Loving husband, father and grandfather, Herbert James Eutsler, died at his home in Cotter on January 28, 2017, from complications of cancer.
He was born in Burlington, Iowa, on February 14, 1948, the son of Guy and Harriet (Coleman) Eutsler, and arrived six minutes after his twin sister, Nora Jean. During his childhood, he lived throughout southeast Iowa and was proud to make this state his home. He spent much of his childhood in Wapello where he was raised by his grandmother, Nora Eutsler, and great aunt, Jennie Fisher, who provided him with a loving home and instilled in him a strong work ethic.
Herb graduated from Wapello High School with the class of 1966 and was always appreciative of how this class accepted him when he started school in Wapello in the 5th grade. In the summer of 2016 he attended their 50-year class reunion where he enjoyed seeing many classmates and reminiscing.
In 1967, Herb joined the United States Navy and was trained as an electrician in San Diego, California. He was later stationed at the Kingsville Naval Auxiliary Air Station in Texas where he was assigned as a military police officer with the shore patrol. Herb later joined fellow sailors on the USS Hull for a 13-month deployment in Vietnam during which time he worked as an electrician. He greatly appreciated the sailors he served alongside, and never forgot those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of our country. He continued to be involved with the Louisa County Area Vietnam Vets group, and traveled with the group to Washington D.C. in 2012 for the Welcome Home Tour. He was also a member of the Wapello VFW Glenn Allen Post 5166, the Columbus Junction American Legion Allen Wright Hanft Post 100, and the Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association.
Herb worked as an electrician at different area factories after leaving the Navy. He later found his passion in law enforcement and joined the Louisa County Sheriff’s Department in 1975 as a deputy and eventually held the positions of chief deputy and lieutenant. After the unexpected death of Sheriff Ron Gardner in 1990, Herb assumed the role of sheriff and was later elected for three terms to this office. He retired from this position in 2001 but continued to be an unofficial advisor to many officers.
Herb was determined to marry an “Iowa Farm Girl” and succeeded with a 45-year marriage to Becky (Rowe). They made their home in Cotter and enjoyed traveling, auctions, and donating to the local casinos. Herb and Becky have one beautiful daughter, Jennifer, who was Herb’s pride, joy, and greatest accomplishment. He was a devoted, loving, and caring father who found immense joy in teasing “Boo” and making her smile. One of his favorite roles was being known as Papa to his two wonderful grandchildren, Emelia Ellen and Benjamin James. He taught them how to bait a hook, cast a line, and stretch the truth about the size of their catch.
Herb was an avid outdoorsman who loved to fish and hunt. He made many trips to Minnesota to fish with his family and he even found the courage to drive his truck on the frozen lakes with the locals to catch sunnies. He also enjoyed gardening, spending time in his workshop, firearms, reading, metal detecting, history, and watching old western movies.
He is survived by his wife, Becky of Cotter; daughter, Jennifer Buchanan and son-in-law Jeff, granddaughter Emelia, and grandson Benjamin all of Good Thunder, Minnesota. He is also survived by his sisters, Sandi (Errol) Partlow of Lacona, Iowa, Carolyn (Jack) Evans of Omaha, Nebraska, and Cynthia (Brian) O’Bleness of Parkville, Missouri; brothers, Doug Eutsler of Wapello, Tom Lamb of Salem, Iowa, and John (Karen) Eutsler of Sugar Grove, Illinois; his father-in-law, Babe Rowe of Grandview; along with many nieces, nephews, colleagues, and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; twin sister and her husband, Nora Jean (Greg) Struensee; sister, Margaret Lamb; brother, Brian Lamb; grandmother, Nora Eutsler; great aunt, Jennie Fisher; mother-in-law, Betty Jo Rowe; and his faithful four-legged fishing partner of 15 years, Libbie Lou.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 AM on Saturday, February 4, 2017, at the Briggs Center in Wapello with former Sheriff Curt Braby and others sharing memories. A Sheriff’s Honor Guard will be present and full Sheriff and Military Rites will follow with the Sheriff Guard and Louisa County Veterans led by the Wapello VFW Glenn Allen Post 5166. A lunch fellowship time will immediately follow at the Briggs Center
Memorial Gifts will benefit the Louisa County Vietnam Veterans and other organizations of the family’s choice.
The Dudgeon-McCulley Funeral Home in Wapello is providing the cremation care and directions of the arrangements for the family of Herb Eutsler.
Condolences may be given and viewed at www.dudgeonmcculley.com.
Linda Lee Woodall Riha, 66, of Shellsburg formerly Burlington and New London, died Friday, January 27, 2017 at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, after an extended illness. The funeral service for Mrs. Riha will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday at Elliott Chapel, New London. Rev. Ken Smith will officiate with interment in Pleasant Grove Cemetery, rural Danville. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service on Wednesday. Memorials may be directed to the family.