Dean Bechtel

Dean L. Bechtel, 73, of rural Monona died Saturday, January 9, 2021 at Gundersen Medical Center in La Crosse, WI. Memorial services with military honors were held Friday, January 15 at Zion United Church of Christ in Waukon with Rev. Cathy Jurgens officiating. Martin-Grau Funeral Home in Waukon handled arrangements.

Dean Lloyd Bechtel was born April 24, 1947 in Waukon, the son of Lloyd and Neva (Deal) Bechtel. He was baptized and confirmed at Zion United Church of Christ in Waukon and in 1966 graduated from Waukon High School. Dean was drafted into the U.S. Navy and on the day of his high school graduation, he took the bus to Des Moines for his service physical. He served for four years during the Vietnam War on the USS Sterett DLG-31 and the USS Wainwright as a radioman with Top Secret Clearance.

After being discharged, he returned home to farm with his parents and then bought the family farm; Dean received an award from the Iowa Soil Conservation Program and served on the Dairy Herd Improvement Association. July 11, 1970, Dean married Sherry Lea Halverson at Bethlehem Presbyterian Church in rural Postville.

Dean farmed until 2005, when he moved outside Rossville and became a partner in the start of Rainbow Quarry. However, his health made it impossible for him to set foot in a dump truck or end loader.

Dean was a lifetime member of the VFW and was part of the Honor Guard until his health failed. He was also a lifetime member of Zion UCC. For many years, Dean was on the Zoning Commission and helped start the N.E. Iowa Bird and Animal Club as he had a big interest in raising different kinds of animals. He loved to dance, when able, and loved picking on his kids and grandkids. Dean also enjoyed playing cards with his lifetime friends: Cal and Dave Adam, Lyle and Barb Guese, and Mary (late Gary) Johnson.

He is survived by his wife, Sherry, of rural Monona; his children: Dr. Michael (Melissa) Bechtel of Waverly, NiCole (Kurt) Dennler of Elkader, Angela (Larry) Plaht of Postville and Daniel (Sandra) Bechtel of Waukon; his grandchildren: Alexandra, Abigail and Madeline Bechtel, Ariel and Drake Dennler, Michael and Joseph (fiancée Katelyn Gordon) Frieden, and Hailey and Dekota Bechtel; and two sisters: Janet (Al Buege) Bechtel of Waukon and Karen (Terry) Hermeier of Waterloo.

Dean was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers-in-law that Dean said were the brothers he never had, Jay and Scot Halverson. Honorary casketbearers were Dean’s grandchildren.

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