August 21, 2013


Hilbert Matthew "Herb" Koenig, 103, the oldest living native of Halbur, died early Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, at Brookestone Meadows Care and Rehabilitation Center in Omaha, Neb.

Mass of the Christian burial will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Halbur. The Rev. Steve Brodersen will be celebrant. Lectors will be Kristin Abernethy and Lisa Harbert. Gift bearers will be Herb's grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Music will be "Here I Am, Lord," "On Eagle's Wings," Amazing Grace," "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" and the recessional "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" with Julie Sibbel as organist and St. Augustine choir.

Casket bearers will be Scott Onken, Jeff Koenig, Jon Koenig, Lisa Harbert, Amee Hoiekvam, Kristin Abernethy and Shannon Tracy. Burial will be at St. Augustine Cemetery in Halbur.

Visitation at Ohde Twit Funeral Home in Carroll will begin at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, with prayer vigil service and rosary at 7 p.m.

Hilbert Matthew "Herb" Koenig was born Aug. 16, 1910 in Halbur, Iowa, the fourth child of Joseph and Frances (Roth) Koenig. He attended St. Augustine School and graduated from St. Bernard High School in Breda in 1929. Herb began his 46-year banking career on June 1, 1929, with Farmers Savings Bank in Halbur. He and Edna Ocken of Breda were married on Sept. 18, 1940, in Remsen, Iowa. They made their home in Halbur, and after moving to Carroll in 1971, he retired from the bank on Aug. 1, 1975, as vice president and co-owner.

Herb was involved in many other business endeavors, including town clerk of Halbur for 27 years, American Mutual Life Insurance agent for 40 years, real estate broker, and in 1952 began his 37-year part-time baseball scouting career (representing the St. Louis Browns, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City A's, Minnesota Twins and California Angels). He had a lifelong passion for baseball, seeing the Cubs play more than 200 games in Chicago. With his six brothers, Herb played semi-professional baseball for about 15 years, managing the Halbur Merchants and also playing for the Breda Eagles, Templeton Country Clubs and Storz Triumphs. Herb lived under 18 presidential administrations and enjoyed visiting about his many experiences and changes he had seen over the years, whether it be the unsuccessful "run on the bank" in the early '30s, traveling alone at a young age to World Fairs in Chicago and New York or booking the Harlem Globetrotters into the Carroll High gym. In addition Herb and Edna traveled to all 48 continental states and spent winters in Arizona. Herb's other interests included playing cards, fishing and golfing. Herb was the oldest living native of Halbur.

In January 1991 Herb moved to Omaha to be closer to family.

He is survived by his daughter Kathy Onken of Omaha and son John (Gail) of Scottsbluff, Neb.; brother Joseph (Lucille) of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; grandchildren Lisa (Tom) Harbert of Aberdeen, S.D., Scott (Michell) Onken of Omaha, Amee (Erik) Hoiekvam of Omaha, Jeff (Katie) Koenig of Omaha, Jon (Amy) Koenig of Omaha, Kristin (Doug) Abernethy of Colorado Springs, and step-granddaughter Shannon Tracy of Denver; 15 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Edna, on Oct. 14, 1979; parents; sisters Nora Heinrichs and Florine Koenig; brothers: Leo, Eugene, Vincent, Simon and Father Jerome Koenig; two infant brothers; son-in-law Darrell Onken; and daughter-in-law Mary Koenig.