LaVern “Sonny” Warthan, 79, of Oelwein passed away on Saturday December 24, 2016 at his home with his family by his side. Sonny gave as generously in death as he did in life by donating his body to the University of Iowa-Carver College of Medicine. Visitation will be from 4-7 PM on Thursday December 29, 2016 at the Geilenfeld Funeral Home in Oelwein. Memorial services will begin at 11 AM on Friday December 30, 2016 at the First Baptist Church in Oelwein with Pastor Dave Byrd officiating. Inurnment will be at a later date in Woodlawn Cemetery at Oelwein. A memorial fund has been established in Sonny’s name.
LaVern Dalton Warthan was born on May 6, 1937 in Oelwein to parents LaVern and Bernice (Rathbun) Warthan. Sonny graduated from Oelwein High School with the class of 1956. He then served his country honorably in the United States Marine Corps. On March 20, 1965 he was united in marriage with Verna Peyton in Elkader, IA. Sonny was a long-time mechanic and owner/operator of Warthan’s DX in Oelwein.
To the greatest man we ever knew, whose hair never turned gray, only wore flannel shirts & black jeans, always watched westerns, and set the example for how we judged men. Always worried about keeping up his good looks, no one could style his hair quite like himself. According to the grandchildren, grandpa said, a bar of soap gets hair cleaner than shampoo ever will. Even though he was a bottomless pit, he always had the ladies lining up.
As our family wasn't perfect, our dad had the biggest heart and always tried to keep the peace. As a hard working man with his family always coming first, we are sad to see him go but are blessed to see him reunited with his one true love dancing the nights away for the rest of eternity. His grandchildren were always his little angels and now it's his turn to be ours. We know he will be watching over us from above, until we meet again. We could go on and on about this amazing man who holds a special place in our hearts and will truly be missed.
Left to celebrate Sonny’s life are his children: Kelli (Mike) Haun of Oelwein, Kim (Dick) Arndt of Oelwein, Kris (Eric) Gamm of Oelwein and Kari (Cody Ferrell) Veber of Park Hills, MO; 13 Grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; his brother David (Vicki) Warthan of Dubuque; his sister-in-law Tiny (Dallas) McAtee of Brandon; his brother-in-law Bud Burke of Oelwein; as well as nieces, nephews, and friends.
Sonny was preceded in death by his grandparents; parents; his wife Verna (2014); his children: Bill Loeb, Patti DeForge and Tim Warthan; and his sisters: Mardell Walker and Beverly Burke.