Donald Aden Wold, age 93, of Saint Olaf, Iowa, died February 23, 2020, at the Strawberry Point Lutheran Home. He was born on February 18, 1927, on the Wold family farm, rural Saint Olaf, Iowa, in Wagner Township, the son of Harrison and Gina Gilbertson Wold. He attended Dry Run Country School and graduated from Elkader High School in 1944 while World War II was still in progress. With older brother Harry flying P-38s in combat, and sister Ruth a WAC in Germany, the Wold family was very much aware of the war, as were so many families. Don immediately got involved in farming which, at that time, seemed like a large task, trying to keep old machines wired together long enough to do their jobs since no new machinery was available. As Don wrote, “Then the war was over, and our generation was witness to the greatest growth this country has ever seen. Life was good. We saw old school classmates occasionally, made new friends; and, who was that new girl working in Central State Bank? Found out it was Berniece!”
On October 21, 1951, he was united in marriage to Berniece Thein at St. John Church in Garber, Iowa. Don and Berniece were blessed with one daughter, Dawn. Berniece died suddenly on June 30, 2012. Soon after her death, Don moved to Memory Care at SPLH, where dementia took its toll on his mind but never changed his kind demeanor.
He was happy and proud to be a farmer his entire life, a steward of the land. In the ̓60s and ̓70s, he eliminated chickens and milk cows and concentrated on raising hogs. Don wrote, “Pigs were fun. They were so cute when little, and five and a half months later, they really looked good getting on the truck to go to market.” Because he was the farmer in the family, he bought his siblings’ shares in the Montana wheat farm his mother had homesteaded as a young woman. He admired the hardships she endured and knew how much the land meant to her. He appreciated his responsibility to preserve her legacy.
Music played an important role in Don’s life. He sang in church choir and was a soloist at many weddings and funerals around the area.
Don served on the ASCS County Committee, the FHA Board, Pork Producers, Lutheran Credit Union Board, and Strawberry Point Lutheran Home Board, where he was president during the building addition of the Gernand Center. He sold Pioneer Seed for 11 years and custom dried corn every fall.
He and Berniece enjoyed traveling to nearly every state during their retirement years. Don went on a special Wold family heritage trip to Norway with family members. It was a highlight of his life to walk the land where his grandparents, Thor and Liv, started their young lives together.
He was a faithful, lifelong member of Norway Lutheran Church, St. Olaf, Iowa, where he was baptized and confirmed. Besides singing in choir, Don taught Sunday School and served in many leadership positions at Norway. He and Berniece were great evangelists, always inviting people to worship with them at Norway. Rarely did they miss Sunday worship, even in the midst of a winter blizzard.
He was the overseer of the Norway Lutheran Cemetery, where his ancestors are buried and where he will be laid to rest.
He was preceded in death by his wife, his beloved parents, and all of his siblings, Rachel, Harrison, Ruth, and Leigh.
He is survived by his daughter, Dawn, and her husband, Dr. David Herrmann; his grandson, Zach Herrmann and wife Jillian; and his great-granddaughter, Emmajean Herrmann. Zach and family are the fifth and sixth generations to live on the Wold Century Farm today. He also leaves a brother-in-law, Frederick Thein, and a sister-in-law, Donna Thein, along with nieces and nephews whom he loved dearly.
We give thanks to God for his life and for God’s promise to keep him by His side forever.
Funeral Service: 11:00 AM on Monday, March 2, 2020, with a visitation one hour before – all at Norway Lutheran Church, rural St. Olaf with Rev. Marshall Hahn officiating.
Interment: Norway Lutheran Church Cemetery, rural St. Olaf
Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Elkader, Iowa is assisting the family.