LaVerne Wayne Flagel, 86, of Marion, Iowa, died Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020, at St. Luke's Hospital from natural causes. A private family funeral is pending. A celebration Mass will be held at a later date. Cedar Memorial Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include his five children, Jacki (Bill) Bridges of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Barb Flagel of Newhall, Iowa, Thomas (Theresa Elworth) of Franklin, Tenn., Ann (Mark) Rushton of Iowa City, Iowa, and Dan (Michele) Flagel of Shellsburg, Iowa; his grandchildren, Joel Shrader, Adam Colbert (Caitlynn Petroff), Laura (Terence) Travagiakis, Jake Shrader, Maggie (Luke) Polaski, Emma (Tyler) Schwartz, Rebecca (Colin Vande Weerd) Bridges, Isabel Rushton, Zoe Rushton and Jessie Trujillo; one stepgrandson, James (Nicole) Beins; his great-grandchildren, Olive Colbert, Iris Colbert, Joey Polaski and Mason Polaski; and two stepgreat-grandsons, Gus and Teddy Beins. He also is survived by sisters-in-law, Barb Varley and Kay O'Brien; several nieces and nephews; and special friend, Suzanne Griggs and her family.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Clarice Flagel; his son, Joseph Flagel; parents, Melvin and Nola Flagel; and brothers-in-law, Bob Varley and Tom O'Brien.
LaVerne was born Jan. 19, 1934, in Maquoketa, Iowa. He graduated with a degree in civil engineering from the University of Iowa in 1955. He was a captain with the Army National Guard. He married Clarice Doty on Aug. 27, 1955, and spent his entire career with Rinderknecht Associates and Merit Construction, retiring as the company's president in 1999. After retirement, LaVerne became a Catholic deacon for All Saints Church in Cedar Rapids, presiding over countless weddings, baptisms and funerals until his retirement from the deaconate in 2014.
A voracious reader, he lived in a book-filled home, and loved conversations about history, philosophy and theology. Golf was his passion, and he achieved his first hole-in-one in his 80s. He enjoyed a good meal, the daily crossword, watching (and grumbling over) Hawkeye sports and relishing a martini or two. LaVerne was known for his humor and had many friends whom he loved dearly, especially the members of the Friday Morning Group.
He was honored to serve on committees, boards and leadership positions for a number of organizations including Kirkwood Community College, Mount Mercy College, Downtown Rotary Club, Elmcrest Country Club, Master Builders of Iowa, Cedar Rapids Country Club, Xavier High School, the Meth-Wick Retirement Community and the Boy Scouts, among others.
Special thanks goes to the staff at St. Luke's Hospital, especially nurses Pearl and Jenny, who took such good care of him in his last days.
Memorial donations can be made to All Saints Church or Sisters of Mercy in LaVerne's name.