Verle William Saltzman, only child born to Leo Alfred and Grace Margaret (Phippen) Saltzman, was born Oct. 15, 1930 on the family farm in Poe Township, Ringgold County, Iowa.
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Verle began his education in the Saltzman Country School and the Lesanville Country School. He rode his pony, Betty, to school. In high school, Verle was active in 4-H and band. He graduated from Mt. Ayr High School in 1949. Verle served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict for four years and was stationed in California, Texas, Japan and Korea. He was out to sea three years and four months- 1950 to 1954 - on the U.S.S. Brown. After his discharge from the Navy, Verle returned to Mt. Ayr to take up farming with his parents on the family farm.
When Verle was little, he enjoyed going to stay with his maternal grandparents, Charles and Junette Phippen, in Exira. Grandpa would prop his walking stick by the gate, planning to pick it up later, but little Verle would move it, and then get in trouble. Verle hated "corn-pickin' " time on the farm when it was done by hand with horses and wagon.
After his time in the Navy, Verle married Shirley Evans on July 13, 1957 in Mt. Ayr. Verle took a welding course in Grant City, Mo., and also drove a rock truck for Charley Gorman in Kellerton. During this time, they were blessed with the arrival of their only daughter, Roxie. After farming for several years, Verle and Shirley moved to Davenport, and lived there while they were building their new home in Bettendorf. Verle worked at John Deere Plow & Planter Division in Moline, Ill., for 30 years. Upon retirement, in December 1994 he and Shirley returned to Mt. Ayr, to live in the home on Monroe Street, where Shirley's parents had lived for some years.
Verle loved everything John Deere. He liked going to the farm, working on his tractor, cutting hedges or helping his daughter or granddaughter. He liked to drive around on his 620 John Deere (Johnny-popper). He always told Shirley he was going to paint the house John Deere green. (Thankfully, he never carried out this threat.) He enjoyed gardening and working in the yard, as well as welding. He loved red tulips, enjoyed watching them come up and bloom in the spring right outside the window. He enjoyed reading "Green Magazine." He also enjoyed country music and polka.
Verle passed away June 7, 2012 at the Ringgold County Hospital in Mt. Ayr. He was preceded in death by his parents; his parents-in-law; aunts and uncles.
Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Shirley; his daughter, Roxie Saltzman; grandchildren David VanderJagt and Jessica Saltzman; three great-grandchildren, Lucas, Tresley and Zoey and cousins and many friends. Verle was a quiet and kind man who loved helping and caring for his family and just plain liked being at home and with his family.
His body was cremated and will be buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in Mt. Ayr at a later date. Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Mt. Ayr is in charge of the arrangements.
The gentle hands folded in rest,
A voice we loved is still.
A place is vacant in our lives,
Which never can be filled.
How much we all did love you,
With your gentle loving ways.
Never complaining, always cheerful,
Even in your failing days.
After an illness, God looked down,
and saw his body was tired,
His mind weary, so He did what He thought was best.
He put His arms around him,
And took him home to rest.
Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from June 15 to June 22, 2012