August 27, 2012

Paul E. Havener

July 26, 1915 — Aug. 25, 2012

OSKALOOSA — Paul E. Havener, 97, of Oskaloosa, died early Saturday morning, August 25, 2012, at the MHP Hospice Services Serenity House in Oskaloosa.

Paul Edward Havener, son of Edward and Lottie McConnell Havener, was born, July 26, 1915, on his parents’ farm, southwest of Oskaloosa in Mahaska County.  His father passed away when Paul was 12 and he and his brother, Orin, took over the farming.  By the age of 16, Paul was running the farm independently with his mother and sisters. Paul told interesting tales like when he drove his mother to town at age 12 in a 1924 Dodge Touring Sedan, and riding with a group of young men in the back of a stock truck to see the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago.  In 1939, Paul married Blanche Lillian Gotta, he and Blanche lived on the Havener farm until 1960 when they moved to Oskaloosa. In the 60’s he achieve his GED as he had no opportunity to do this before in his life.  Paul farmed in the Cedar area until 1970 when he began working at the Oskaloosa Firestone Store.  He retired in 1980.  Paul and Blanche enjoyed wintering in California after retirement where they visited Blanche’s brother, Gene Gotta, for nearly 30 years.

Paul was active in the First Christian Church in Oskaloosa where he served as a deacon for many years.  He was an active supporter of the Church and served on many committees and added his service in various projects. He enjoyed his walk with Christ and drew on his faith in his everyday life. Toward his later retirement, he could frequently be found in the Church Social Hall playing dominoes on Tuesday afternoon with a group of friends.

Paul is survived by his wife of 73 years, Blanche, and his daughter, Paulette Simons Guerdet.  She and her husband, Tom, reside in Ames, Iowa.  Paul and Blanche enjoyed a close relationship with his brother Orin’s children, after Orin’s passing.  They enjoyed many Christmas dinners and summer reunions together.  His biggest enjoyments were his grandchildren and his great grandchildren.  He was proud of their accomplishments.  Angela Simons Risch, a teacher in Wisconsin is married to David Risch who is principal at Hartland Elementary School in Hartland, Wisconsin.  His grandson, Joseph Gabriel Simons, is a pharmacist in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Joseph’s fiancée is Cindy Ruiz.  Paul’s granddaughter, Sara Simons Fearn is a medical resident at University of MO in Kansas City, and her husband Kenny, is a medical student at Kansas University Medical School.  His support has blessed them and assisted them as they went to school and started out in life. Jack and Joey are Angela’s children and Paul’s great-grandchildren.  Jack is a 9th grader and Joey is a first grader this school year.  There have been several nieces and nephews, including Alan and Robin Gotta of Redlands, CA and Lora Hoit and her sister, Debbie Six, of Oskaloosa, IA, all of whom have been devoted and supportive to Paul and Blanche for many years.

Paul is preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Lottie Havener, and his siblings and their spouses:  Hubert and Ester Havener, John and Hazel Chilcote, Dorothy Havener, Orin and Opal Havener, as well as his later wife Carroll Havener.  Paul and Blanche’s son, Dennis, passed away as a child of 13 in 1956.

Funeral Services for Paul will be held at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, August 28, at the First Christian Church with Pastors Michael Omundson and Alvern Boetsma officiating.  Burial will be in Forest Cemetery.  Visitation will begin at 11 a.m., Monday at Garland-Van Arkel-Langkamp Funeral Chapel; the family will be at the funeral chapel from 5-7 p.m. to greet visitors.  Memorials may be made to First Christian Church Building Fund or the MHP Serenity House.

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