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Ivan Mader

Posted December 13, 2012 in Obituaries, Greene County

March 30, 1929- December 10, 2012

During his farming days in rural Churdan, Ivan Mader was a king of farm equipment repair. He could skillfully weld anything together, and he created his own versions of a grain truck and a planter, among many things.

Ivan Mader, 83, a current resident of Arcadia, died at St. Anthony Hospital in Carroll on December 10, 2012, from injuries sustained in a single-car accident west of Carroll.

“You don’t have to work fast, you just need to work steady,” was a favorite phrase of his – as he farmed many years by himself. He kept his wife, Alice, busy driving to get farm equipment parts.

Ivan was born in Springfield, Minnesota, on March 30, 1929, the only child of Ernest and Minnie (Hornick) Mader. They moved to the Churdan area when Ivan was about two years old to a farm owned by his mother’s family. He graduated from Churdan High School in 1947. He entered the Army in April 1951, and spent some of his time helping to build roads in Germany. He was honorably discharged in March 1953, returned to Churdan and took up farming with his father and uncles.

He attended dances in Fort Dodge in his younger years and met his future wife and farmer’s daughter, Alice Reding. They were married at a church in her hometown of Whittemore on March 3, 1962. They became the parents of two daughters, Melanie and Maureen.

When he wasn’t farming, Ivan enjoyed watching dirt track car races and tractor pulls, playing cards with friends, listening to country and polka music, trying to fly model airplanes and traveling in his RV. He was an avid reader, so he was the champion Trivial Pursuit player in the family even without a college degree. His daughters remember several Murphy’s Laws about life on the Mader farm. One is that the well pump and the electric cattle water tank always broke down on a holiday and never on an ordinary day. And they could not beat Ivan at finding a short weed in a soybean field. He would notice when his daughters missed a weed while walking or spraying soybeans.

Ivan retired from active farming in the 1990s. He was a member of St. Columbkille Catholic Church in Churdan and the Churdan American Legion post. He and Alice spent 19 winters in Arizona, mainly in Casa Grande. They moved to Arcadia in 2010 to be near their daughter. Alice died in Casa Grande on Christmas Eve of 2011.

Ivan is survived by his daughters, Maureen (Keith) Freese of Arcadia and Melanie Mader (Jim Paul) of Champaign, Illinois; grandchildren Kristina, Travis, Tanner and Amy; and his sisters- and brothers-in-law Helen and Ross Inman of Bancroft and Mary Ann and Bernard Tigges of Fenton; and several cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; and other relatives including uncles Joe and Tony Hornick, aunt Marie Beschorner, brother-in-law John Reding, and nephew David Inman.

A visitation will be from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Thursday, December 13, 2012, at the Brown Funeral Home in Churdan with a vigil for the deceased at 5:30 p.m. A celebration of Ivan’s life will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, December 14, from St. Columbkille Catholic Church in Churdan with the Rev. Father Donald Ries officiating. Musical selections will be played by church organist, Richard Carey. Burial will be in St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery in Cedar Township, west of Churdan.

Casket bearers will be sons-in-law Keith Freese and Jim Paul, grandsons Travis and Tanner Freese, and his farm operators Perry Parker and Mitch Stream.

Services were arranged by Brown Funeral Home of Churdan.

Friends and family are invited to a time of lunch and fellowship at St. Columbkille following the grave side service.


Information provided by:
Brown Funereal Homes, Inc.
408 Lincoln Way Street
Jefferson, IA 50129

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