Clarence Mueterthies, 92

Clarence Mueterthies age 92 of Lawler, IA died Monday, September 30, 2019, at his home.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. Saturday, October 5, 2019, at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Lawler, Iowa.

Friends may greet the family 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., Friday, October 4, 2019, at Our Lady Of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Lawler with a 7:00 p.m. Scripture Service. Further visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday.

Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory has been entrusted with arrangements.   Online condolences for Clarence's family may be left at hugebackfuneralhome.com  (563) 238-2764.

Clarence was born on Dec. 17, 1926, to Frank and Julia (Reicks) Mueterthies on their farm in the St. Lucas, area. He was the oldest of five children, and he grew up in a house where only German was spoken because his father had immigrated to the United States in the early 1920s.

He attended Catholic school in St. Lucas, and although it wasn’t easy, he learned English as his father decided that to help his children, the family would speak the language at home. Like many children of that era, Clarence attended school through the eighth grade and then went to work. For several years, he worked for a threshing crew and helped out on the family farm.

On Nov. 30, 1950, Clarence was inducted into the U.S. Army, but before he could be shipped overseas, he was hospitalized with a severe case of pneumonia. So instead of going to Korea, he became a cook at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

After receiving an honorable discharge, Clarence moved back to Iowa, and his life forever changed when he went to the wedding of his Army buddy, Lyle Meirick. A young lady named Madonna Boyle was in the wedding, and on the following New Year’s Eve, they met again at a dance in Cresco. It was love at first sight, and his brothers knew something was “going on,” for they told Clarence he was “putting a lot of miles on the car.”

On Oct. 23, 1954, at Immaculate Conception Church in Elma, the two exchanged vows, and they would eventually settle on a farm north of Lawler, where they welcomed 13 children — Marie, Annette, Frank, Kathryn, Judy, Ellen, Dave, Margaret, John, Sarah, Carl, Susan, and Trish.

Clarence and Madonna were perfect together, and their children remember that because Dad was a cook in the Army, he would give unsolicited advice and cooking tips to her, but he did so always with a smile. The couple loved to dance, and they spent many nights in ballrooms.

Not only did they grow corn, soybeans, and hay on their farm, they also raised a variety of livestock, including cattle, pigs and chickens. Sorting cattle with Dad, though, was a challenge, for he’d tell his kids “I want that black one” and point at three black steers. Clarence and Madonna provided a loving, supportive home to their 12 children.

Tragedy struck in 1984 when Clarence and Madonna attended a wedding dance at a ballroom in the small town of Gibbon, Minnesota. The car they were passengers in was struck by a drunk driver, and Madonna was killed in the accident.

Clarence was crushed by the loss, and for a while, he was lost without the love of his life and also dealing with the Farm Crisis of the 1980s.

In 1989, he retired and moved into Lawler. He was a single man who knew how to dance so he was not wanting for company. He loved to go to ballrooms both near and far, and if a piece of clothing can sum up a man, Clarence hit the jackpot with his “Make America Polka Again” t-shirt. He was a huge fan of the Mollie B and the Jim Busta Polka Bands.

He was also a lighted hearted and playful grandpa and enjoyed his 20 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, for Grandpa Clarence loved to get on the floor and play with them.

Clarence overcame a heart attack in 1993 and a broken hip several years ago. With the help of his children, he was able to remain in his home until his death.

He was a 67-year member of the Lawler American Legion, the Charles City Moose Club (mostly so he could go dancing), Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church and the Catholic Order of Foresters. He was also a founding member of the Chickasaw County Cattlemen's Association. 

His was a life well-lived, and his sense of humor remained intact right to the very end, for he was still smiling and joking with his children this past weekend. In short, Clarence will be missed by a multitude of people.

Clarence is survived by four sons, Frank Mueterthies of New Hampton, IA, Dave (Cindy) Mueterthies of Cedar Falls, IA, John Mueterthies of New Hampton, IA, Carl (Deanna) Mueterthies of Waucoma, IA; eight daughters, Marie (Doug) Schuster of Dubuque, IA, Annette (Charles Smith) Mueterthies of Boone, IA, Kathryn (Bob Busby) Snider-Busby of Gregory, MI, Judy (Dale) Kleiss of New Hampton, IA, Ellen (Brent Voeller) Mueterthies of Ann Arbor, MI, Margaret (Ken Sauser) Mueterthies of Mooresville, NC, Sarah (Matthew) Millar of Chelsea, MI, Trish (Rick) Kallemeier of Urbandale, IA; 19 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; two sisters, Bernice Kout of Lawler, IA, Delores Schluetter of New Hampton, IA; one brother, Leon Mueterthies of Cedar Falls, IA; many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife in 1984; one daughter Susan in 1971; one granddaughter, Karah Kahl in 1993; one brother Alfred Mueterthies; and one son-in-law, Darwin Snider in 2014.

Clarence’s family would like to thank St. Croix Hospice and Chickasaw County Public Health for letting him be able to stay in his home, with special thanks to Ann, Amber, and Amanda.

New Hampton Tribune

10 North Chestnut Ave
New Hampton, IA 50659
Phone: (641) 394-2111
Email: tribune@nhtrib.com

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