April 15, 2013


Virgil Lavern Clemsen, 90, of Coon Rapids, formerly of Audubon and Carroll, died Thursday, April 11, 2013, at Thomas Rest Haven in Coon Rapids.

Funeral was Monday, April 15, at Central Church in Carroll.

Graveside services were at the Arlington Heights Cemetery in Audubon with military honors provided by American Legion Post 120 in Audubon.

Pastor Ryan Gallegos officiated, and Darrin Kozak was vocalist.

Casket bearers were Chad Bush, Jerrod Sieverding, Ryan Anderson, Nick Sklenar, Cody Ehlers, Dustin Gleason, Andy Stern and Chad Gleason. Honorary casket bearers were Angie Bush, Kris Sieverding, Kati Anderson, Jacqueline Sklenar, Josie Ehlers, Andrea Gleason, Abby Stern and Meg Gleason.

Born April 21, 1922, on his parents' farm in Oakfield Township, Audubon County, Iowa, Virgil was a son of Arthur and Meta (Michaelsen) Clemsen.

Virgil attended rural school in Oakfield Township and graduated from Exira High School with the Class of 1940. He then helped operate the family farm.

On Dec. 14, 1944, Virgil married Violet Fancher at the bride's home in Cameron Township, Audubon County. Three daughters were born to this union.

On Feb. 2, 1945, he was inducted into the U.S. Army. Virg received an honorable medical discharge on June 15, 1945, and returned to Iowa. Virg and Vi operated a farm in Viola Township for 17 years, and then purchased a farm in Cameron Township that they operated until they retired and moved into Audubon in 1985. He then worked for the ASCS office in Audubon and sold seed to area farmers for several years.

Virg was Soil Commissioner for 18 years and had a passion for conserving the soil. Virg was a 4-H leader and served on the school reorganization board. He enjoyed woodworking and made many beautiful pieces of furniture for gifts and the church. As a youngster, Virg was confirmed at the Lutheran church in Elk Horn. In 1993, he was baptized in Carroll and for many years was an active member of the Central Church in Carroll. His first love and priority was his family. Virg was a selfless man with a wonderful sense of humor.

He is survived by his wife Violet of Coon Rapids; three daughters: Vickie Jorgensen and husband Frank of Carroll; Virlee Sklenar and husband John of Carroll; and Vilinda Gleason and husband Doug of Audubon; eight grandchildren: Angie (Chad) Bush; Kris (Jerrod) Sieverding; Kati (Ryan) Anderson; Nick (Jacky) Sklenar; Josie (Cody) Ehlers; Dustin (Andrea) Gleason; Abby (Andy) Stern; Chad (Meg) Gleason; 13 great-grandchildren; a brother Lyla Clemsen and wife Jane of Fort Dodge; three sisters-in-law: Rosa Clemsen of Exira; Minnie Fancher of Brookings, Ore.; and Lavaun Fancher of Audubon; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Virgil was preceded in death by his parents; Vi's parents Orra and Minnie Fancher; sister LaVonne Glissman and husband Leroy; brother Glen Clemsen; brothers-in-law Jesse and Glenn Fancher; and a sister-in-law Olive Westphalen and husband Dale.