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Richard "Dick" L. Smith

Richard 'Dick' L. Smith

May 10, 1940 - January 7, 2018

Belmond - Richard 'Dick' L. Smith, 77, of Belmond, IA, died Sunday, January 7, 2018, under hospice care at his son's home in Belmond, IA. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 AM,Friday, January 12, 2018, at the Belmond United Methodist Church, 1031 1st St. S.E., Belmond. The Reverend Leila Blackburn will be officiating. Visitation will be on Thursday, January 11, 2018, from 5-7 PM at Andrews Funeral Home, 516 1st St. S.E., Belmond and will continue one hour prior to the funeral at church Friday. Memorials may be directed in Dick's name to his family% 408 3rd Ave. S.E., Belmond, IA 50421.

Richard Lynn Smith, the son of LuVerne and Marion (Luick) Smith, was born May 10, 1940, at Belmond Hospital, Belmond. Dick attended Belmond Community Schools and graduated from Belmond High School in the Class of 1958. During his school years Dick participated in football and was a coronet player in the marching band. On the football team he was the punter and a wide receiver and for many years had been the proud owner of the school record for being on the receiving end of the longest touchdown pass reception. Hard to say but this special time in his life and being an athlete likely sparked his loved for the Green Bay Packers, The Iowa Hawkeyes, and more importantly his love of being an ardent supporter and cheerleader at his kids and grandkids sporting events and other extracurricular activities. Dick truly looked forward to watching the Pack and the Hawks and wore his love for them both staunchly. He looked forward to attending local sporting activities of his family including, football, wrestling, and basketball. In the earlier years he looked forward to roller-skating and was quite the proficient skater as he danced about the floor of the area venues. He met his wife Sharon Kramer at the roller-skating rink in Garner, IA. The two were very good skating dances and were often seen tooling about the area rinks. The were married at the Zion Evangelical Reformed Church (Today's Zion United Church of Christ. The couple's union was blessed with children: Tim, Todd, Troy and Aimee. Their union lasted 19 years before they were divorced.

Following high school Dick started his long time career in the lumber business as the manger of Fullerton Lumber in Belmond. Then after the Belmond tornado of 1966 he transferred to Fullerton Lumber in Latimer, IA and then he and his family moved with the company to Arcadia, WI, where he continued to be the manager. After the location closed he worked for a time a the local cheese factory and then eventually the family returned to Belmond.

Upon settling back in Belmond Dick went to work for Central Soya until it closed. He then jumped back into the lumber field where he was employed for stints of time at Rowan, Belmond, and Klemme Lumber Companies. In more recent times he was employed with Sports Cages in Belmond.

He very much enjoyed golfing and bowling in the earlier years of his life and loved all kinds of outdoor recreational activities commencing in his youth all the way to the end of his life journey, including as recently as being on deer hunting outings with his sons this past season. Dick loved the rush of hunting a flushing pheasant, and adrenaline that flowed from him as ducks and geese would set their wings over decoys, or pass by on frosty fall morning at an area marsh of field. One of his favorite passions was fishing be it to a local lake, or river, and excursion to the Decorah trout streams, or a trip to Canada with his family and friends starting in 1986 thru 2016. He had countless fish stories and many trophies to prove them. He had been to various Packers games during the family's years in Wisconsin.

Dick truly was a people person and loved to get-together for family gatherings, especially Christmas. He enjoyed many great friendships and hunting and fishing buddies in addition to his family. He loved breakfast and coffeeing at Subway and other spots with friends and for many years he could be found waiting at the local bowling alley for it to open so he could catch up on the news of the days with his friends over his favorite Pepsi glass. Dick enjoyed old westerns, fifties music, and watching the Twins. He also could often be seen in attendance at numerous Pheasants Forever and Ducks Unlimited events over the years. His family will miss him in countless ways

He is survived by sons: Tim Smith, Belmond, IA, Todd (Peggy) Smith, Belmond, IA, and Troy (Jonni) Smith, Belmond, IA; and a daughter Aimee Smith, Britt, IA; his grandchildren :Kaci Eliason, Easton Smith, Owen Eliason, Hunter Smith, Bryce Smith, Cloe Brown, Kati Brown, Bradley Brown, and Wyatt Smith; a nephew and niece Thad and Nikki Smith, and other family.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents, brother Ronald Smith, little brother Larry Smith, and ex wife Sharon Smith. Andrews Funeral Home, Belmond, IA.

Madeline Gladys Helland

Madeline Gladys Helland

Scarville - Madeline Gladys Helland, age 96, of Scarville died on Thursday, January 11, 2018 at the Lutheran Retirement Home in Northwood, Iowa.

Funeral service will be 10:30 AM Monday, January 15, 2018 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 105 E 3rd Street, Scarville, IA 50473, with Pastor Randy Baldwin officiating.

Visitation will be 3-5 PM, Sunday afternoon at Mittelstadt Funeral Home, 902 East Main Street, Lake Mills, IA 50450, and again one hour prior to the service at the church.

Burial will take place at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery, Scarville, IA.

The family suggest that memorials be directed to the church or the Lutheran Retirement Home, 710 9th Street N, Northwood, IA 50459.

You can contact the family with on-line condolences at:


Steven A. Tiedeman

Steven A. Tiedeman

MASON CITY: Steven A. Tiedeman, 43, of Mason City, IA, died Tuesday, January 9, 2018, at his home. Private services will be held at a later date. Memorials may be directed to the family of Steven Tiedeman. Online condolences may be left for the family at

Arrangements are with Major Erickson Funeral Home & Crematory, 111 N. Pennsylvania Avenue, Mason City, Iowa 50401, 641-423-0924,

Marlys Loretta (Wagner) Whisler

Marlys Loretta (Wagner) Whisler

April 2, 1922 - January 9, 2018

Northwood – Marlys Loretta (Wagner) Whisler, 95, Northwood, formerly of Clear Lake, died Tuesday, January 9, 2018, at the Lutheran Retirement Home in Northwood.

A funeral service for Marlys will be held 11:00 A.M. Saturday, January 13, 2018, at the Conner Colonial Chapel, 1008 First Ave. South, Northwood, with Reverend Judy Converse of First Lutheran Church in Northwood officiating. Burial will be in the Madison Cemetery in Forest City. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the funeral on Saturday at the chapel.

Marlys Loretta (Wagner) Whisler was born on April 2, 1922, in Scarville, IA, the daughter of Sten and Johanna (Thompson) Wagner. Marlys received her education in the Scarville community schools, graduating high school in 1940. She also attended Waldorf College in Forest City. Marlys first taught school in the rural country schools near Scarville, and Scarville elementary school.

On December 23, 1944, she was united in marriage to Paul Hawkinson, he preceded her in death on June 24, 1970. Maryls continued her teaching career for 25 years in various communities until she retired.

She was united in marriage to Lisle Whisler on May 11, 1973. He preceded her in death on July 27, 2004. In 1973, she and her husband began working at Opportunity Village in Clear Lake, as house parents until 1985. Maryls and Lisle moved to Mountain Lake, MN where she was a substitute teacher for a few years, until 2002. They moved back to Clear Lake, and remained in Clear Lake until 2013 moving to the Lutheran Retirement Home in Northwood to be near her sister Hazel Charlson.

Marlys enjoyed cooking, entertaining guests, and loved to spend time with her two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

In her retirement years she enjoyed teaching Bible studies in homes in Garner and Ventura.

Those left to cherish her memory is her daughter, Kathy (Jerry) Nydegger of Brainerd, MN; two grandchildren, Michelle Nydegger of Brainerd, MN, and Michael (Irma) Nydegger of Concord, MI; two great-grandchildren, Ezriela and Josiah Nydegger; three step-children, Byron Whisler, Mary Lee Hastie, and Sharon Macintosh; several nieces, nephews, and other extended family members and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Sten and Johanna Wagner; two husbands, Paul Hawkinson, and Lisle Whisler; two sisters, Inez Langfald and Hazel Charlson, and three brothers, Archie, Leslie, and Elmer Wagner, and a step-son, Dan Whisler.

Conner Colonial Chapel: (641) 324-1543

Donna Engebretson

Donna Engebretson

December 30, 1932 - January 7, 2018

OSAGE | Donna Jean Engebretson, age 85, of Osage, died Sunday, January 7, 2018, at Osage Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Osage.

Funeral services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Monday, January 15, 2018, at the Champion-Bucheit Funeral Home in Osage with Pastor George Dummann officiating. Burial will be in the Osage Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Sunday at the Champion-Bucheit Funeral Home in Osage.

Donna was born December 30, 1932, in Wayne Township, Mitchell County, Iowa, the daughter of Forrest and Mary (Nordman) Eastman. She attended rural schools in Mitchell County. On November 5, 1948, she married Charles R. Engebretson at the Little Brown Church in Nashua. In earlier years, Donna was employed at Fox River Mills in Osage. She enjoyed watching the birds, and spending time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Donna is survived by her children, Linda (Paul) Busse of Good Thunder, Minnesota, Forrest (MaLinda) Engebretson of Mapleton, Minnesota, and LaDonna Ogden of Osage; grandchildren, Rosemary Busse, James Busse, Charles Engebretson, Joshua Engebretson, Ryan Engebretson, Kyle Engebretson, Andrew Young, Devin Ogden (fianceé, Kara Leake), and “grand-dog” Buster; great-grandchildren, Zayden Engebretson and Lillian Engebretson; sister, Kay (Montel) Hernan of St. Ansgar; and other extended family members.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Charles R. Engebretson in 2004; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Ed and Alice Engebretson; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Garlin and Edith Dolson, Fred and Edna Wieland, Walter and Mary Lou Martin, Merlin and Alta Mae Engebretson, and Joan Engebretson.

Information available and condolences accepted at

Champion-Bucheit Funeral Home, Osage, (641)732-3706

Kevin Polansky

Kevin Polansky: Obituary & Tribute

January 6, 2018

“Death thou comest when I had thee least in mind”


Kevin Polansky died suddenly on the morning of January 6, 2018 while swimming with his master's club in the pool where he had coached and swam since the 1970s. He died doing what he loved. Kevin was defined by water, by aquatics and all things wet. He was a water hound. He swam, coached, announced swim meets, and enjoyed fluid libations. He was a man of expansive tastes with the heart of Phar Lap. Kevin always rode his bike fast, swam far, lived large, & loved with all his heart. He was generous, boisterous, humble, brash, and kindhearted. Whatever he did, he did with heart and soul. He had many nicknames: Pole-man, King Fish, Pol-cat, just Kev, or Squid which he used as an affectionate moniker for his young swimmers.

Kevin Polansky was born in 1950 in Mason City, Iowa. His parents were Vic and Nell Polansky. Kevin was born with a medical diagnosis of “clubfoot” but he never let it slow him down in his quest for a life rich in experience. He started swimming with the local YMCA and then graduated to the high school program under the guidance of Willis Colville. Coach Colville became a mentor for Kevin, as he was for many of us as well. Coach Colville taught us integrity, discipline, and the value of hard work. He was the most influential “teacher” that many of us had in high school, college, or graduate school. Kevin often attributed the influence of Willis Colville to his decision to become a coach and guide the lives of young swimmers and athletes. And to keeping him walking the “straight and narrow”. Kevin was a good swimmer in high school. He finished in the top 6 at the Iowa state high school swim meet. He held school records in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard butterfly. He graduated from Mason City high school in 1968. He went on to swim at a division III college in Wisconsin for a year and then transferred to Mankato State University where he was captain of his team and most valuable swimmer in 1972-73. He was inducted into the MSU Swimming Hall of Fame a few years ago and promptly dedicated his award to coach Colville.

I drove with Kevin in his robins-egg blue VW super Beetle to Boulder, Colorado in the summer of 1973. Our bikes were draped precariously on the back of the bug and barely cleared the pavement but we had a spectacular cross-country trip. Kevin was immediately enamored with the Rocky Mountains. After finishing his master's degree at the University of Colorado he moved to Loveland, married his high school sweetheart, Marcia Mulford, had two sons, and never left. While there he taught physical education and coached swimming for over 20 years. He had multiple state champ teams and was Colorado high school swim coach of the year four times. He later started Polansky Financial Group in his passion to help people secure financial health and personal wealth. His Facebook postings were captivating and are still viewed with tenderness.

He helped establish the Loveland Masters swim club in 1978. He soon became a legend in the US Masters Swimming (USMS) community with multiple national and world masters swim titles and records. He competed in open water swims all over the world including the Waikiki Rough Water swim and the Maui Channel Swim. I remember watching him win the 200 free-style at the USMS short course national meet in 1994 in Fort Lauderdale at the Swimming Hall of Fame pool. It was a top dog heat filled with ringer's and former NCAA swimmers now in the 40-44-year-old age group. I remember at the time thinking how amazing it was that this guy, my old high school team mate, from the bucolic northern prairies of Iowa had beaten this heat of great swimmer's. That he had the hutzpah to go into the den of the swimming Gods and emerge victorious. And he did it often in those decades! He beat a former Hawaii Ironman Champ in a pool event once, and at the end of the race looked over across the lane line to flash his broad smile, and with this finger cocked like a pistol said, “Gotcha Cowboy”. Kevin had the confidence to take chances, to risk failure, and often succeeded where others were afraid to test their fortune.

In 2003 Polansky delivered the eulogy for our mentor, coach Willis Colville. Polansky's words of praise for his own beloved coach now echo as a eulogy for himself. In asking what tribute one creates for an individual who has inspired so many, Kevin looked out at the congregation of swimmers and friends who had traveled back, from all over the nation, gathered to honor this mentor and guide, and recited the requiem to Sir Christopher Wren, architect of St. Paul's Cathedral. “If you seek a memorial… look about you”. And so, the student become the teacher, the swimmer became the coach, and proved that the influence of one extraordinary person can indeed change lives, move the world, and perhaps lead us to accomplishments once unimagined. He dropped a pebble in the pond and the ripple was felt on a distant shore; with time the genesis of the deed will no longer be remembered. But it is now our time, our privilege, to remember Kevin Polansky, to rest the laurel on his brow, as a devoted friend, inspirational coach, and mentor who gave us things to dream about and the challenge to be a better person in this all too fragile world.

Kevin was preceded in death by his parents, a sister JoAnn, a brother Jerry, and his son Mark who passed away three months ago in October 2017. He is survived by his ex-wife Marcia Mulford, his son Matthew, brother Paul, his twin sister Kathy, and twin siblings, brother Rick and sister Vicky, and his partner Renée of Loveland Colorado.

Kevin swam almost every day. He sometimes seemed more amphibian than man. He died as he lived, boldly, courageously, and embraced by the element he loved most, God's sacred elixir of water. There are bookends to all our lives. Sometimes we are reminded of that poignantly when one of our heroes dies before his or her time. Marcus Aurelius wrote that “a man's life is dyed the color of his imagination”. Kev's life was the color of water. Travel safe, old friend.

Ralph S. Bovard and MCHS swim friends

Memorial services will be held in Loveland, Colorado at 10 am on Saturday morning, January 20th, 2018.