Albert E. Gathman, age 87, of Oelwein passed away on Thursday February 2, 2017 at Allen Memorial Hospital in Waterloo. Visitation will be from 3 to 7 p.m. on Sunday February 5, 2017 at the Geilenfeld Funeral Home in Oelwein. A Masonic service will begin at 7 p.m. on Sunday at the funeral home. Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. on Monday February 6, 2017 at Stanley Union Church in Stanley with Rev. Phil Rownd officiating. Interment will be in Union Cemetery at Aurora.
Albert was born on August 26, 1929 in Roselle, Illinois to Albert E. and Emily (Radcliffe) Gathman. He graduated from high school in Arlington Heights, Illinois and pursued his love of farming his entire life. After years of farming in the Chicago and DeKalb, Illinois areas, in 1967 he acquired a farm east of Oelwein. Al and Mary Ann (Marshall) Feller were married in 1978 and have shared in the joys of a growing family.
Al enjoyed being involved in organizations and service groups. He has served as a Stanley Union Church trustee. His active memberships over the years include Gideon’s International, Hebron Masonic Lodge, Lion’s Club, Farm Bureau of Fayette County, the Republican Party, Corn Grower’s Association and the Soybean Grower’s Association. Important to Al was his service on the Fayette County Foster Care Review Board. Collecting vintage John Deere tractors and parading in his Tin Lizzie car with his fellow Oelwein Shriners are hobbies he enjoyed and the grandchildren have fond memories of.
Al is survived by Mary Ann, his loving wife and devoted caregiver, children Carole Grafer, Grayslake, Illinois; Roger (Sharon)Lemke, DeKalb, Illinois; Gary (Diane) Gathman, Tavares, Florida; Russell (Betty) Gathman, Arlington Heights, Illinois; Ramona (Cy) Nelson, Decorah; Rebecca (Darryl) Wunder, Aurora; and Marshall (Cheryl) Feller, Champlin, Minnesota; Nineteen grandchildren and thirty great grandchildren listed below:
Kathy (Tony) Lucente, Susan (John) Ingram, Jeff (friend, Rozy) Grafer, Tricia, Trevor and Ashley; Matthew (Bonnie) Grafer, Mitchell and Michael; Jennifer Lemke, Lisa (Adam) Schmatz, Julie Gathman, Keri (Christian) Ricci, Kim (Brandt) Palowski, Bailey and Travis; Laura (Jacob) Bledsoe, Rylynn and Blake; Jennifer (Gregory) Williams, Sam, Kayley and Lily; Joe (Brooke) Bell, Hayden and Nicholas; Derek (Amy) Wunder, Waylon and Jack; Sheila (Tim, fiancé) Wunder, Alexander, Jonah and Colton; Riley Wunder, Cassondra, Andrew, and Beau-Jon; Evan (Kari) Nelson, Claire, Paige, Spencer and Anna; Seth (Jennifer) Nelson, Otto and Freja; Taylor (Kristen) Nelson, Kelsey (Aaron, fiance) Feller and Kye.
One great-great granddaughter; his brother, Robert Gathman, Elk Grove, Illinois; many nieces and nephews, and a long-time friend, Tom Reinert.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Esther Gathman; granddaughter, Jana Nelson; son-in-law, Al Grafer; and his parents-in-law, Ralph and Ethel Marshall.