VINTON: Henry G. Van Eschen, died on his 93rd
birthday at Virginia Gay Nursing and Rehab on Saturday, September 30, 2017 following an extended illness.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM, Friday, October 6, 2017 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Vinton with Father Ardel Barta as Celebrant. Interment will be held at Evergreen Cemetery in Vinton with Graveside Military Rites conducted by Geo. G. Luckey American Legion Post #57 of Vinton and Iowa Military Funeral Honors. Friends may call at Phillips Funeral Home Chapel, 212 E. 6th St. in Vinton from 4 to 7 PM, on Thursday where a Vigil Service will begin at 4 PM.
Henry was born September 30, 1924 in rural Ackley to John Christian and Rosa (Finger) Van Eschen. He graduated from Ackley High School where he participated in basketball and football, was Athletic Editor of the school annual and played a role in the Senior Class Play. He was inducted into the U. S. Army April 29, 1943 and served as an Ambulance Driver with the 13th Medical Battalion in China, Burma, India & Phillippines Islands during World War II until the War ended in 1946.
Understanding the value of education, Henry then attended Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls receiving a B.A. in Physical Education, Biology and Science. He continued his education at Colorado State College, Greeley, CO where he received his M.A degree in Administration on August 19, 1954. Henry began his teaching career as a 8th grade teacher at New Hartford. In 1953 he became principal of grades K-12 while still teaching biology, science, driver’s training and serving as head boy’s basketball and baseball coach.
On June 18, 1952, he was united in marriage to Dolores Mary Salz at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Waterloo. Dolores preceded him in death on August 16, 2017.
During the summers of 1958-59 he attended Iowa State Teachers College and University of Iowa receiving science grants. During this time, he followed tornadoes and windstorms in Iowa as an adjuster for Grinnell Mutual Insurance. He left the teaching field in January 1963 to accept a position as Secretary/Treasurer for Eden Mutual Insurance Association in Vinton, and later along with Bill Strong started Van Eschen-Strong Insurance Agency. He retired in 1991.
Henry was elected to the Vinton City Council November 6, 1973 serving four years , with two years as Mayor Pro Temp. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Vinton Chamber of Commerce from 1972 to 1973. A member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Henry served as Trustee from 1968 to 1971. He was also a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Isaac Walton League, Knights of Columbus, UNI Alumni Association, and Charter Member of Ducks Unlimited. Henry’s hobbies included hunting, fishing, golfing, bowling on his team, “Hank’s Honkers”, gardening and making horseradish.
Henry is survived by his children, Peggy (Don) Weideman of Vinton, Kathy Mossman of North Liberty, Marie (Brian) Bohnsack of Phoenix, AZ, Tom Van Eschen of Vinton, and Jolene (friend Gary Beckley) Van Eschen of North Liberty; his grandchildren, Charlie (Katie) Weideman, Jeff (Maggie) Weideman, Kristin Mossman, Michelle (Aaron) Campbell, Julina Bohnsack; his great grandchildren, Georgia Weideman, Griffin and Beau Henry Weideman, Kaiden and Kole Campbell; his sister, Pearl Sunder of Moline, IL and Naples, FL.
In addition to his wife and parents, Henry was preceded in death by his brothers. Warren, Frederick, John and Joe Van Eschen.
A memorial fund has been established for St. Mary’s Catholic Church and Virginia Gay Hospital Foundation.
Condolences may be left at: www.phillipsfuneralhomes.com