In Memory of Clarence Etler

Clarence Etler
Clarence Etler
Born: December 14, 1924
Died: April 15, 2017
Age: 92
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Clarence Etler
December 14, 1924 - April 15, 2017
From: Odebolt, IA

Clarence Etler, age 92, of Odebolt, Iowa, passed away peacefully on Saturday, April 15, 2017, at the Morningside Healthcare Community of Ida Grove, Iowa, with his family at his side.

A Funeral Service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, April 21, 2017 at the First Presbyterian Church of Odebolt, Iowa. The Pastor Bill Crawford will officiate; with committal services following in the Odebolt Cemetery of Odebolt, Iowa. A visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Thursday, April 20, 2017 at the Christensen – Van Houten Funeral Home of Odebolt, Iowa. The Christensen - Van Houten Funeral Home of Odebolt, Iowa is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be sent online to


Clarence Robert Etler, 92, passed away peacefully on Saturday, April 15, 2017 at Morningside Care Center in Ida Grove, with his family at his side.

Clarence was born on December 14, 1924 in Rock Township, Woodbury County, IA.  He was the third child and second son of Bert and Elsie (Henderson) Etler.

Clarence attended several rural schools and graduated from Cushing High School in 1943.  He intended to pursue an accounting career but the war altered those plans and he farmed with his father and wife until he retired in 1988.

On June 29, 1947 Clarence married Dawn Compton.  Their wedding took place in the Ida Grove Presbyterian Church.  The union was blessed with two children, Donald and Debra.  The couple farmed south of Cushing for several years, then made their home north of Odebolt in the spring of 1960.  After he retired they lived on the farm for several years before moving into Odebolt in 2000.  Dawn passed away in January 2004.

Clarence was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church in Odebolt and served as a trustee and elder.  Clarence and Dawn were active participants in their community and church.

Clarence’s children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were very special to him.  He was a friendly genuine guy and made friends easily and was always willing to help in any way he could.  He enjoyed coffee and conversations with long-time and newly made friends throughout his life.

He rarely raised his voice but he was among the loudest of fans cheering and supporting his children and grandchildren in their activities.  He was a big fan of the Iowa State Cyclones. The Cyclones could probably hear his comments shouted from Odebolt. 

Clarence was fortunate to enjoy a long healthy life.  He enjoyed exercising regularly, especially his walks with his friends at the Ida Grove Rec Center until the last few months.   He enjoyed many years of active retirement.

He loved his time spent at the couple’s lake home on Spirit Lake in Templar Park.  The family has and will continue to share many memories and laughter at this home.   He was a sharp card player and his children and grandchildren enjoyed playing many games with Grandpa.  Clarence was a season ticket holder at and a supporter of the Okoboji Summer Theatre for many years and loved going to the Saturday afternoon showing each weekend through their season.   After Dawn’s passing his kids and grandkids joined him there.

He leaves behind to cherish his memory his two children, Donald (Alice) Etler of Spencer and Debra (Randall) Anderson of Urbandale; five grandsons, Daniel (Theresa) Etler of Shawnee Mission, KS, David (April) Etler of Gilbert, IA, Tyler (Katelin)  Anderson of Richardson, TX, John Etler of Ames, IA and Mike Etler of Spencer, IA;  four great grandchildren, Emma Dawn and Austin Stuart of Gilbert, IA and Madeline Grace and Mason Frederick of Shawnee Mission, KS and a sister, Miriam Underwood of Sioux City.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Dawn, his brother Donald Etler who died on Guam in WWII, and his sister and brother in law, Lois and John Orvick.

The family requests that memorials go to the Odebolt First Presbyterian Church in Clarence’s memory.


10:30 a.m., Friday,
April 21, 2017

First Presbyterian Church
Odebolt, Iowa


Pastor Bill Crawford


Daniel Etler
David Etler
Tyler Anderson
John Etler
Michael Etler
Richard Underwood


5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.,
Thursday, April 20, 2017

Christensen ~ Van Houten
Funeral Home
Odebolt, Iowa


Carol Raasch, Organist
Michael Etler &
Marlys Evenson, Vocalists

Vocal Selections
"InThe Garden"
"Because He Lives"

Congregational Hymn
"How Great Thou Art"


Odebolt Cemetery
Odebolt, Iowa


Friday, April 21, 2017 at 9:09 AM
“Deb, Randy & family, We are so sorry to hear of the loss of your father/father-in-law/grandpa. May all of the happy memories bring you comfort during this time of sorrow.”
- Ron & Cheryl Belden
Friday, April 21, 2017 at 9:09 AM
“You have my deep sympathy. The Lord will
comfort you with His unfailing love and sure
- Mabel Huldeen
Friday, April 21, 2017 at 9:09 AM
“As I read through the condolence messages, I'm wanting to click on a "thumbs-up" to say, YES, that is exactly how I remember Clarence too. As a daughter of a "Supper Club" couple, I got to know Clarence when attending the recent years of the Supper Club get-togethers when I drove Mom (Irene) there. So sorry for your loss. Sending sympathies from all of us (Merle's girls).”
- Darla Siebrecht
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 12:45 PM
“Deb and Randy, sorry to hear of the loss of your father. Know that we are praying for your family. ”
- Jerry and Colleen Oxley
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 12:45 PM
“So sorry to hear of your father/grandfather's death. I have known Clarence for many years. He lived on a farm north of Odebolt, just west of the farm where I was raised. You have my sincere sympathy in his loss. God's Blessings to all of you. Joan (Kies) Petersen, Ida Grove”
- Joan K. Petersen
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 12:45 PM
“Love and blessings as you celebrate this special man. My prayer for you is that this time will be special for family and friends sharing memories ♡”
- Joy Batten
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 12:45 PM
“Donnie & Debbie: So sorry to hear of your dad's passing. We had a great cousins reunion this past summer and was looking forward to one this summer. He had plans for it to be in Odebolt. We will miss seeing him. Its been many years since we have seen you two. Debbie was flower girl at our wedding. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.”
- Donald(Shorty) & Betty Henderson
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 12:45 PM
“Sympathies to the whole family. I remember Clarence from many years ago.”
- Karen Beers Wilcox
Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 10:54 AM
“Oh my Clarence saddened to hear this.I always enjoyed shooting the breeze with you when i use to live in Odebolt an was a waitress at the cafe and you would come in.I always was happy when i would bump into you over here in Ida Grove after i moved over here.Sure missed seeing all of you guys when u came in an sat together an gave me a hard time.RIP my friend you will be missed.”
- Angela Mumm
Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 10:53 AM
“So sad to hear of Clarence's passing. He was such a sweet guy and will be missed. ”
- Renae Babcock
Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 10:53 AM
“Etler Family, Sorry to hear about Clarence's family. Thoughts and Prayers to you during this time. I have very fond memories of both Clarence and Dawn mostly at Church, but also when they still at the Odebolt Fair. ”
- Julie Belstene
Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 10:53 AM
“Thoughts & prayers to the family. I was a childhood friend of Deb's & enjoyed going to the "farm". Clarence & Dawn were such kind people. ”
- Deb Haase (Simpson)
Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 10:53 AM
“Clarence was indeed a friendly, genuine gentleman. He made this world a better place for the time he spent here. I hope that his memory will help his family find strength and comfort during these days. Our thoughts and prayers follow you all.”
- Ann Hemer Onnen
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