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George Pierce, 79

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George Pierce, age 79 of Waucoma, died Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, at New Hampton Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.

A celebration of life will be held 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, at Northeast Iowa Antique Engine & Power Group Hall in Fredericksburg.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Northeast Iowa Antique Engine & Power Group Hall or Alpha Cemetery.

Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory have been entrusted with arrangements.

George was welcomed into the world by his parents, Eben and Ruby (Wickham) Pierce, on Feb. 1, 1943, and he grew up on a farm near Alpha, where he learned the value of hard work and formed a love for the outdoors that lasted his entire life.

He attended schools in Alpha and Fredericksburg, and he was a 1960 graduate of Fredericksburg High School.

One night, George was out having a drink or two with a buddy, and he met the love of his life, Mary Schupanitz. He liked to joke that “she chased me until I caught her,” and the two were married on Dec. 29, 1965, beginning a 54-year marriage that was filled with hard work, fun and joy.

George liked to tell you that he turned the city girl into a farm girl, and the two literally did everything together on the farm they owned northeast of Fredericksburg. George also worked as a carpenter, and his woodworking skills were, in a word, amazing. And if you didn’t believe him, George had the pictures to prove it!

George and Mary loved to go camping, hunting and fishing together. Only God knows how many miles they trapesed through the woods hunting or how many hours they spent on the lakes in Iowa and Minnesota fishing. They also spent many days going to flea markets, or “junking” as they put it, collecting hundreds of lanterns, lamps, miniature tractors shot glasses and more.

George had many interests. In addition to his woodworking, he loved to pick wild fruits and make a variety of wines, all labeled “Pierce’s Pond Water,” which had a little more than kick than water! He loved spending time in the cabin by the pond he built, and he made the best homemade sausage and brats over his homemade fire pit. He grew the best tomatoes and radishes, and in the fall, he picked up hickory nuts and walnuts, cracked them and picked out the “nut meats” for cookies and to share with his friends.

He was a proud member of the Northeast Iowa Antique Engine and Power Club, and he loved when students from Sumner-Fredericksburg and Turkey Valley would come out to the grounds and he could teach them how to build their very own birdhouses that they could take home with them. During the annual show each August, George was a mainstay, displaying his team of horses hitched to the wagon and the oxen pulling his prairie schooner.

Although the Pierces did not have children of their own, George was a great uncle who loved spending time with his sisters’ children and teaching them how to hunt and fish.

He was a one-of-a-kind man who grew up in tough times, which taught him lessons that lasted a lifetime, and as sad as we are to say farewell to him, we know that George is reunited with Mary and they are hunting and fishing together in a far better place.

George is survived by three sisters, Carol Schulz (Jim Mitchell) of Fredericksburg, Bertty Sternat of Fredericksburg and Mary (Raymond) Lantow of Fredericksburg.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Mary on Feb. 24, 2020; his brother, Carlton; and his sister, Ruth.

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