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Rev. Floyd La Vern Seth


The Rev. Floyd La Vern Seth, 100, of Toledo, passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, at UnityPoint Hospice-Allen Memorial Hospital in Waterloo Iowa. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at the First Presbyterian Church in Toledo with pastors Tom and Jean Bower officiating. Interment will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery in Toledo. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, at Kruse-Phillips Funeral Home in Tama.
La Vern was born on Nov. 25, 1918, in Liberty Township (Grove City, Pa.), the son of George Herbert and Nellie B. (Rumbaugh) Seth.
La Vern grew up on a dairy farm in western Pennsylvania and attended a one-room school in the village of North Liberty, grades 1 through 8. He then enrolled in Slippery Rock High School rather than Grove City High School because Slippery Rock offered vo ag courses and Grove City did not. After graduating in 1937, he managed the home farm for nine years. Feeling called into the ministry, La Vern enrolled as a pre-theological student in Grove City College, Grove City, Pa., but transferred to Penn State University after two years because he was interested in becoming an agricultural missionary. He graduated in 1950 from Penn State with a B.S. degree in ag economics and rural sociology and enrolled that fall in the theological seminary of the University of Dubuque in Dubuque, Iowa. He had intended to take one year at the seminary but, upon discovering that there were no openings in the near future for an agricultural missionary, he went to Warren Wilson High School and Junior College in Swannanoa, N.C., as ag teacher for the high school and manager of the school's dairy from January 1951 to June 1952. There he met his future wife. On July 26, 1952, he married Lida May Peterson in Virginia, Minn. They returned to Dubuque, where he completed his theological education, graduating from the seminary with a B.D. degree and was ordained into the Gospel Ministry by the Presbytery of North Central Iowa on Feb. 25, 1955, in the Unity Presbyterian Church in Clarksville, Iowa, where La Vern had served as a student pastor for two years. It was shortly after that he received an invitation to go to Brazil as an ag missionary. La Vern and Lida went to Brazil with two children and returned home with five in 1960. In September of that year, he became pastor of the Mesquakie United Presbyterian Church (also known as the Tama Indian Mission), which he served until 1975. They stayed in the Tama-Toledo area but was not pastor of a church until he was invited to serve as pastor of Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church. He served as its pastor from August 1979 until June of 1983, but had also been serving the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Marshalltown since August 1981 and continued to serve there as a pastor until June of 2002.
La Vern was very active in the community having served on the board of directors for Hawkeye Village AAA, Tama County Council on Aging, the food pantry and up until recently as treasurer for the South Tama County Ministerial Association. In the past, he was a member of the Kiwanis and "The Kitchen Band."
La Vern was a well-respected man, pastor and friend to all. He was loved and will be missed by his Christian community and many in the South Tama County communities. Even after retirement, he still was very active in the local ministries through officiating at funerals, weddings, and filling in as needed for churches.
Survivors include four sons, Daniel Seth of Canyon, Texas, David Seth of Coffeen, Ill., Tim Seth of Waterloo and Paul (Theresa) Seth of Fairview, N.C.; his daughter-in-law, Shelly Seth of Chelsea; eight grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his parents; his wife, Lida May, on Nov. 13, 2006; his son, Floyd Seth, on June 9, 2014; two brothers, Clair and Richard; five sisters, Mildred, Mary, Ruth, Lois and Evelyn; and two daughters-in-law, Jyotsna Seth and Susan Seth.
Memorials may be directed to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank, 1605 Lafayette St., Waterloo, IA 50703.
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