Kenneth Lawrence Vagts, 86, of Eldorado, Iowa died Friday, January 3, 2020 at his home in Eldorado. He was born September 14, 1933 to Lawrence and Mabel (Scheelhaase) Vagts in Eldorado, Iowa. Kenneth graduated from West Union High School, West Union, Iowa and attended college for one year at Area One, Calmar, Iowa.
Kenneth was united in marriage with Evelyn McIntyre on May 29, 1955 at St. Peter Lutheran Church, Eldorado, Iowa. Seven children were born to this union.
Kenneth lived a life of service. He served his country, community, church and family. Kenny was drafted into the Army serving stateside, as well as overseas, from 1955-1957. He was incredibly proud of his three grandsons who followed in his footsteps by serving their country in the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Army National Guard. After receiving an honorable discharge from the Army, Kenny returned to Eldorado where he worked for Vagts Feed Service and soon after was a carpenter specializing in out-buildings, hay bunks and hay racks. Kenny and his brother, John Vagts, purchased a sawmill (now known as Vagts Sawmill); they moved it next to the Turkey River, just east of Eldorado, where it still is today. After purchasing the sawmill, Kenny and John farmed together where they raised hogs, milked cows and crop farmed. His favorite farming activities were harvesting corn and raising hogs. Kenny retired in 2016.
Kenny served on numerous boards and was involved in multiple civic organizations. He was an active member and president of Farm Bureau and the Fayette County Pork Producers. Kenny officially served on the Fayette County Fair Board for 22 years (unofficially, he helped around the fairgrounds for many years after, including raising the flags until he was nearly 80 years old). He served on the Fayette County Tourism Board where he hosted families from the Chicago area showing them all NE Iowa farm life had to offer. He received West Union’s “Citizen of the Year” award in 2003. He, Evelyn, and his children were deeply involved in 4-H; in 2011 he was inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame at the Iowa State Fair. He was also a member of the Fayette County Republican Central Committee.
An active, life-long member of St. Peter Lutheran Church, Kenny held numerous offices as well as serving on the NE Iowa Synod Board and a member of the Lutheran Brotherhood. He was often found at the church fixing thing, putting up the Christmas tree and live nativity set, and ringing the bells.
Kenny’s hobbies included playing cards with family; he and Evelyn were members of several card clubs. He enjoyed traveling stateside as well as abroad, and loved collecting coins. He raised and showed Poland-China pigs. He’s famous around the area for his wood-working and gave one of a kind handmade gifts. Perhaps his biggest hobbies were helping anyone with anything they needed and spending time with his family. He was an avid Iowa Hawkeyes and Minnesota Vikings fan, watching them whenever he could (even despite the fact his beloved Vikings have never won a Super Bowl).
Kenneth is survived by his wife of sixty-four years, Evelyn Vagts; six children, Cindy Linderbaum of Ossian; Randi (Sara) Vagts of Eldorado, Jody (Terry) Kerns of Edgewood, Rick Vagts of Eldorado, Terry (Penny Hertges) Vagts of Eldorado and Chris (Tami) Vagts of Eldorado; twenty-four grandchildren, Tina (Brian) Jordahl of Byron, Minnesota, Scott (Amber) Linderbaum of Elgin, Derrick (Sara) Vagts of Calmar, Amber (Paul) Langreck of West Union, Loren (Kara) Vagts of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, Cory (Jeanessa) Meyer of West Union, Dustin (Jolene) Meyer of Eagan, Minnesota, Nathan (Angie) Meyer of West Union, Darci (Albert) Cline of West Union, Luke (Brooke) Kerns of Edgewood, Katie (Drew) Anderson of Edgewood, Bryan Vagts of Eldorado, Colin Vagts of Eldorado, Cody (Jaime) Vagts of Calmar, Austin (Fiancé, Kelsie Fischels) Vagts of Waterloo, Madison (Fiancé, Wes Johnson) Vagts of Plattsburg, Missouri, Allison Vagts of Gladstone, Missouri, Matthew Hertges of Ossian, Sara Hertges of Ossian, Shara Ungs of Nashua, Emma Vagts of West Union, Rylee Vagts of Nashua, Matthew (Elizabeth) Vagts of New Boston, Illinois and Kaylee Vagts of Eldorado; thirty-four great-grandchildren with two on the way; two brothers, Donald (Audrey) Vagts of West Union and Gerald (Mary Anne) Vagts of Eldorado; one sister, Irene (Elvin) Anderson of Elgin and a brother-in-law, Daryl Pape of Hawkeye.
Kenneth was preceded in death by his son, Michael Vagts; his parents and a sister, Marilyn Pape.
Visitation will be on Friday, January 10, 2020 from 4-7 pm at St. Peter Lutheran Church, Eldorado, Iowa and one hour before services at the church on Saturday.
Funeral Services will be at 10:30 am on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at St. Peter Lutheran Church, Eldorado, Iowa with Rev. Ginny Olson as the Officiant.
Burial will follow at St. Peter Lutheran Cemetery, Eldorado, Iowa with Military Rites.
Burnham-Wood-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, West Union, Iowa is helping the family with arrangements.