Longtime rural Readlyn, Iowa, resident Del Finder, age 90, died February 4, 2018, at Bartels Lutheran Retirement Community in Waverly, Iowa, after suffering a severe lung infection.
Delbert James Finder was born April 11, 1927, in Oelwein, Iowa, the son of Amos and Mary Elizabeth (Bray) Finder. He was baptized at Grace Methodist Episcopal Church in Oelwein on April 13, 1927. Del attended Fairbank Schools and grew up working with his family on farms in the Fairbank area. Farming, though, can be as tempestuous as the little pony he used to try to ride out to get the cows. Something else captured Del’s heart-cars.
Amos’ friendship with Oelwein native Walter Chrysler-they both worked at the Chicago Great Western roundhouse in Oelwein before Walter headed to Detroit to start the Chrysler Corporation-lured Del under the hood. He first worked at the DeSoto garage in Readlyn. After he married Lillian Bathke of Tripoli in 1946, he and Lil moved to Knittel Corner, where they founded Del’s Auto Repair in 1957. He spent decades fixing cars, painting cars, towing cars, and occasionally jumping in the car (always a
Chrysler, of course-he owned more than 60 of them throughout his lifetime) to take the family on a road trip-or at least up to the river.
Del’s favorite getaway was his trailer along the Mississippi River near Harper’s Ferry. He knew every slough and every good crappie hole-and how to grill the juiciest T-bone steak. Del loved Ernest Tubb tunes, a friendly game of pool, belting out a tune on the old trombone, butter brickle ice cream, and dogs.
He cared for his wife, Lillian, during a long illness; she died in 1997. He trudged on through, just as he did the winter of ’36 back on the farm. He gradually handed off more and more of the business to his sons, but always enjoyed hanging out at the shop and talking with his many customers and friends.
In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Richard and Leonard, and a sister, Evelyn, in infancy. Del is survived by two sons, Jerry (Connie) of Knittel and Jack (Kathy) of rural Readlyn; a daughter, Sally (Patrick) Finder Weepie of Altoona; two grandchildren, Tereasa and Pat; six great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; and his longtime companion, Sue Abbas of Waverly.
Del has been cremated and per his directive, no funeral services will be held. Memorials may be directed to his family and sent to the Kaiser-Corson Funeral Home, P.O. Box 215, Waverly, Iowa 50677. Online condolences may be left at www.kaisercorson.com. Kaiser-Corson Funeral Home in Waverly assisting the family with arrangements 319-352-1187.
Kaiser Corson has a highly dedicated, professional staff to provide unconditional service before, during, and after the immediate need. Kaiser-Corson offers at-need services including complete funeral services, cremation services, immediate burial services, body donation, transfer and receiving services, and a full line of funeral related merchandise. Serving the communities of Waverly, Shell Rock, Denver, Readlyn, and surrounding areas.