Robert “Bob” Frederick Drahn, 93, of Monona, Iowa died Monday, February 15, 2021 at his home. Bob was born March 6, 1927 to Walter and Elsie (Kliefoth) Drahn at home in Giard Township, rural Monona, Iowa. He attended the ‘Drahn’ country school and was a graduate of the Class of 1944 of Monona High School.
Bob enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on October 20, 1945, where he served as a machinist of a ground crew of the Marine Air Corps at Tsingtao, China and Okinawa, Japan. He was honorably discharged as a Corporal on December 12, 1946.
Upon returning home, Bob worked as a farmhand for his Uncle Glendor. He married Dorla Bothel on July 6, 1950. Two daughters, Janis and Cheryl, were born to this union. Bob and Dorla purchased the farm on Suttle Creek in 1955, where they lived for 62 years.
Bob loved to fish and hunt, was a skilled archer and marksman, and a self-taught expert in the wonders of the natural world, land stewardship and conservation. In addition to farming fulltime, he worked at the Volney Cheese Factory as a cheese maker, field milk inspector and bookkeeper. Night shift at the creamery meant bright lights and the moths attracted to them, thus sparking Bob’s interest in the variety of moths and butterflies native to northeast Iowa.
In 1971 Bob embarked on a career as a State Conservation Aide with the Allamakee County Soil Conservation Service. In his 20 plus years with the ASCS he became a champion for erosion control practices, windbreaks, dams and ponds, sinkholes and timber stand improvements for wildlife preservation. He became a self-taught photographer. One of his photos was awarded first place in a state-wide competition sponsored by the Iowa Chapter of the Soil Conservation Society of America. Bob shared his wonderful photo collection of wildflowers, butterflies, birds and scenery in slide show presentations to an assortment of clubs and groups.
Bob retired from farming and transferred his love of working the soil from crops to veggies, blueberries, watermelon and apples, which he enjoyed sharing with friends and family. Bob also kept bees for many years.
Upon his retirement from the ASCS, Bob became interested in wood carving and spent the next 25 years perfecting a variety of carving styles and spending many an enjoyable hour learning and teaching at the Monona Historical Museum’s wood carvers group. Bob’s butterfly collection and several of his carvings are on permanent display at the Museum.
Robert Drahn is survived by his wife of 70 years, Dorla; his daughters, Jan (Kurt) vonMeyer of Onalaska, Wisconsin and Cheryl Smola of Monona; sisters, Dolores Olds and Elaine (Bill) Possehl of Monona and many nieces, nephews and friends. Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Elsie Drahn; sisters, Georgene Schupbach, Leola McComis and Sharon Crablow Moderwell; brothers, Keith and William (Bill) Drahn and sons-in-law, John Smola and Doug Ihde.
At Bob’s request, no public services are being held; private family inurnment will be held at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Monona Historical Museum.
Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Monona, Iowa is assisting the family with arrangements.