Albert F. Gehling, 84

Published 4:27 pm Saturday, January 22, 2011

Albert Gehling

Albert Frank Gehling, 84, Grand Meadow, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Jan. 20, after a courageous ,two-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

Albert was born at home on the family farm near Carroll, Iowa, to Henry and Regina (Reiling) Gehling on Oct. 26, 1926, the sixth of seven children. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Carroll, Iowa. He grew up on the farm and attended country school and Catholic schools. During this time, he learned about farming, repairing machinery and taking care of animals and developed his love of the land. He married Lois Heue on Aug. 26, 1947, at St. Lawrence’s Catholic Church in Carroll.

At the start of their marriage, they farmed in Gilmore City and Rockwell City, Iowa. They had four children: Sheila, Daniel, and twins Carleen and Colleen. After the death of Colleen as an infant, they moved to Albuquerque, N.M., where he built fence and then Denver, Colo., where he worked as a plumber. His love of farming called him back to the Midwest, and in 1964, they bought a farm just south of Grand Meadow and moved the family there.

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He was a very proud steward of the land and continued to help on the farm until he was 82. He was a horseman and was a founding member of the Mower County Sheriff’s Posse. He enjoyed collecting saddles, rocks, coins and belt buckles. He and Lois (who is retired from the Mayo Clinic) were able to enjoy winters in Mesa, Ariz., for 30 years.

They were square dancers and belong to clubs in Arizona, as well as the Rochester Carousels and Austin Promenaders. After selling his farm to his son, Al and Lois moved to Stewartville in 1979; they returned to Grand Meadow in 1989. Albert was a friendly and affectionate man who never knew a stranger. He was very fit, walking four miles a day until he became ill. He loved his family and enjoyed making things for his children and grandchildren.

Albert was a long-time member of St. Finbarr’s Catholic Church in Grand Meadow, and his faith was very important to him. He prayed the rosary every day. His love of God, his faith and spirit gave him the strength to fight his cancer, but also was a comfort to him when it was time to meet his Lord. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew and loved him, especially his wife of 63 years, Lois, his children and their spouses, Sheila (Richard) Blahnik, Winona; Daniel (Kathy) Gehling, Grand Meadow, and Carleen (Mark) Wolterman, Adams; 12 grandchildren: Jeffrey (Ruthy) Blahnik, Anne (Luka) Bajzer, Jessica (Trevor) Fretty, Stephanie (David) Wytaske, Christina Gehling, Matthew Gehling, Michael Gehling, Theresa Gehling, John (Rebecca) Wolterman, Jenna (Jason) Manggaard, Benjamin Wolterman and Elizabeth Wolterman, and 8 great-grandchildren: Molly Blahnik, James Bajzer, Leo Bajzer, Allison Gehling, Isabelle Fretty, Nathan Fretty, Dustin Fretty and Aiden Manggaard. He is also survived by his sister Virginia Broich; sisters-in-law Rita Gehling, Florence Gehling, Laura Heue and brother-in-law, Leo Neppl.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Frances; brothers, Lawrence, Erwin, Clarence and Paul; daughter, Colleen, and three grandchildren, Brian Blahnik, Corrinne Gehling and Kayla Wolterman.

Visitation will be at St. Finbarr’s Catholic Church, Grand Meadow from 4 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 23, with a special living rosary said at 4 p.m. A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Monday, Jan. 24, at St. Finbarr’s Catholic Church at 11 a.m. with Father Steve Peterson officiating. There will be visitation one hour before Mass. Burial will take place at St. Finbarr’s Cemetery, rural Grand Meadow. May he rest in peace. Condolences may be left at