George R. Dane peacefully left his family on Jan. 13, 2018, to join his wife, Marjorie, for an eternity in heaven. A Celebration of Life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, at First United Methodist Church in Iowa City. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service, Iowa City. Following lunch, burial with military honors will be at Oakland Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to First United Methodist Church (Seminary Scholarship Fund: Harold and Ethel Dane); Iowa UMF Wesley Foundation at UI (Dane-Driscoll Endowment), Oaknoll Foundation (Employee Scholarship Fund) or Old Threshers Foundation (School Tour Fund.)
George Rough Dane was born July 8, 1922, in Janesville, Wis., to Harold John and Ethel (Rough) Dane. At the age of 1, the family moved to Iowa City. In 1928, Harold purchased the farm in southwest Iowa City, where the family moved in 1931. George attended Lincoln Elementary and University Elementary, then Shattuck (High) School in Fairbault, Minn., where he graduated cum laude in 1940. The Shattuck cadets received military curriculum equivalent to college-level ROTC programs. He enrolled in the University of Iowa College of Engineering in the fall of 1940 and then declined the education deferment and joined his father in active duty World War II. After returning from the war, he continued classes part time and graduated in 1948. George later took courses in both the UI College of Business and College of Law.
George always said he had three careers: military, community and church.
George registered for the draft in the spring of 1942 and, on Oct. 1, he activated his commission and reported for active duty to Camp Robinson, Ark., as a 2nd lieutenant. In December 1942, following the start of World War II, his active military duty began in 1943 at Camp Shelby, Miss. On Feb. 23, 1944, (while on leave), he married Marjorie Ann Schenck at her parents' Iowa City home at 1123 E. College St. Marjorie stayed near George in Laurel, Miss., until he was shipped overseas on July 10, 1944, as a 1st lieutenant and served in the European Theater of Operations. Arriving in England, he joined the K Company 110th Infantry, 28th Division, in the Hurtgen Forest from September to November 1944 as a replacement. George then was assigned as the motor officer 3rd Battalion 110th Infantry and was in the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. George was in four campaigns: Northern France, Rhineland, Central Europe and Ardennes. On Jan. 31, 1946, he was released from active duty (3.5 years) at Camp Shelby with the rank of first lieutenant.
For 30 years, George served in the U.S. Army Reserve as a staff officer 1st 410th Infantry Battalion. In 1957, George was a military observer for atomic bomb detonations in the Nevada desert. From 1964 to 1968, he was the battalion commander of the 1st 410th, including five summer encampments. He graduated with honor from the command and general staff college in 1968 and later taught there and at the USAR school. On April 20, 1976, George retired from the USAR at the rank of colonel.
For his military service, he received the Bronze Star Medal on June 8, 1945, the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Four Bronze stars, the American Campaign Medal and the Victory Medal World War II. In 2015, he received a Quilt of Valor from the American Legion, Iowa City Post No. 17. In May 2016, he received the status of Knight and the Legion of Honor Medal from the French Embassy for his heroic defense of the French people, including combat in Paris, Vosges Mountains, Rouflach, Melum and Fumay. This award is the French equivalent of the United States Congressional Medal of Honor. On Nov. 4, 2017, George was honored as the Military Hero of the Game at the UI vs. Ohio State University football game at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. Iowa defeated No. 5 Ohio State,
During the summer of 1941, George worked on the survey crew for the Rock Island Railroad between Omaha, Neb., and Limon, Colo. In 1942, he performed physical testing of steel castings put in military tanks at the steel plant in Bettendorf. After graduation in 1948, he was self employed at the Dane Coal Co. at 129 W. Court St. in retail coal, fuel oil and heating equipment, and later stored grain for the government in the silos before selling the property to the UI. In 1957, George went to work in the trust department of Iowa State Bank & Trust Co. (ISB&T, now MidWestOne Bank). He retired in 1987 as senior vice president and trust officer for ISB&T.
George was a firm believer in giving back to his community, as was demonstrated by his service as a member or officer of the following organizations: NorthWest Retail Coal Dealers Association; Community Givers (United Way); UI Homecoming Parade committee; Dean's Advisory Board, UI College of Engineering; Citizen's Advisory Board, Iowa City Council; Employer's Support of the Guard and Reserves for the Cedar Rapids Area; Board of Directors, Iowa City Chamber of Commerce; Corps of Engineers Veterans Trail Committee; Toastmasters International, Old Capitol Toastmasters Club; Iowa City Engineers Club; Johnson County Historical Society; American Legion; Sigma Chi Fraternity; Johnson County Military Affairs Association; supporter and financial sponsor for commissioned choral music for City High School; biannual visit to West High School social studies classes to share personal experiences from World War II; Chamber of Commerce Agricultural Committee; Goodwill Industries of Southeast Iowa; Iowa Trust Association; Iowa Bankers Association Educational Committee; Johnson County USAR Reserve Officers; Midwest Old Threshers Reunion volunteer and Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame. In the 1970s, George was instrumental in re-establishing Memorial Day services at Oakland Cemetery, where he was the keynote speaker and recited the Gettysburg Address until 2011. He received numerous awards and was recognized for his achievements, including being the first recipient of the Will J Hayek Award honoring the Citizen-Soldier, Outstanding Young Businessman-Iowa City Jaycees, Johnson County Agri-Businessman Award, and the Order of Constantine by the Sigma Chi Fraternity.
George also believed in giving back to his church, as demonstrated by his service to First United Methodist Church (UMC), where he was a member since 1923. At the local level, he served on the first UMC (FUMC) finance committee, administrative board, staff parish committee and United Methodist Men's Club. He was an emeritus board member at the Wesley Foundation at the UI. George was recognized in 2013 with the Francis Asbury Award for service to support campus ministry from the Iowa Annual Conference of UMC. At the state level, he served on the Iowa Annual Conference Council of Ministries, the Conference Council for Finance and Administration (first nonclergy chair), the Conference Board of Pensions, the Conference Foundation board of directors, the Board of Ordained Ministers and the Annual Stewardship and Fundraising Campaigns for 43 churches.
George's foundation was the family that he and Marjorie raised, devoting time for picnics, vacations, family reunions, and attending many school, athletic, music and dance events, both home and away. They also attended numerous UI athletics events, especially wrestling, including many Big Ten and NCAA wrestling tournaments, and women's basketball. Starting in 1980, George and Marj had a Dane Family reunion in Mount Pleasant at Old Threshers, camping at the South 40 Trolley Stop. He enjoyed Dane's Dairy ice cream, fireplace suppers, scenic drives and jogging. An example of a loving and supportive marriage, George and Marj provided the extended family with a model for future generations.
The family wishes to extend their sincere thanks to the Oaknoll staff and to Iowa City Hospice for their exceptional care provided to George.
George is survived by four children, Janet (Francis) Driscoll, Bob (Sue) Dane, Mary Jo Dane (fiance David Morice), all of Iowa City, and Bill (Annette) Dane of Urbandale; seven grandchildren, Jane Driscoll of Iowa City, Brian (Megan) Driscoll of West Branch, Emily (Scott) Staples of Fairport, N.Y., Dennis (Shannon) Dane of Golden Valley, Minn., Katy Dane of Austin, Texas, Ellen (Chris) Young of Johnston and Tristan (Tommy) Occhipinti of Decorah; 10 great-grandchildren, Harper, Kendall and Dane Driscoll, Evan Staples, Ryan, Natalie and Audrey Dane, and Miles, Rocco and Autumn Young; one former son-in-law, Charles Thiede of Tiffin; one sister-in-law, Kathy Schweer (John Dane) of Iowa City; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
George was preceded in death by his wife of 72½ years, Marjorie; his parents, Harold John and Ethel (Rough) Dane; his in-laws, Dr. Walter L. and Ethel (Denton) Schenck; his sister and brother-in-law, Sister Margaret and Ted Hansen; his brother and sister-in-law, (Harold) John and Allie Dane.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.lensingfuneral.com.