On Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, Ervin Carl “Whitey” Loneman, loving husband, and father of six, passed away at Regency Park Nursing Center of Carroll at age 89.
Mass of the Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at Holy Spirit Church-St. John Paul II Catholic Parish in Carroll. The celebrant will be Father Kevin Richter, assisted by Deacon Dave Prenger. Music will be by Kathy Halbur and Cyndi Loneman. Lector will be Deacon Dave Prenger. Gift bearers will be Whitey’s grandchildren. Honorary casket bearers will be Terri Loneman, Elmer Venteicher, Norbert Baumhover, Kevin Larsen, Dave Sanders, Jerry Blum, Terry Magner, Scott Irlbeck and Ken Loneman. Casket bearers will be Carter Owen, Jon Owen, Patrick Maier, Shaun Loneman, Scott Bernholtz and Dennis Loneman. Burial will be at St. Francis Cemetery in Maple River.
Visitation will be held Friday at Sharp Funeral Home in Carroll and will begin with a rosary a 5 p.m. Visitation will continue until 6:30 p.m. Visitation at the church will be from 9-9:45 a.m. Saturday. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be left at the funeral home or the church for Kindred Hospice. Funeral arrangements are under the guidance of Sharp Funeral Home in Carroll, and online condolences may be left for Whitey’s family at www.sharpfuneral.com.
Ervin “Whitey” Loneman, son of Joseph and Frances “Fannie” Loneman, was born on Aug. 11, 1933, in Maple River, Iowa. Though named Ervin, almost everyone knew him as Whitey. He grew up on the family farm outside Maple River where he learned the value of hard work and commitment to family. He graduated the eighth grade from St. Francis in Maple River in 1946.
Whitey saw a lot of changes in the Carroll area. He was there when cattle were shipped mostly on rail lines out of the small town of Maple River. The cattle had to be herded up a gravel road north of town and across a bridge to the rail head. One problem, the bridge was concrete which the cattle will not cross, so the farmers there spread hay all over the bridge, then the cattle would cross.
After leaving the farm Whitey worked a number of jobs in the early ’50s as he was not yet married and settled down. Working as a farmhand or bartender was one way to earn a living, but some of the best wages to be made were available on the railroads. Whitey worked for the Great Western Railroad based out of Carroll for a $1.49/day. This was a top wage for any job at that time. His work would start at 8 a.m. and go to 5 p.m. The job took Whitey as far as Boone to work on the big Kate Shelly Bridge.
Family and friends are what you’ll hear when you’d ask Whitey about entertainment in the ’50s. Family get-togethers involved a lot of picnics and baseball. In his youth, for Whitey, every Sunday meant playing or watching baseball, either at Breda or in Carroll at the old ballfields located in the area of the new K-Mart by Highway 30 and Quint Avenue. Baseball games were played in every town in Iowa back then with semi-pro teams playing in Carroll. Whitey would proudly talk about Bob Feller, another Iowa boy and future major league hall-of-famer, who he watched pitch some baseball in Carroll when he was 16 years old.
Whitey was a life-long loyal Chicago Cubs fan. He was finally rewarded for his loyalty when the Cubs won the 2016 World Series for the first time during Whitey’s lifetime.
After marrying in 1955, Whitey and Lois were blessed with six children. He worked tirelessly supporting his family and never asking anything for himself. As he and Lois grew their family, Whitey’s jobs included the Goecke Locker in Mount Carmel in the early 1960s, then for 46 years he worked as a meat cutter for Bernholtz Locker and also Mike’s Meats. His evening and weekend jobs were as a mechanic for Wolterman Distributing and also Ralph’s DX, and a farmhand for John Thobe of Breda. He took pride in not retiring until turning 76. Whitey easily made many friends throughout his life and valued each of them. Whenever he saw someone in need, he helped them, friend, family, neighbor, and strangers. Through his quiet way, he taught by example that honest, hard work won’t kill you, that caring for friends and family and making sacrifices are always the right things to do, and that patience is its own reward. These important lessons and his dedication to his Catholic faith are what he has passed on to his children. Above all, hard work, kindness, quick wit, a gentle smile, patience, and generosity were his way of showing love to family and friends. That is who he was, his family and many friends will miss him terribly.
Whitey is survived by his wife of 67 years: Lois (Meisheid) Loneman, of Carroll, six children: Cathy Thompson of Carroll, Iowa, David Loneman of Palm Springs, California, Doug and Stana (Milodragovich) Loneman of Bozeman, Montana, Christy (Loneman) and Doug Fields of Fort Lawn, South Carolina, Matt and Claudia (Goins) Loneman of Carroll, and Jen (Loneman) and Chris Owen of West Des Moines; many grandchildren, nieces and nephews; and his only surviving sibling: his sister Lois (Loneman) Beymer of Denison.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and his brothers: Lawrence “Zeke,” Merlin “Teddy,” Eugene “Johnny,” James “Jim,” and Robert “Windy” Loneman.