After 94 years of a life devoted to the service of others, Donald T. Caspers died on Saturday, Dec. 8, at his beloved home, Meth-Wick Manor in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He loved cardinals, poinsettias, Christmas music, football and a good slice of pie. Those who knew him
well will always recall the many stories he shared about his experiences.
Don was born and raised on his family's farm in Castle Grove Township in rural Monticello, Iowa. He graduated from Monticello High School, received his bachelor's degree from Cornell College and his master of divinity from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. He preached his first sermon at the Buck Creek Methodist Church the Sunday before Christmas in 1945. He went on to serve as pastor for United Methodist churches in Iowa Martelle, Guttenburg, Elgin, Clermont, the nearby Illyria Community Church, Lovely Lane in Cedar Rapids and LaFayette Christian Church in Alburnett and in Victoria, Ill. Don worked in development-related activities for The Baby Fold in Normal, Ill., and Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa. He served on the boards of several charitable organizations, including Hillcrest Family Services in Dubuque, Iowa, and the Eastern Iowa Alzheimer's Association. He volunteered countless hours for other worthy causes, notably as a chaplain at St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids.
Don had a profound impact on the lives of thousands of people over more than 60 years as a United Methodist minister. He holds a special place in the hearts of countless couples he married, infants he baptized, families of loved ones whose funeral services he performed, patients he visited in the hospital, people he counseled at home, inmates he called on in prisons, and the members of the churches he served. These people brought richness and joy to Don's life.
In addition, Don forever will be remembered by his brother, Duane; his children, Al Caspers, Rod (Bill Staples) Caspers, Scott (Cindy) Caspers, DeAnna (Kim Luckey) Caspers, Dan (Connie) Bachman, Sue (Gary) Statton and Becky (Ben) York; and his grandchildren, Will and Johnny Caspers, Craig, Julia and Rosie Smith, Jenny Frye, James Goodall, Joseph Goodall, Chelsea Dean, Kyle Statton, Nathan Robinson, Nicole Severson, Wes York, Erin Jelinek, Lisa Erickson, Sarah Anderson, Jill Wagoner and James Luckey. He also will be fondly remembered by many great-grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, and a beautifully diverse extended family.
Don was preceded in death by the two loves of his life, Beverly and Bee; his parents, Tobe and Anna; two brothers, Paul and Edwin; three sisters, Carol Zumbach, Lorna Messerli and infant Adeline; son, Craig; great-nephew, Tony; a grandson, Ben York, and infant great-granddaughter, Elayn Anderson.
A visitation will be held at Cedar Memorial Funeral Home on Thursday, Dec. 20, from 5 to 8 p.m. The funeral service will be held at Lovely Lane United Methodist Church on Friday, Dec. 21, at 10 a.m. A luncheon will follow, including an opportunity for you to share a favorite memory or story about Don. Come enjoy a piece of pie with family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be shared with the Alzheimer's Association of Eastern Iowa or the Meth-Wick Community.
Online condolences may be left at www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries.