Frank John Fetter
Frank John Fetter, 88, of Toledo, passed away peacefully, family by his side, Wednesday, March 28, 2018, at the Iowa River Hospice Home in Marshalltown. Visitation will be held Wednesday, April 4, 2018, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Kruse-Phillips Funeral Home in Tama with a vigil service at 7 p.m. A committal service with military honors will be held Thursday, April 5, 2018, at 10 a.m. at St. Patrick's Cemetery in Tama.
Frank was born on Jan. 4, 1930, on the family farm in Chelsea, Iowa, the son of Frank L. and Emma (Sichra) Fetter. Frank grew up on the farm with his brother, sisters and dog, Buster; attended St. Joseph's Catholic School (K-8) and the Chelsea public school (9-12), graduating in 1948. Frank was active in sports and especially loved basketball.
On Jan. 27, 1951, he was united in marriage to Elaine E. Novak at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Chelsea. Shortly after, Frank served his country in the U.S. Army overseas in Korea as a corporal during the Korean Conflict, returning home to his wife and infant son, Tom, to attend his father's funeral. Frank finished out his tour in Camp McCoy, Wis., and Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
Frank worked for the Chicago Northwestern Railroad in Clinton, Iowa, and Chicago. The family returned to Chelsea in 1955 to make their home where Frank was employed as city marshal and street commissioner. Frank then worked for Rockwell International in Cedar Rapids, working on groundbreaking technologies, including U.S. government space programs (Echo, Mercury, Gemini and Apollo) communication equipment, initial GPS technology and Doppler Radar weather forecast equipment. Frank retired in 1988 from Rockwell Collins with 30 years of service. In celebration, Frank and Elaine went on a 10-day, seven-country trip to Europe with daughter, Shelley, and her husband, Paul.
Frank served on the Chelsea City Council, the St. Joseph's Church Board and the South Tama County School Board, where he was instrumental in the creation of the current STC High School complex. Each of their children attended St. Joseph's Catholic School, graduated from STC High School and attended college. (Five attended the University of Iowa and four were there at the same time!) Frank worked in C.R. all day, then drove home to activities his children participated in all evening. Frank coached Chelsea Little League baseball and St. Joseph's basketball teams on which his sons played, organizing many games with teams from various towns. The family went on many fun vacations and fishing trips, sometimes taking along as many friends as would fit in the station wagon. His greatest memory was hauling eight kids to Colorado and back on a family vacation. Frank and Elaine attended many football and basketball games, track events and band concerts, including University of Iowa football games from east to west coasts to watch son, Mark, play, including the Senior All-Star football game in Texas. Frank and son, Doug, had much fun collecting, showing and trading antique beer cans.
Frank and Elaine had a business, Front Room Antiques, traveling to many antique shows for which Roberta spent many hours helping pack. They built a new home next to Mark in Toledo in 1996. Elaine passed away Sept. 14, 1999, and is greatly missed. Frank enjoyed fishing, kayaking at the lake, playing cards with friends and spending time with his family.
He was a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Tama and formerly St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Chelsea. He also was the St. Joseph's Cemetery custodian for many years. Frank was a member of the American Legion.
Frank was a kind and loving person who gave generously of himself. He lives on in those of us who dearly love and cherish him.
Survivors include his children, Tom (Mary Jane) Fetter of Manchester, Mark (Diana) Fetter of Toledo, Shelley E. (the late Paul) Ziemer Fetter of Parker, Colo., Doug (Paula) Fetter of Pleasant Hill, and Roberta (Sam) Luckel of Solon; 12 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his parents; his wife; one son, Gordon (Rayetta) Fetter; and his siblings, Charles Fetter, Anna Braasch and Ruth Maule.
A memorial fund will be established to the South Tama County Scholarship Foundation and the Circle of Saints Catholic Cluster.