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Virgil Newhouse


Virgil Newhouse passed away Sept. 24, 2016, at Northbrook Manor Care Center in Cedar Rapids, where he had briefly been in residence. Regrettably, complications of pneumonia and kidney failure did not allow him to return home following surgery for a hip fracture. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, at Murdoch Funeral Home and Cremation Service and the funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, both in Marion. Preceding interment in Ames Municipal Cemetery on Thursday, Sept. 29, will be visitation at 10:30 a.m. followed by a memorial service at 11:30 a.m. at Adams Funeral Home, Ames.
Virgil Luther Newhouse was born in Ames, Iowa, on Oct. 26, 1926, to Andrew Valentine Newhouse and Ethel Pearl Picht. Following Ethel's death in 1933, A.V. then married Clara List. Virgil graduated from Ames High School in 1944, attended college at Iowa State and St. Olaf in Northfield, Minn., and was enlisted in the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserve. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Iowa State College (University) in 1951.
A social event at the Lutheran Student Association in Ames introduced him to the love of his life, Phyllis Jean Strable. They were united in holy matrimony at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Martensdale, Iowa, on Nov. 25, 1951. They worshipped, worked, traveled, bowled and entertained together, sharing love and life for almost 62 years until Phyllis' death in 2013.
Virgil and Phyllis were blessed with two children, Angela Sue and Brian Luther. Their deepest sorrow was Brian's death at age seven in 1975 from leukemia. Also preceding Virgil in death were his parents; brother, Harold Newhouse; sister, Lenore (Williams) Fossel; Phyllis' parents, Carl and Mae Strable; and her brothers, Jack and Frank. (Her sisters, Donna and Shirley, died in infancy.)
Virgil is survived by his daughter, Angela Newhouse/Sweet (David); sisters-in-law, Sue Groh (John), Sylvia Strable and Aileen Strable, all of the Des Moines area; and nephews and nieces, Norman Newhouse, Andy (Hugh A.) Williams, Loretta Rapp, Loren Williams, Pat Strable, David Strable, Kelly Davenport, Deb Preuss, Sherry Strable and Deanna Strable-Soethout. Angela's family includes Caroline (stepdaughter) and Bob Pester and their sons, Matthew and Andrew. Also very special to Virgil and Phyllis were their other godchildren, Chris Abbott and Sarah Cook. He felt he had a "second daughter" in Mariann Keith, a longtime family friend, and appreciated her loving care and support. The family wishes to thank Mariann for being his guardian angel.
His life-long career at Collins Radio (Rockwell) began in 1951 as a design engineer. Working diligently he advanced to project engineer, senior project engineer and group manager. Virgil's talents were in design and developing radio antenna couplers and filters. He and his team members received U.S. patents on their designs.
Virgil and Phyllis were charter members of Lutheran Church of the Resurrection. He served faithfully in several lay positions and will be deeply missed by their many friends. Bowling also filled their years together with leagues, tournaments and travel with the "bowling bags." Recent activities have included projects at St. Paul Lutheran and EWALU Bible Camp.
The family suggests that memorials be directed to St. Paul Lutheran Church (Martensdale), EWALU Bible Camp (Strawberry Point) or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (Memphis, Tenn).
Please share a memory of Virgil at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.