Obituaries Wednesday March 19th



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Mary Ellen Drafahl, 89, of West Burlington, Iowa, died at Great River Klein Center, West Burlington, Iowa, on Monday evening, March 17, 2014.


Born on November 16, 1924 in Omaha, Nebraska, she was the daughter of Edward and Lillian Danielson Rodgers. She married Robert L. Drafahl on June 27, 1944 in West Burlington, Iowa. He died on September 14, 1989.


Mary was a homemaker. She enjoyed teaching Sunday School at Oak Street Baptist Church for many years. She also enjoyed sewing, cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. She was a member of Oak Street Baptist Church.


She is survived by one son, Robert E. (Kathy) Drafahl of Burlington, Iowa; two daughters, Sandra (Jerry) Giese of Burlington, Iowa and Roberta Parker of Burlington, Iowa; six grandchildren, Jessica (Brent) Grummert, Todd Drafahl, Laura (Tony Oliver) Nichols, Stephanie (Chris) Keene, David (Michelle) Giese and Mindy (Kevin) Joyce; and seven great-grandchildren, Dillon and Ella Grummert, Evy, Asher & Parker Keene and Tyler & Andrew Giese.


She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Bob; one sister, Bernice; one brother, Edward; and one son-in-law, Terry Parker


Funeral services for Mary Ellen Drafahl will be held on Friday, March 21, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. at Prugh’s Chapel. Chaplain David Plooster will officiate. Interment will be in Burlington Memorial Park Cemetery. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service on Friday. Friends may pay their respect at Prugh’s Chapel on Thursday until 8:00 p.m. A memorial has been established for Great River Hospice. Condolences may be left at

John W. “Jack” Menne, Jr. 88, of Burlington, died of Alzheimer’s Disease at 3:20 AM Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at his home.

The son of John W. Menne, Sr. and Genevieve Collum Menne, he was born on September 29, 1925, in Webster Groves, Missouri.  His parents and his brother preceded him in death.  On May 29, 1969, he married Joy Paschal in Manhattan, Kansas.  He is survived by his wife and two sisters, Susan Menne of Kirkwood, MO and Ann Wheeler of Castorville, CA; and several nieces and nephews.  He was a member of Grace United Methodist Church.

He graduated from a college prep high school in 1943. He then graduated from Iowa State University in 1946.

He was a U.S. Navy Veteran, serving during World War II.

In 1943, he was accepted into the Navy V-12 program at Iowa State University. He was commissioned and received his BSE in electrical engineering in March of 1946. Following graduation, he was sent to Pennsylvania, where he managed warehouses and directed the disposal of electronic equipment. In 1948, he received his Master’s degree in Business from Stanford University then returned to Iowa State, where he was an instructor in Electrical Engineering. In 1961, he earned a Ph.D (cum laude) in Psychology and Philosophy from Angelicum University , Rome Italy. He taught Psychology and Philosophy at St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN.

In 1967, he returned to Iowa State University as Director of Test and Evaluation Services. Throughout the following years, he was also designated Coordinator of the Student Affairs Research Office, a full member of the Graduate Faculty, Professor of Psychology, Assistant Director of the Counseling Center, Assistant director of Computer Services and, through the years, numerous committees, including Chairman of the Academic Standards Committee. In addition of administrative duties, he taught measurement courses in Psychology. He enjoyed teaching and working with students. Throughout his years at Iowa State, he had many professional publications and was frequently called upon as a consultant in matters of education and research. One publication received a great deal of attention nationally and resulted in his being called as an expert witness in federal court cases on employee selection procedures. During those years at Iowa State, he also served as President, Chairman or board member of many local, state and national associations. For two terms, he was Chairman of Iowa’s first Psychology Licensing Board. Upon retirement, he was awarded Professor Emeritus status. Jack was an outstanding speaker and was called upon to give talks on a large variety of subjects. Some of his friends referred to him as “a walking encyclopedia.” He and his wife were also consultants to businesses and on municipal, state, federal, and local projects.

In the summer of 1981, Jack retired from Iowa State when he and his wife moved to Florida to manage two small citrus groves they owned.  He had previously passed the IRS examinations and became Enrolled to Practice Before the IRS, thus he started and quickly built up an accounting and tax service.  A colleague learned that Jack had built a computer for himself and asked Jack to build one for him and instruct him on using it.  That quickly blossomed into a thriving business of custom building computers and consulting for many different types of businesses.  In late 1991, he retired again so that he and his wife could enjoy more leisure time and travel.  Eventually, they spent the winters in Arizona, where Jack served on the Board of Trustees of a large life care center and was co-chair with another engineer responsible for a large expansion of the facility.  Jack and his wife designed and built three of their own homes.  In the summer of 2002, Jack was diagnosed as likely having Alzheimer’s and the decision was soon made to move to SE Iowa, where his wife would have support of family.

Jack had many hobbies.  At age twelve, he obtained a ham radio license and at age 15, a commercial license.  He helped to relay messages between  Pearl Harbor and concerned family.  At the time of World War II, tow boats had to have radio operators on board.  Many of the young operators were soon called into military service.  Thus, in the summers of 1942-43, and at times throughout the school year, he was hired by Federal Barge Lines to fill in as Merchant Marine Radio Operator/Purser.  Jack had an innate fascination with things mechanical and electrical and enjoyed working on cars, motor homes and other equipment.  In November, 2000, the Family Motorhome Coach Association’s monthly magazine featured a very technical article he wrote on diesel engines and motor homes.  Before the article was published, it was reviewed by and received a very positive response from the top major producers of large diesel engines.

Jack enjoyed reading, motor home travel, hiking, biking, square dancing, ballroom dancing and clogging.  He was a true gentleman, very compassionate, and most importantly, he enjoyed helping others.

Cremation has been entrusted to the care of Thielen Crematory.

The memorial service for Mr. Menne will be 11:00 AM Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Thielen Funeral Home with Reverend Trevor Davis officiating.

A memorial has been established for Alzheimer’s Disease research.

Thielen Funeral Home & Crematory is in care of the arrangements.

Condolences can be sent to the family by visiting Jack’s obituary at

Clarence Edward Mumme, 82, of Burlington, died at 2:45 PM Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at the Great River Hospice House in West Burlington.  Arrangements are pending at the Thielen Funeral Home & Crematory.