Photo courtesy of Fjelstul Funeral Home - Decorah

Gary Arner

Decorah, Iowa

Aug 1, 1951 – Aug 8, 2019 (Age 68)


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Fjelstul Funeral Home - Decorah Obituary

Gary Arner, 68, passed away peacefully at home Thursday, August 8, 2019. A Celebration of Life will be Thursday, August 15 at 1 pm at the Decorah Fish Hatchery.

Gary was born August 1, 1951 in Davenport, Iowa to Clarence and Norma Jean Arner. Gary was a wrestler in high school and competed at the state tournament. He graduated from Bettendorf High School and Northeast Missouri State College (Truman College). He had been employed at J.I. Case in Bettendorf, Pitney Bowes in Oregon and Iowa and University of Iowa as a Systems Analyst. After retirement, Gary moved to Decorah where he continued to enjoy trout fishing! He was active with the Iowa Driftless chapter of Trout Unlimited, IOWAWATER, Iowa Butterfly Survey Network and teaching children how to fly fish at the Decorah Fish Hatchery. Gary also enjoyed playing racquetball and kayaking.

He is survived by his three children, Justin and Nathan Arner, Iowa City and Erika Arner, West Des Moines, sister, Judy Arner and her daughter, Lauren, brothers, Dean and Dennis Arner all from Bettendorf. He is preceded in death by his parents.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the “Gary Arner Memorial Fund”. The family is planning to donate a memorial bench in Gary's honor at Yellow River State Forest. To contribute to this cause visit  

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I'm deeply saddened by Gary's death. I worked with Gary at the University of Iowa for years. In fact, I was one of the first people to work with Gary when he started here back in 1990-- he took over the management of the new computer equipment prep and processing which had been handled by students for many years. I was a 21-year-old student myself, helping Gary to get things going with that project.

A few years later, when I was looking to return to IT work at the University, Gary...

Gary was so much more than a tireless volunteer for many organizations in Iowa City, Decorah and throughout Northeast Iowa. He was my friend and a good fly fishing buddy for over 30 years. He dedicated his life towards preserving and improving the rivers and streams around him. We walked countless miles through creeks and watersheds over the years for JAICWC and IOWATER snapshots, where the importance of touching the water sparked a passion that continued through his life. Tight lines, Gary.

Justin, Nathan and Erika,
So very sorry to learn of your father's passing. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time. May your memories bring you comfort.

I was very sorry to hear of Gary's passing. He was coworker of mine for years at the University of Iowa. He was a kind and gentle soul. He will be missed. My prayers go out to his friends and family.

I met Gary after he moved to Decorah to retire. I had the privilege of playing racquetball with him on several occasions, and I remember thinking to myself...I sure hope I can move and play like him when I'm his age! Gary also volunteered to come into my classroom for a mini-course on fly-fishing. He taught my students how to tie flies, and that afternoon we caught several trout on the flies he helped to create. I was shocked and saddened by his passing, but rest assured he is on one of the...

So sorry to hear of Gary's passing. I worked with him at the UI Computer Center. My thought and prayers are with his family.

Gary and I worked together for a number of years. I always enjoyed his positive attitude on life and his passion for fishing. It is a shock to hear he passed away. I'm glad that he got to retire and spend his last couple of years following his passion of fishing in Northeastern Iowa.

Sad to hear of Gary's passing, but so glad to have had his acquaintance working with him at U. Iowa. Gary is fondly remembered as a kind and gentle soul and is missed greatly. Thoughts and prayers to his family.