Joseph “Arnie” Tierney, 83
Joseph “Arnie” Tierney, age 83 of New Hampton, passed away on Saturday, May 15, 2021, with his family at his side at the Patty Elwood Center in Cresco.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 21, 2021, at Holy Family Parish in New Hampton with Father Brian Dellaert leading the mass. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery, New Hampton, with Bruce Tierney, Ryan Leach, Matthew Kuhn, Curtis Heideman, Kevin Tierney and Jordan Holthaus serving as pallbearers.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 20, 2021, at Conway-Markham Funeral Home in New Hampton, and there will be a 7 p.m. Parish Scripture Service. Visitation will continue at the church one hour prior to the funeral mass on Friday. Online condolences for Arnie’s family can be left at conway-markhamfh.com. Memorials may be directed to the family.
Joseph Arnold Tierney was born on Aug. 25, 1937, to Roy and Catherine (Franzen) Tierney on a farm near Lawler, and he was the second oldest of six children. He was dubbed “Arnie” at a young age and he helped his parents with chores on farms that included horses, cows, pigs, goats and chickens.
Arnie attended a country school through the eighth grade before going to West Union High School, but like many in that era, he didn’t finish high school because he was needed on the farm. Arnie, though, was proud of the fact that he later earned his GED.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army and was shipping out to Korea, but was injured the night before he was set to depart and did not get deployed overseas. He loved to tell people that “my luggage made it to Korea, but I didn’t.”
Arnie had met Lois Robinson when he was driving a milk truck, which made that particular stop the best “milk run” he ever made. The two began dating, fell in love and were married on June 3, 1961, while Arnie was still serving his country. The following March, their first child, Barb, was born, and Arnie had to hitchhike from Waterloo to New Hampton because Lois was having complications. Thanks to Dave and Sharrol Trower, he made it to the hospital on time.
The family grew to include Brian “Butch,” Brenda and Brad, and the four Tierney kids will tell you they had a hard-working father who was strict yet fair.
He worked at Oliver — which later became White Farm — in Charles City for more than 30 years and was a machinist at the famed tractor plant right up until it closed in the early 1990s. But Arnie wasn’t a one-job kind of guy. He ran Tierney DX with his brother Tom, he worked for Culligan, he helped area farmers and he drove school bus. Arnie also had a lawn care business that his son Butch worked hard for. Even after he so-called retired, he still worked — delivering parts for Big A and selling and fixing lawn tractors for Larry’s Sales & Service.
Arnie was a passionate gardener, loved to fish and hunt, enjoyed snowmobiling and played golf in his younger years, and there was rarely a summer night when he wasn’t manning his grill. He also loved to socialize. The home he shared with Lois on West Spring Street was the “hub of the neighborhood.”
He was also the most resourceful man you could find; if Arnie couldn’t fix it, well, then, it was probably unfixable, and that resourcefulness helped out more than a few friends, kids, grandkids and even strangers over the years.
Arnie loved being a father, but the title he cherished the most was “Grandpa.” He had eight grandchildren and four “greats,” and he loved spending time with them. They in turn will tell you that they had a stern grandpa but that you always knew you were loved.
He was a member of the Holy Family Parish where he was a devout 4:00 church goer, Eucharistic Minister, and provided Eucharist after mass to the homebound. He was also a member of the New Hampton Fae Stine 38 American Legion and Knights of Columbus, but he was, at heart, a family man. He loved to dance with Lois, enjoyed polka and country music and never missed a stop at Menard’s because not only did he not want to “miss the rebates” but that screw, nut or bolt he might buy in that stop might prove to be what fixed something for someone he loved.
Arnie will be greatly missed by his wife, his children, his grandchildren, his greats and his legion of friends. He had an unparalleled work ethic. His resourcefulness was legendary. But, most of all, he had a way of making them feel special and loved.
Arnie is survived by his wife of 59 years, Lois of New Hampton, IA; four children, Barb (John) Kuhn of New Hampton, IA, Brian “Butch” (Shelly) Tierney of New Hampton, IA, Brenda (Jeff) Leach of New Hampton, IA and Brad Tierney of Frederika; seven grandchildren, Michelle Kuhn, Bruce (Kayleen) Tierney, Amanda (Dave) Broz, Ryan (Brittany) Leach, Matthew Kuhn, Ashley (Blaine) Feltz, and Erin Tierney; great-grandchildren, Zoey Tierney, Olivia Broz, Izaak Tierney and Ethan Broz; siblings, Betty (Gerald) Gleason, Tom (Judy) Tierney and Jim (Georgia) Tierney; sister-in-law, Janet Franzen; brother-in-law, Eldon Heideman; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his in-laws, Henry and Viola Robinson; brother, Francis Franzen; sister and brother-in-law, Teresa and Harlan Anderson; grandson, Justin Tierney; brother-in-law, Veryl Robinson; and sister-in-law, Fern Heideman.