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Larry J. Godwin 1942 - 2012
Larry J Godwin, son of Dick and Ethel (Ermeling), the first of seven children, was born in Bayard, Iowa in the home of his Aunt Nona (Ermeling) and Floyd Hermanson.
As a child, Larry worked on the farm and chored with his father through high school. One November afternoon, he came home from school only to find that his family had been evicted off the farm they had been renting. They were all moving that day to a newly rented farm just a few miles away. This unsettling chain of events left a lasting impression.
Larry spent his formative years in Audubon County where he attended school in a one-room school house. He had difficulties with one of his new school teachers, when her dog trespassed onto the Godwin farm and his father Dick promptly shot the dog for chasing their sheep. In spite of this, he graduated the 8th grade and attended High School in Guthrie Center.
He began his sales career at an early age selling greeting cards to his neighbors from his bicycle. No easy feat considering they lived in the country and his neighbors lived many miles away. After high school, with a $100 loan from his Granddad Harry (Viola) Godwin, Larry attended DeVry technical college in Chicago, Illinois.
Times were tough in Chicago where meals consisted primarily of headcheese sandwiches. Larry roomed with his friend Doug Inman and during their first Chicago winter they had a bet; the first one to break down and buy a winter coat had to buy two coats, one for each of them. Whether it was stubbornness or thriftiness, no coats were purchased that year.
While studying for an electronics degree at DeVry Technical College, Larry worked at Zenith and after college he worked as a TV/Radio repairman for Montgomery Wards. As the war in Vietnam intensified, Larry joined the U.S. Air Force. After basic training he attended technical training in Boulder Colorado and was then stationed at an Air Base in Duluth Minnesota where he maintained electronic guidance systems for F106 fighter jets.
While in Duluth, Larry met Terri Ann Fournier and was married in April 1965. About 9 months later, Terri gave birth to their first son Shannon and in another 12 months they welcomed their second son Nathan.
In December of 1967, Larry was honorably discharged from the Air Force and the young family moved back to Iowa, where Larry found work selling parts at Grettenberg Implement in Coon Rapids. In 1971, he took a job at American Cyanamid where he would take his two boys with him onto farm fields for soil tests and delivering anhydrous ammonia tanks.
Then in 1972, Larry took a Job at Rosene International selling farm tractors and implements. This job combined elements of his two favorite things, farming and sales. Over the next 32 years, Larry built an extensive book of business and took great pride in the fact, that as a sales person, he played a small part in the farming operations of multiple generations of farmers within the same family.
When Rosene International closed in 2005, Larry was recruited by Reuters Red Power to continue his sales career at their store in Grand Junction Iowa.
One of his greatest joys was farming. In 1978, Larry bought a small acreage and some "seasoned" farm equipment, similar to that used in his youth. With a WD Allis, a disc and a two bottom plow he started working the 12 acres. In the fall of 1980 he built a house and moved onto the farm. The following summer he built a small barn for raising sheep and eventually added several adjacent parcels of land, increasing the size of his small operation.
In addition, Larry also enjoyed studying genealogy, writing and telling stories, wintering in Texas with friends and travelling the countryside.
Larry passed away in his home on November 27th, 2012 with his family nearby.
Larry is survived by his wife Terri and his two sons Shannon (Cindy) Godwin of Woodward and Nathan (Kari) Godwin of Johnston. Grandchildren: Geoff (Michelle) Mosby, Jarred Godwin, Elizabeth Godwin, Rachel Godwin, Colin Godwin and Cade Godwin. Great Grand Daughter: Chloe Mosby. Step Mother: Donna Godwin of Yale, Brothers: Terry (Marla) Godwin of Ottumwa, Tom (Kay) Godwin of Yale, and Jeff (Stephanie) Godwin of Panora. Sisters: Trudy Smith of Virginia Beach, VA and Lori (Bill) Pearson of Panora. Sister-in-law: Patty Godwin of Yale.
He was preceded in death by his parents: Dick and Ethel Godwin, brother: Tim Godwin of Linden and brother-in-law: Carroll Smith of Virginia Beach, VA.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, December 1, 2012, at 10 a.m. at Carris Family Funeral Home in Perry. Visitation will be Friday, November 30, 2012 from 1 to 8 p.m. with family present from 4 to 7 p.m. at Carris Family Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery near Yale. Memorials may be given to the family and may be left at the Funeral Home.
Published in Des Moines Register on Nov. 29, 2012