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Harold Charles Abel


Posted By: Stacy Bliesener (email)
Date: 11/25/2014 at 07:32:31

Harold Charles Abel, 86, of Burlington, Iowa, died on Thursday March 20, 2014 at Blair House, Burlington, Iowa.

Born on December 17, 1927, in Burlington, Iowa, he was the second of five children born to Jesse P. and Gertrude M. Beckman Abel. On February 7, 1953 he married Dorothy "Rusty" Redfern. She passed away February 6, 1987. On November 23, 1990 he married Rosemary (McLaughlin) Harkness.

Harold worked the family farm until his retirement. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship proudly recognized the Farm of Harold C. Abel as a "Century Farm" in 2004. He was also employed as a weather observer at the Southeast Iowa Regional Airport in Burlington from 1989-1996.

He was a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus and Black Knight, a member of St. Vincent dePaul Society, and being a devoted Catholic, attended SS John & Paul Catholic Church. He served on the Des Moines County Mutual Insurance Company Board of Directors for 25 years and on the Mediapolis School Board for 9 years.

Harold loved airplanes and was a licensed pilot since the age of 16. He was a member of The Hilltop Flyers along with other flying clubs. He enjoyed flying to Farm Progress shows. His hobbies included reading, history, politics; he appreciated nature, music, dancing, traveling, and good food. When driving and observing the countryside he had a keen sense and awareness of the different types of topography and soils.

He especially enjoyed spending time with his family which included his wife, children, 32 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, all of his other relatives, as well as his many friends. He never knew a stranger. Harold had a great sense of humor. It was always fun to hear his boisterous laugh when he would read thecomic "Dagwood" or watch Tom & Jerry cartoons.

Harold enjoyed meeting with his five day a week "McDonald's Coffee Group". This group of interesting friends would exchange their views and seemed to have solved a lot of the world's problems. Above all, Harold cherished his faith and his loved ones.

He is survived by his wife, one daughter, Nancy (Darrell) Hitchcock of Columbia, MO, two sons, Michael (Carol) Abel and Brian (Anne) Abel, both of Mediapolis, IA; three step-daughters, Kimberly (Jeff) Staub and Carol (Joe) Huffman of Burlington, IA and Joni (Mike) Czura of Maple Grove, MN; one step­son, Michael Harkness of Aurora, IL; 32 grandchildren; 16 great­-grandchildren; one sister, Loretta (Grant) Stevenson, Burlington, IA; two brothers, Frances (Jeanne) Abel of West Branch, IA and Raymond (Pat) Abel of Mediapolis, IA and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, his parents and his brother and sister-in-law, Paul and Betty Abel.

The Funeral Mass for Mr. Abel will be held on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. St. Paul Catholic Church, Burlington, Iowa. Fr. Marty Goetz will be the Celebrant. Music will be provided by the Des Moines County Resurrection Choir. Interment will be held at St. Mary Catholic Cemetery in Dodgeville, Iowa. A rosary will be recited at 5:30 p.m. on Monday evening, March 24, at Prugh's Chapel. The family will receive friends after the rosary until 8:00 p.m.

Memorials have been established for The Notre Dame Foundation, SS John & Paul Catholic Church, Saint Mary Catholic Church in Dodgeville, St. Vincent dePaul Society or Great River Hospice.


Des Moines Obituaries maintained by Robin Schneiderman.
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