Donald E. Northup (1927 - 2011)

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Donald (Don) E. Northup, 84, of Iowa City and formerly of Cedar Rapids and Coralville passed away at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City on Friday, April 8, 2011. Funeral Services will be held at 1pm Monday, April 11, at Lensing Funeral Service, 605 Kirkwood Avenue, Iowa City. Visitation will be at the funeral home on Sunday from 4-7 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the Solon American Legion Post #460 or to Honor Flights of The Quad Cities.

Don was born on January 13, 1927, in Audubon, IA, the son of George Clinton Northup and Emma Elizabeth Jordan Northup. Don attended Audubon High School and enlisted in the United States Navy on January 26, 1944 at the age of 17. He served as an aviation machinist for 21 months in the South Pacific and returned to the states in December 1945. He completed his tour of duty at the Naval Air Test Center in Patuxent River, MD.

Don was employed by Federal Discount Corp. and Thrift Plan, Inc., managing several branch offices in southeast Iowa. He moved to California and managed finance companies in the Los Angeles and Sacramento areas. In 1966 he became vice president and general manager of the finance division of Gains Guaranty Corp, an Iowa company with commercial real estate and finance companies. When Gains Guaranty was later purchased by Life Investors Insurance Co., Don remained in Des Moines and liquidated the finance division. He then joined Life Investors in the real estate division and held various management positions including president and director of Life Investors Realty Co. He retired from Life Investors/Aegon in January of 1989.

Don married Ila Sass Altmaier on April 27, 1973. Don and Ila enjoyed traveling having visited Italy, Spain, Africa, South America, Costa Rico, Mexico, Canada, Alaska, and Hawaii. They enjoyed camping and traveled in the United States by RV for many years. They wintered in the Mesa, AZ area for more than 20 years. He and Ila spent many summers enjoying boating on the Coralville Reservoir and the Mississippi River spending many summers aboard their houseboat at Guttenberg, IA. In addition, Don and Ila enjoyed searching for and adding to their collections of rocks, stones, ancient bones, and artifacts. Don was an avid hunter and fisherman with great success in both endeavors. Those who knew Don appreciated him as a man of many diverse interests and as an extremely generous person, who always treated relatives and friends alike. He will be deeply missed.

Don is survived by his wife, Ila, and a brother Dale of Montpelier, ID. His three children are Sandra Taylor of Sarasota, FL, Donovan Northup and his wife Angie of Rockford, IL, and Donna Gross of Davenport, IA. He is also survived by three stepchildren, Patricia Knebel of Iowa City, Marilyn Jackson and her husband, Gary, of Mechanicsville, and Jim Altmaier and his wife, Joan, of Ottumwa. He has 10 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Norma Nielsen and Shirley Lekin.
Don was a member of the First United Methodist Church, Loyal Order of the Moose, and the American Legion Post #0460 in Solon.
Online condolences and memories may be left for the family at under obituaries.

Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Apr. 14 to Apr. 22, 2011
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