Robert H. Vossberg, 98, of Shell Rock, Iowa passed away on Sunday, September 10, 2017 at the Bartels Lutheran Retirement Community in Waverly, Iowa.
Robert Henry Vossberg, the second son of Henry and Clara Guergens Vossberg, was born April 23, 1919, on the family farm, one mile south of Waverly Junction or four miles west of Janesville. Bob was baptized August 25, 1919, by Pastor Emil Rausch of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Waverly. He attended Sunday School and church at St. John’s Lutheran Church at Finchford and was confirmed December 29, 1938, by Rev. Edmond Frese.
He attended school at the Finchford Consolidated School, graduating in 1937. In his senior year of High School, he ran track. Since the school had no official track, they ran around the school house. He wore ordinary tennis shoes. Participating in the State Track Meet, he came in 6th. He remained home, farming with his father until he entered the Marine Aviation Corps on April 14, 1942. He was discharged on April 4, 1946, with the rank of Technical Sargent. During his four years in service, he attended many different schools, graduating many times at the top of the class, thus becoming proficient in many areas. Prior to going overseas, he was a flight instrument specialist in charge of the electric shop with a pilot training squadron. He was overseas nine months with the Marine Air Group 22 on Okinawa and later with the Air Base Command near Nagasaki, Japan, where he worked as a radio tower operator. He was part of the Occupational Forces of Japan. He received the American Theater of Operations, American Defense, Asiatic, Pacific, Victory Ribbons, and the Good Conduct Medal.
Bob was married to Lorraine Faye Renning August 19, 1947 in Zion Lutheran Church, Macon, Missouri by Rev. Victor H. Grimm. The couple farmed in the Janesville and Shell Rock area until March, 1950, when they moved into Shell Rock. They purchased their present home in February, 1952.
In 1951, using his remaining GI credits, he took flying lessons and in August got his private pilot’s license. He worked for Shield Bantam, later known as Koehring Company and Terex Company, beginning in March, 1950. He started as an assemblyman, transferring to the service department in 1966. Later he worked as a Quality Control Supervisor, then was transferred back to the Service Department, retiring in June of 1982, after working 32 years. Bob was a Sunday School teacher and superintendent at the Church in Finchford and also Peace Lutheran Church in Shell Rock, which he joined in 1947. He held various offices in both churches. He became a member of Faith Lutheran Church in the fall of 1992. He was a City Councilman for two terms, and he had been a Cub Scoutmaster and leader. With the parental family having pasture and woods along the Shell Rock River, he enjoyed fishing and the outdoors, the love of which he passed on to his children and grandchildren. During his retirement he fed the birds and squirrels, a highlight being when the wood ducks nested in a tree and the wood duck houses in his yard. He also enjoyed the cedar wax wings’ annual stop in the spring, as they ate the berries and the maple sap.
Bob was a “fixer.” There were very few repairs that he would not attempt, and felt it a personal insult to his ability if he couldn’t accomplish the task. He was known for his “junk box,” usually finding a use for the things he would not throw away.
He had a love of motorcycles, earning the money to buy his first one, a 1935 Indian, by picking corn by hand for a neighbor for 5 cents a bushel. He bought a new motorcycle, a 1946 Indian, when he came home from the service, and sold it when there were two little daughters. When he retired, he bought a new cycle, selling it in 1998. He also loved Cushman scooters and restored three, keeping all of them. This led to joining the “Over The Hill Gang.”
As a World War II veteran, he participated on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. in May 2011 where he was joined by his son, Michael, who worked in the Washington, D.C. area, and his grandson, Joshua to tour the World War II Memorial and other memorials. Bob and Faye thoroughly enjoyed their retirement years, fully realizing this was indeed a blessing from God. Bob honored his Lord by filling the altar candles for several years, adjusting the flames so they burned evenly.
He is survived by his wife, Faye, and four children: Mary Lynn and Jack Cain of Shell Rock; Bonnie and Douglas Smalley, Clive; Michael and Karen Vossberg, Bowling Green, Virginia; and David and Sandy Vossberg, Shell Rock; seven Grandchildren: Jennifer Cain Nichols, Emily Cain Drew, Krista Smalley Webb, Alicia Vossberg Evans and Joshua Vossberg; Brandon and Gabriel Vossberg; five Great-Grandchildren: Samantha and Andrew Nichols; Isabella, Carter and Bennett Webb; one Great-Great Grandchild to be born in November; sister-in-Law, Olive Vossberg. He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, Clarence in 1960, Wayne in 2010 and a granddaughter, Karla Renae Cain in 1975.
Visitation will be held from 4:00-7:00 p.m., Wednesday, September 13 at Kaiser Corson Funeral Home in Shell Rock and one hour prior to the service on Thursday at the church. Funeral service will be held on September 14 at 10:30 a.m. at Faith Lutheran Church in Shell Rock with Pastor Kim Smith officiating. Memorials should be directed to the family and online condolences may be left at www.kaisercorson.com.