Ben Lee Cordes dies at 77

Ben Lee Cordes, age 77 of Alta Vista, passed away on Thursday, May 11, 2017 unexpectedly at his home.Funeral Services for Ben will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, May 15, 2017 at Zion Lutheran Church in Alta Vista, with Pastor Kevin Frey officiating.  Burial will be held at a later date in Chapin, Iowa.   Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 14, 2017 at Conway-Markham Funeral Home in Elma, and will continue at the church one hour prior to the funeral services on Monday. Online condolences for Ben's family may be left at www.conway-markhamfh.com.  Memorials are preferred to the Ronald McDonald House or a Veteran’s program of donor’s choice. Ben Lee Cordes was born on November 7, 1939 to Ben F. and Susie (Brocka) Cordes in Charles City.  He graduated from Colwell High School in 1957.  Ben was united in marriage to Nancy Freeby and they were later divorced.  Ben was then united in marriage to Beverly Kerdus.  Ben enlisted in the Unites States Navy and served for three years before enlisting in the United States Air Force where he served his country for 20 years.  After his retirement from the military, Ben was employed at the Charles City Airport as an airplane mechanic and inspector.  He retired and continued to help out when needed.  Received the 50 Year Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award.  He enjoyed spending time in his shop and rebuilding his airplane.  Ben had fun playing with his dog, Sofie.  He cherished his time with family and friends and always enjoyed telling and hearing a good joke.  Ben was a member of the Charles City VFW, serving on the honor guard.   Ben is survived by his loving wife, Bev Cordes of Alta Vista; his children, Debbie Link of Summerville, SC, Hans (Christy) Cordes of New Hampton, Lori (Steve) Wagner of Albert Lea, Minn., Julie (Dave) Jensen of Wells, Minn. and Monica (Zach) Lewis of St. Louis, Mo; his grandchildren, Roxane (Otto) Kaske, James Cordes, Raichel (Andrey) Andreyev, Chris (Sunja) Wagner, Jeri (Desirae) Wagner and Angie (Andy) Larson; seven great grandchildren; his siblings, Annabelle Doleman of Allison; Chris (Shirley) Cordes of Lakeview, AK, Ida Mae (Ralph) Arenholz of Dumont, Darlys (Bob) Roethler of Waverly, Marlys Kutzbach and Betty Wendel, both of Elma, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his great grandson, Otto Kaske IV; his sister, Bea Lehman; three brothers, Robert, William and Kenneth and three brothers-in-law.

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