Carl Kohrt, 78, of Clarence, Iowa, passed away on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Stanwood with the Rev. Daniel Redhage and the Rev. William Traphagan officiating. Burial will follow in Trinity Lutheran Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct 9, at Chapman Funeral Home in Clarence.
Carl Henry Kohrt was born on April 15, 1941, the fourth child of Henry and Catharina (Nickelsen) Kohrt of Miles, Iowa. Carl was born at home. He was the youngest brother to Raymond, Elizabeth and Lucille. Carl was baptized in Clinton, Iowa, in 1949 and confirmed at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Bennett in 1964. Carl attended elementary and high school in Stanwood, graduating in 1958.
After high school, Carl completed a course of mechanics training in 1959 in Kansas City, Mo., and returned to Iowa to work at the Ford Garage in Tipton. Carl then joined the U.S. Navy, serving from 1960 to 1963. He was a sailor on the USS Saratoga. Participation in the armed forces allowed him to see parts of the world he would not have otherwise seen. He valued his time in the Navy and spoke of his experiences often.
It was always Carl's ambition to farm and about this he was single-minded. The first order of business to settle down farming was securing a wife. On July 11, 1964, Carl married Marie Falkers of Tipton, Iowa. The union was blessed with four children, Debbie, Darrin, Darci and Dawn. The couple began farming east of Wald and a few years later moved to their present location south of Clarence. Carl had a prodigious capacity for hard work and the farming operation, including milk cows, initially, but primarily a farrow to finish hog operation along with corn and soybeans, grew steadily and successfully. The farming operation reached its peak production at 550 breeding sows. Carl was named Iowa Master Pork Producer in 1990.
Carl and Marie were very active in the community. Carl served in various capacities in the Cedar County Pork Producers, State of Iowa Pork Producers, Cedar County Farm Bureau, Iowa Corn Growers Association and the local branch of the American Legion. Carl was especially devoted to the Legion and enjoyed serving as chaplain, assisting with military honors at funerals and helping with Memorial Day services. Carl served as a Cedar County commissioner and also on the Soil and Water Board. Carl supported his children in countless school and extra-curricular activities including 4-H while they were growing up. The Kohrt family enjoyed boating on the Coralville Reservoir. Carl captained their "Spirit of 76" houseboat, and enjoyed grilling most of the food and generally raising havoc with the kids in the water. Carl was known to do some "recreational" arm wrestling in his early farming years and presented a serious challenge to all competitors.
Carl was a longtime and faithful member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Stanwood, Iowa, where he served in many capacities, including elder to the end of his life. Carl's faith was important to him, and he would rarely miss services in the Lord's house.
Carl and Marie traveled extensively during their married life including attending the Passion Play in Oberammergau in 2000. Other trips included visits to Hawaii, the Caribbean, and an Alaskan cruise through the inside passage in addition to visiting Canada and most of the continental United States. Carl also went on a Farm Bureau tour of South America, especially the agricultural regions of Brazil.
In 1997, Carl was involved in a serious farming accident, falling off the top of a grain bin. He sustained life-threatening injuries including significant head trauma. Perseverance and determination (hallmarks of his personality) saw him recover and actively take up farming again. In 2012, Carl contracted Guillain-Barre syndrome, a crippling disease in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the nerve endings. Carl lost all feeling in his feet and had to relearn how to walk. Again, his determination allowed him to make another amazing recovery. Subsequent to his recovery, Carl had a successful heart valve replacement. Carl continued farming, albeit in reduced capacity. In late September, Carl contracted Guillain-Barre syndrome for a second time (a statistical rarity). With reduced capacity for healing Carl died of complications on Oct. 4, 2019, peacefully received into the arms of the Savior.
Carl is survived by his loving wife, Marie of Clarence; daughter, Debbie Bohlen, and husband Todd, and their children, Vance, Brodie, Ashton and Olivia of Belle Plaine, Iowa; son, Darrin Kohrt, and wife Vanessa of Loxton, South Australia; daughter, Darci Alley, and husband Steve, and their daughters, Abigail and Christina, of Houston, Texas; daughter, Dawn, and husband Bryan, and their daughters, Avery and Bailee, of Clarence; and two sisters, Elizabeth Bartles of Monticello and Lucille Ingwersen of Clinton.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Catharina, and his brother, Raymond.
A devoted husband, loving father, doting grandfather, active citizen and faithful believer, he will be greatly missed. (Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. -- Matthew 25:34)
Condolences and memories may be shared at www.chapmanfh.com.