was united in marriage to Rose Marie Dennler on August 17, 1943, at the Baptist Parsonage in Elgin. Six children were born to this union. Together Harry and Rose farmed and operated a commercial painting business for fifty-five years. Prior to and following operating their own farm, Harry worked as a farmhand, ultimately planting and harvesting crops from NE Iowa to Texas. He was also a highly skilled carpenter. In 1977, Harry and Rose built a new home on their small man-made lake and moved there, just up the road from their home farm.
When not working, Harry enjoyed fishing, collecting and restoring antiques, telling stories, wine making and willingly imparting his knowledge on the subject to friends and family, and happily sharing his many helpful skills with family and friends. He was very proud of his Swiss heritage and his children and grandchildren. Harry was a friend to all as well as a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather.
Harry enjoyed traveling and was ready to travel anywhere at the drop of a hat. He and Rose made four trips to Switzerland to visit relatives, trips to other European countries, and trips to Mexico, Hawaii and many of the other states in our country. Additionally, they frequently hosted family and friends who visited them throughout their lives.
Survivors include four children, Louise (Leo) Johansen of Elgin, Richard (Donna) Butikofer of Cedar Rapids, Robert (Kathy Juba) Butikofer of Cedar Rapids, Gary (Cindy) Butikofer of Elgin, his sister Shirley Nester of Rock Rapids, brothers Paul (Mildred) and Albert (LaVerne) of Elgin and William (Norma) of Gridley, IL, fourteen grandchildren, eighteen great-grandchildren, as well as many beloved extended family members.
Harry was preceded in death by his wife Rose (2008), his parents, two sons, Keith Butikofer and Merlin Butikofer, daughter-in-law Liz Butikofer, brothers, Reuben Butikofer and Bert Butikofer, and sisters, Anna Butikofer, Elizabeth Moore, and Ruth Wiegand.
Visitation will be held from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Sunday, January 13, 2019 at Illyria Community Church in Elgin, Iowa. There will also be a one hour visitation before services at the church on Monday.
Funeral Services will be at 11:00 am on Monday, January 14, 2019 at Illyria Community Church, Elgin, Iowa with Pastor Pam Reinig as the officiant.
Burial will follow at Illyria Cemetery, Elgin, Iowa.
Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Elgin, Iowa is helping the family with arrangements.