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LaVern Warthan
May 6, 1937 - December 24, 2016

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.  


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Colleen (Brewington) Sansone on January 21, 2017 at 5:26 PM said:

I am so sorry to hear of Sonny's passing. I wasn't able to attend our last class reunion this past Sept., but, Sonny was one of the people that I wanted to see again. Sonny and I went all through school together starting in kindergarten. Sonny's mother and my mother were active in the PTA together. Sonny came from good family. He lived on 4th Ave. S.E., across from Bly's, and I lived on 5th Ave. Growing up during those days, kids played outside during the summer until it got dark. We would play "Hide and Seek", "Kick the Can" (in the middle of the street as there were very few cars. He was always fun to be around and always good natured. I am sure he is not only a great loss to all of you, but, also a loss to his community.
DICK AND MARCIA WAKEFORD on January 15, 2017 at 8:02 PM said:

So sorry to hear of the loss of your father (sonny). Over the many years we knew each other he had my respect as a mechanic and friend. We will miss him.

Dick and Marcia Wakeford
Tom Reinert on December 28, 2016 at 5:25 PM said:

So sad to see that Sonny has passed. He was a part of so many lives, particularly mine. Sonny was a mentor and a friend to me. Even though we didn't see each other much recently, I will miss Sonny very much, he was like a second father to me.
Judy Campbell pritchard on December 28, 2016 at 4:55 AM said:

Sorry to hear about sonny former classmate at oelwein junior senior high school just saw him at 60th class reunion prayers to his family
Kay Bunn on December 27, 2016 at 8:30 PM said:

Kim - I am so very sorry to read about your Dad. It sounds like he was a very special person! A big hug to you and my sympathy to your family.
Bob and Linda Burke on December 27, 2016 at 6:27 PM said:

Kelli, Kim, Kris, and Kari, Linda and I wanted to tell you how very sad we are at Sonny's passing. He was one of the most positive people I ever knew. Linda will miss the razzing he always gave her about her shoes, and I will miss him for showing me how to be a better person. He was the coolest guy ever. Could make James Dean look like Pee Wee Herman. Perfect family??? Doesn't exist anymore than the perfect person does. Sonny knew that, and was very proud of his family. He always kept us up to date on your families and accomplishments. I will remember him for many reasons, but always for his patience, his willingness to forgive, and his love for his family. God Bless
CathyMartin on December 27, 2016 at 6:05 PM said:

sonny fixed my car more than once. Best mechanic heaven has to have! The greatest Sonny story I told..was when he had the old green car, windows down, downtown. I believe we had won a ballgame. ( that never usually happened. I walked outside and quick as I could say "the shortest distance between two points is a short line." As I slithered through the open window of his car, across the seat and out the other window. I don't think I ever shared that story with him.. But you all know now!! My sympathy!
Lesa Parmely on December 27, 2016 at 4:08 PM said:

Kim....sorry to hear of your dad's passing. ..prayers for you all!!!
Dick & Jan Arndt on December 27, 2016 at 1:09 PM said:

To Kim and Familvy...Our thoughts are with you and you Family, because of your loss. Your Dad was a special guy and we are sure you will have many lasting memories. He will be missed by many in Oelwein. Dick & Jan
Becky Goodman on December 27, 2016 at 12:49 PM said:

Kari, I am so sorry for your loss! I know what your Dad meant to you, Cody and Dalton! My prayers are with you!??
DeForge-Skrabak Family on December 27, 2016 at 9:26 AM said:

We are so very sorry to hear of Sonny's passing. He was such a sweet and gentle man. I know it's hard to process the loss here on earth, but it's comforting to know he is with his loved ones again in Heaven. We will keep the Warthan family in our prayers.
Rick and Cathy Vargason on December 27, 2016 at 7:37 AM said:

So sorry for your loss. I've known your family for a long time. Our deepest sympathy to your family
Gary and Mary Oakley on December 27, 2016 at 6:53 AM said:

Dear Kim, We are so very sorry for your loss. Your mom and dad being together again is a comfort to your memories. Your memories, they will be never ending, he was of the "working" generation, that was not 9-5. He was a solid fixture in Oelwein, he was Warthan's DX.
Nancy & Lyle Miller on December 27, 2016 at 6:16 AM said:

Our sincere condolences. Sonny was one of the nicest guys you'd ever meet. He'll be missed by all & may he rest in peace. (P.S. really enjoyed the obit-very appropriate and well done)
Mike Lorenz on December 27, 2016 at 6:13 AM said:

So sorry to hear of Sonny's passing. Please know you're all in our thoughts and prayers.
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