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Virgil Lee Werning


Virgil Lee Werning, 76, died peacefully March 4, 2020, at St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids due to complications of Alzheimer's disease, diagnosed in November 2018. Celebration
of Life services will be 2 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at Brosh Chapel and The Avacentre in Cedar Rapids, located at 2121 Bowling St. SW. Following
the service will be a Celebration of Life gathering in The Avacentre until 5 p.m.
The son of Harvey and Ruth Werning was born March 21, 1943, on the Werning family farm established in 1847 north of Newhall, Iowa. He grew up farming and playing various sports in the Newhall School District. He graduated in 1960 and attended Wartburg College, where he also played baseball. He earned his degree in education and went on to teach math and science for the Murray School District until 1971, where he also coached basketball and baseball. He then returned to Newhall to help his father and brother run the family farm.
In 1972, he met his wife, Holly Hendriks, who was teaching in the Benton Community School District. They were married in 1973 and lived on a farm south of Newhall. While farming, Virgil sold insurance and also taught and coached for the Benton Community School District. He also worked at D.C. Taylor, until retiring in 2013. Daughter, Wendy was born in 1975 and daughter, Kami Jo in 1979.
In 2012, the Werning family sold the farm and moved to Ely, Iowa. They decided on Ely to be closer to their daughter, Wendy, and son-in-law, Tim Wheeler, and grandchildren, Payton and Tyson of Solon, and daughter, Kami Jo Upah, and grandson, Tucker, who live in Southwest Cedar Rapids.
Virgil was confirmed and attended St. John Lutheran Church in Newhall until 1984. He then joined the First Christian Church in Vinton where Holly was organist. He served as a deacon there. They joined Solon United Methodist Church after moving to Ely. Virgil loved music and singing in the church choirs at his churches. He also was president of the Newhall Lions Club.
His true love was sports and he officiated many basketball games at Benton and Solon before retiring. He was a lifelong Hawkeyes, Dodgers, Lions and Celtics fan. He loved watching his daughters in all their music and sports activities. When the grandkids came along he never missed an event. He also was so proud to watch his son-in-law Tim play softball, baseball and coach.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Marion.
He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Holly of Ely; daughters, Wendy (Tim) Wheeler of Solon and Kami Jo Upah of Cedar Rapids; grandchildren, Payton and Tyson Wheeler and Tucker Upah; and sister, Marlys (Bob) Frimml.
Memorials may be donated to the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Iowa., alz.org or the Black and Orange Baseball Club of Solon.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.broshchapel.com.
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