Gene D. Tempus (1940 - 2013)

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  • "Mitch, My sympathy to you and your family on the loss of..."
    - Karen Herzog-Daykin
  • "Sunday night thinking about you Dad. Carole and I sharing..."
    - Mitch Tempus
  • "Tempus Family I am so sorry to hear of Gene's passing. I..."
    - Suzanne Bera-Krajicek
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PELLA – Gene D. Tempus, 72, died Sunday, March 24, at Comfort House Hospice in Pella of complications arising from multiple myeloma. He was well known to farmers in Iowa and adjacent states through more than three decades in the agribusiness industry.
Visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, with services at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 28, both at White Funeral Home, Independence
Survivors include his wife, Ellen; four children: Kent (Denise) Tempus of Green Bay, Wis., Elena (Joseph) Schmitz of Independence; Mitchell (Carole) Tempus of Omaha, Neb., and Scott (Sue) Tempus of Escondido, Calif.; seven grandchildren: Annette (John) Ritchison of Cedar Rapids, Jessica (Cory) Ragsdale of Independence; Allie Tempus of Brooklyn, N.Y., Anna Mae Tempus of Shawano, Wis.; Austin Tempus of San Diego, Calif., Kimberly Tempus of Los Angeles, Calif.; and Kyle (Jen) Schneider of Omaha, and one great-grandchild, Kenley Schneider.
Gene is further survived by four brothers: Lyle (Ann) Tempus of Independence, Norman (Diane) Tempus of Arroyo Grande, Calif., Roger Tempus of Independence and Gary (Roxie) Tempus of Smithland, Ky.; two sisters-in-law, Carole (Robert) Beresford of Troy Mills and Karen Namie of Champlin, Minn., a brother-in-law, Mark Meader of Central City; along with many cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Sharon, in 1987, and his parents.
Gene Tempus was born May 7, 1940, near Independence, the third of five sons born to Carl and Esther Tempus. The family moved to California in 1955, and when his parents and young brothers moved to Arkansas in 1958, Gene returned to Iowa, where he worked on Lyle's farm.
Gene married Sharon L. Kelso on May 28, 1960 in Cedar Rapids. Over the next six years, they lived in Cedar Rapids, Center Point, Independence, and Arlington, where Gene held a variety of driving jobs, including delivering for Nash Finch, Jensen Trucking and Farm Service.
About 1968, Gene was hired to manage the ARCO fertilizer center at Aurora. Through his hard work, the facility garnered numerous sales achievement awards over the next several years.
The Tempus family lived in the Arlington area for about 10 years. The family moved to an acreage north of Independence in 1974 when Gene was hired as an ag chemical company sales representative.
Less than a year later, Gene became a sales representative for Stauffer Chemical Co. He traveled throughout the eastern half of Iowa, traveling on often week-long trips to make presentations on herbicides and insecticides for growers, visit dealers and check fields for product performance. Again, Gene was recognized for sales achievement and quality service.
Gene, Sharon and their two younger sons moved to Omaha in summer 1980, when Stauffer promoted him to Midwest manager of grower relations, supervising sales representatives in several states, as well as developing new marketing and sales incentive programs. In 1986, Gene returned to the field as a sales representative in Sioux Falls, S.D.
He later work for agribusiness companies in Independence and Madison, Wis., then joined UAP in southern Minnesota, where he met Ellen Timlin at a dance in Medford in 1993. They married Sept. 6, 1997, at the Little Brown Church in Nashua.
They moved to Mesa, Ariz., where Gene did agribusiness consulting and property management. They moved to Sterling, Colo. in 2002, occasionally consulting but spending much of his time as an active member of the Lions Club and doing volunteer maintenance work at Peace Lutheran Church.
Gene and Ellen moved to Pella in 2010 to be closer to family in Iowa, as well as near good fishing at Red Rock Lake.
He loved gardening, cooking and grilling (he twice competed in the Cookout King Contest at the Iowa State Fair in the early 1970s), traveling in the U.S. and abroad, visiting with friends and family, and the occasional western movie. Gene was a handyman who could fix just about anything inside and outside the home. He happily took the time to pass on many of his talents to his children. The family is grateful for his example of hard work, perseverance and integrity.
Ellen, Kent, Elena, Mitch and Scott thank the staff of Hospice of Pella for the wonderful care Gene received over the final 10 days of his life. Memorials may be made Hospice of Pella.
Published in Independence Bulletin-Journal from Mar. 26 to Apr. 13, 2013