August 28, 2013


Gene Grethen, 89, of Carroll died Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013, in his home, surrounded by his family.

Mass of the Christian burial will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Carroll. Father Timothy Johnson will celebrate the funeral Mass. Pianist will be Marcy Anderson, song leader will be Shari Schulte and soloist will be John Wagner. Lectors will be Annie Bjustrom and Kathy Kraus. Gift bearers will be Gene's great-grandchildren Joseph and Katie Dawson. Casket bearers will be Ron Hausman, Michael Smith, Jim Bohn, Jim Clark, Tom Thompson and Mark Poland. Burial will be at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Carroll.

Visitation will begin at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, at Sharp Funeral Home in Carroll where there will be a Knights of Columbus Rosary at 5 p.m. and a Christian wake service by Holy Spirit Parish at 7 p.m. The casket will be moved to the church at 9:30 a.m. Thursday when visitation will resume.

Online condolences for Gene's family may be left at

Gene Grethen was the ninth of 10 children, born on the family farm east of Mallard, Iowa, on Dec. 23, 1923, to Jacob and Mary (Segar) Grethen. Gene graduated from Rolfe High School. He had the opportunity to be a farmer, carpenter, entrepreneur and was known to be a hard worker who was loyal to his employers and enjoyable to work with. On June 23, 1952 he married Millie Hausman at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Halbur, Iowa. In 1962 he moved his family to Greenfield, Iowa, where Gene farmed until 1967 when they moved to Carroll, Iowa.

Gene gave 30 years of dedicated service to the Carroll Parks Department before he retired. Gene was a member of the Knights of Columbus and Holy Spirit Catholic Church. He attended Mass nearly every morning, enjoyed playing cards with his buddies in the morning, and taking a midday break with his coffee buddies at the local grocery. He liked taking long walks. After his beloved Millie passed away, he oftentimes walked to the cemetery to visit her and to tend a headstone plant or to place a flower. He loved to tend his vegetable garden and had a green thumb that could grow almost anything. He enjoyed music, current events, old western TV shows and the company of his family and his friends. He vacationed with his family every year and for many decades, spent a week at Fillenwarths Beach on West Lake Okoboji with brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews. Although he wasn't much of a swimmer, he most enjoyed the evening booze cruises and Monday night mixers on the waterfront. He enjoyed his last Okoboji sunset under the loving care of his family this past July.

He volunteered his time to his community, volunteering for church-related tasks, planting flowers for the city in spring and cutting fabric squares for rug making.

Gene is survived by his children Steven Grethen of Carroll and Lisa Bohn of Des Moines, Iowa; grandchildren, Megan Gainey, Abby Grethen, Jeannie (James) Dawson and Michael Smith; great-grandchildren, Joseph, Katie, Emma Jean and Amberleigh Dawson; siblings, Walter Grethen and MaryLou (Loren) Thompson; in-laws Loren Thompson, Delores Grethen, Esther Hausman, Andy and Sally Hausman, Hilda and Cyril Schulte, Sally Stickrod, Don McCormick, Norma Schmidt, Virginia Hausman and Dorothy Irlmeier.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Millie, in 2001; daughter Jean Marie; siblings James, Alice, Lillian, Caroline, Liberty, Leo and Leona; and many in-laws.