Benjamin J. Newell

Mason City, Iowa — Benjamin J. Newell, 24, of North Liberty, formerly of Mason City, died unexpectedly Oct. 31, 2012, at his residence.

Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. on Monday, November 5, at First United Methodist Church, 119 South Georgia Ave. with Pastor Sean McRoberts and Pastor Jim Stiles officiating.

Visitation will be held 2:30 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4, at Major Erickson Funeral Home, 111 N. Pennsylvania Ave.

Private family inurnment services will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Ben Newell Memorial Fund in care of the family.

Online condolences may be left for the family at

Benjamin Jeffrey Newell was born November 7, 1987, in Mason City to Roxann (Jensen) and Jeff Newell. He attended school in Mason City and graduated in 2006 from Mason City High School. He loved sports and participated in swimming, soccer, football and cross country. Ben excelled at swimming and qualified for the state meet all four years of high school. He worked as a lifeguard during the summer and later at Fareway in the meat department.

 Ben attended Luther College, North Iowa Area Community College and the University of Iowa, graduating in 2010 with a degree in finance from the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa.

Ben has worked the last two and a half years as a multiple line representative at a State Farm agency in Iowa City.

Ben was a member of First United Methodist Church in Mason City. He was confirmed there in May 2002. Growing up, Ben enjoyed Sunday School, Vacation Bible School and Youth Groups at his church.

Ben enjoyed Iowa Hawkeye football, the Vikings, fishing, snowmobiling, golfing, boating, country music concerts, and being with his many friends. Ben had a gentle spirit and a quiet demeanor. He had a ready smile and a kind word for everyone. He thoroughly cherished the time he had with his dog, Jethro.

Ben had a big heart with a spirit of volunteerism and helping others. He volunteered on mission trips to Kentucky (ASP) for nine summers. Ben has helped with Special Olympics and was a Chamber Ambassador for the Iowa City Chamber of Commerce. He also volunteered at a food bank in North Liberty.

He is survived by his loving parents, Jeff and Roxann Newell of Mason City; siblings, Tyler and Kayla of Mason City, his grandmother Raeburn Newell Louscher of Spirit Lake, Iowa, aunt Carol Jensen, of Eden Prairie, Minn., uncles, Jack Jensen (Patty) of Ft. Collins, Colo., Allan Jensen of Westminster, Colo., Colin Jensen (Mary) of Wesley Chapel, Fla., Craig Newell (Lynn) of Arnolds Park, Iowa, cousins, Angela Doman (Patrick) of Rosemount, Minn.; Curt Jensen of Ft. Collins, Colo.; Barrett Tritle (Nate)   of Flagstaff, Ariz.; Alyssa Granquist (Aaron) of North Liberty, Iowa; Brandon Newell (Heather) of Spokane, Wash.; Avery, Addison and Henry Doman, Sam and Layne Tritle, Sydney and Will Granquist, Mitchell, Bayleigh, and Hunter Jensen, many, many friends and his beloved dog, Jethro.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents: Burton Newell, Dick and Joyce Jensen, John Louscher and by his cousin, Mike Jensen.

Paul J. Skarda

Ames — Paul J. Skarda, age 95, of Ames, passed away Nov. 1, 2012.

Visitation will be 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, at Grandon Funeral and Cremation Care, 414 Lincoln Way, Ames, with a scripture service at 5 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 5, at St. Cecilia Church in Ames with Father Jim Secora presiding. Burial will be following the service in Ames Municipal Cemetery.

Paul was born in Bolivar, Mo., on January 2, 1917, to Charles and Helen (Kellner) Skarda. He married Mildred (Kvidera) in 1941. She preceded him in death in 1961. He married Pauline (Urich) Kuhlman in 1965.

Paul graduated from high school in Diagonal, Iowa, and attended Creston Junior College and Northern Iowa Teachers College, which is now more commonly known as the University of Northern Iowa, each for two years.

He joined the U.S. Air Force on July 1, 1943, and was stationed in Kelley Air Field in San Antonio, Texas. He was honorably discharged March of 1946 as a captain.

His lifetime career was in education, being superintendent at Frederika, Elma, Corwith-Wesley, Britt, the State Department of Education, moving to Ames as assistant superintendent before retiring in 1983.

His retirement was spent serving on the Board of Heartland Senior Services and lobbying for AARP. He was the recipient of an “Outstanding and Dedicated Leadership Award” from AARP and an “Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame Award” for Story County.

He was a member of American Legion Post No. 37 and The Knights of Columbus 4th Degree in the Monsignor Supple Assembly.

The couple enjoyed the weeks at Anchor Inn in Spring Lake, Minn., where they enjoyed fishing, time on the lake and entertaining family and friends. He was a Hawkeye fan and had season football tickets for many years. He and Pauline lived a very active lifestyle with trips to family gatherings and their trips to Texas in the winter months.

He was preceded in death by his parents and wife, Mildred, and son, James, and granddaughter, Anna.

He is survived by his wife, Pauline of Ames, daughter-in-law Jennifer of Iowa City, daughter, Shirley (Michael), of Burnsville, Minn., and step son Paul Kuhlman (Kathryn) of Keota, two grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and six step-great grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Cecilia Catholic Church or Heartland Senior Services.

Online condolences may be sent to

Thora Jeanette Draper

Mason City — Thora Jeanette Draper, 94, of Mason City, died Oct. 12, 2012, at Muse Norris Hospice Inpatient Unit in Mason City.

A memorial graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, at the St. John’s Episcopal Church Columbarium, 120 First St. N.E., Mason City, with the Reverend Wendy K. Abrahamson officiating.

Thora Jeanette Draper, daughter of Earl and Lela Haskin Ferleman, was born August 4, 1918, in Garner, Iowa. She attended Mason City High School, graduating in 1937. She was united in marriage to Carl Draper in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1960, living in Mason City, Greensboro, N.C., and Brownsville, Texas, before returning to Mason City where she was a nurse’s aide for 21 years at the St. Joseph Hospital, retiring in 1986.

Thora was a prolific reader and enjoyed solving crossword puzzles. She was known as the “cookie  lady” and generously handed them out to everyone she met, especially the neighborhood children. She had a great sense of humor and always greeted people with a big hug. Thora was renowned for her quilts she beautifully crocheted.

Thora was a devoted member of St. John’s Episcopal Church, being the oldest member, at the time of her death.

She is survived by her two nephews, Harlan “Jay” Proctor and Scott Ferleman; niece, Mary Jo Smith; grandnieces and nephews, Melissa, Amber Heather, David, Tobin, Joshua, and Nathan, along with many other extended family members and close friends.

Hogan Bremer Moore Colonial Chapel, 126 Third St. N.E., Mason City, 641-423-2372, Colonial

Galen E. Miller

Greene — Funeral services for Galen Miller, 89, of Greene, will be 10:30 a.m., Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, at the First Presbyterian Church in Greene, with Pastor John Hanna officiating. Burial will be in the Rose Hill Cemetery, Greene.

Visitation will be 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday with a 7 p.m. Scripture service at Reid’s Funeral Chapel, 519 N. First St., Greene, and will continue at the church one hour before services on Monday.

Galen E. Miller died Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, at the Mercy Medical Center- North Iowa in Mason City.

Those planning an expression of sympathy may direct memorials to the Galen Miller Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 219, Greene, IA 50636.

Arrangements: Reid’s Funeral Chapel, 519 N. First St., Greene, 641-823-4457

William ‘Bill’ Ostwald

WHITTEMORE — William “Bill” Ostwald, 97, of Whittemore, died Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, at the Good Samaritan Society- Algona.

Visitation will be Sunday, Nov. 4, from 3 to 7 p.m. at Oakcrest Funeral Services in Whittemore.

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 5, at St. Paul Lutheran Church with the Rev. Michael Botsford officiating. Burial will be in St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery.

Oakcrest Funeral Services-Whittemore, 515-884-2246,

Nicole Diane Baas

CLARION — Nicole Diane Baas, 27, of Clarion, died Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, from injuries suffered in an automobile accident.

Funeral services for Nicole will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 5, at First Lutheran Church, 420 First St. N.W. in Clarion, with Pastor Ron Nelson officiating.

Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m. at Riverview Cemetery in Algona.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, Nov. 4, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Ewing Funeral Home, 602 N. Main St., in Clarion, and will continue one hour prior to services at the church.

Ewing Funeral Home, Clarion, 515-532-2233,

Thomas (Tom) Fleener

BELMOND — Thomas (Tom) Fleener,  72, of Buffalo Center, and long-time resident of Belmond, died Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, at the Timely Mission Nursing Home in Buffalo Center.

A funeral visitation for Thomas (Tom) Fleener will be held from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, at the Dugger Funeral Home, 111 Luick’s Lane S. in Belmond.

Burial for Tom Fleener will take place in the Belmond Cemetery following the visitation.

 Dugger Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Dugger Funeral Home, 111 Luick’s Lane South, Belmond, 641-444-3248.

Arvid O. Nybroten

Kensett — Arvid O. Nybroten, 59, of Kensett, died Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, at his home.

Funeral arrangements are pending with Schroeder & Sites Funeral Home, Northwood, 641-324-1121, www.schroederandsites.


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