Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Obituary : Albert Hanley Pefley Sr.

Source : Wabash Plain-Dealer, August 18, 2007


Albert Hanley Pefley Sr., Peosta, Iowa, went home for eternal rest after a short battle with Burkitt's Lymphoma, complicated by a recent stroke. He passed away in the home of his daughter, Jill Zintz, Plano, Iowa, on Aug. 15, 2007. He was surrounded by family as he was ushered by his angels to Heaven to spend the rest of eternity with Jesus and passed loved ones.

"Ab" was born on Aug. 18, 1931, at home on the family farm near Lagro, to Homer and Flossie Lewis-Pefley. His mother often told the story of placing her small-for-size infant son in a shoebox in the bottom of an open bureau drawer as a makeshift cradle.


His parents and grandparents were farmers and instilled a deep love of nature and respect of the land in him. He told a story of himself as a child of raiding the farm kitchen drawer for spoons and "plowing" a small spot in his mother's garden. He would then ask his Mom for any seed or bean she could spare so that he could "farm" a spot. Although she was not enthused about transforming her flatware into "farm equipment," his mother supported his love for farming and supplied what he needed so that he could plant, nurture, and harvest "his crop."

He was a very spiritual person and credits this to his Grandfather Lewis. He would often talk of a special memory of his baptism in the Salamonie River in Indiana as a young boy alongside his brother, Robert. Currently, he attended the Word of Life Church in Dubuque, Iowa, where he helped with the Angel Food Outreach Program and participated in the Christian Mens' breakfast group. He was always willing to lend a hand in any committee or activity that needed volunteers. In his earlier years, he volunteered as a church usher and passionately taught Sunday school. He believed strongly in blood donation at the Red Cross and eagerly sought out donations for the American Heart and Cancer societies, and the Haiti Outreach Project.

After high school graduation, Al enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was stationed in Colorado Springs, Colo., where he managed the sports department on base. It was there that he met and befriended Billy Martin and Zack Monroe, who went on to play professional baseball.

After his military discharge, he attended and graduated from Purdue University with a degree in agriculture-business. While in college, he met Barbara Schomers and they married soon after his graduation. To this union, they were blessed with five children, Al PefleyJr., Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Debbie Wardlow, Centerville, Iowa, Kim Klinkhammer, Dubuque, Iowa, Jill Zintz, Plano, Iowa, and Jeff Pefley, Dubuque, Iowa.


With his new wife, he relocated to Austin, Minn., where he made a 35-year career with Hormel Foods. Through his career, he and his family found homes in Austin and Hutchinson, Minn., Centerville, Iowa, and LeCenter, Minn. He and Barbara retired to Peosta, Iowa, in 1998. Because Al found it difficult to sit still after retirement, he took on part-time jobs at Timberline Golf Course in Peosta as a greenskeeper through the summer and at Sundown Ski Resort, Asbury, Iowa, as a ski-lift operator during the winters.

Al's hobbies included barbecuing, fishing, gardening, golfing, woodworking, antiquing, furniture restoration and Bible study. He was active with Emmaus, Lions Club, Jaycees, Odd Fellow Lodge, Disciples and many church committees. In addition to volunteering at church, the Dubuque Rescue Mission and Food for the Soul, Al always "loved God's people" and never knew a stranger. Al often sought out those in need and befriended them, never forgetting a face or a name.

Al is preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Dean, and an infant stillborn brother, Henry.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara, Peosta, Iowa; brothers, Harvey, Kokomo, and Robert, Lagro; a sister, Bonnie Ramey, LaFontaine; his children; three sons-in-law, Sean Wardlow, Tim Klinkhammer and Bill Zintz; and 13 grandchildren, Crystal, Caitlyn and Nick Howe, Stephen and Sawyer Wardlow, Tony, Troy, Tara and Tyler Furlin, Brittney and Hilary Morris and Joe and Chloe Zintz.

Arrangements are being handled by Behr Funeral Home, Dubuque, Iowa.

Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2007, at Behr Funeral Home, with services at Word of Life Church at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2007.

The family wishes to thank Mercy Medical Center-Hospice of Centerville, Pastors Loren Hirschey and Kay Singley for frequent visits, powerful prayers and communion, Dr. Garber, Emma Leopard (Al's home health aide), Lois Hays and Doctors Paulsen, Loukinen, Bek, Ringold, Kukla, Caceres and Horwitz, in addition to the nurses at Mercy Health Center of Dubuque who cared lovingly for Dad, for the fellowship, friendship and support shown by friends at Timberline Golf Course and Sundown Ski Resort. Thanks for the prayers from Emmaus, First United Methodist Church of Centerville, Word of Life Church of Dubuque and numerous prayer chains that gave Dad hope, the visits that brightened his days and lessened his suffering and the steady stream of cards that made him smile when we didn't think he had a smile left to share.

A memorial fund has been established to Mercy Medical Center-Hospice of Centerville.
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