Ernie made a cedar chest, a toy chest, and a shelf for me. I enjoyed seeing some of the furniture he made over time and the stories behind them. He was a very intelligent and talented man. Condolences to the family.
Irwin Harold "Ernie" Garrels, 93, of Danville, died Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at Great River Hospice House, West Burlington. He was born in New London December 2, 1923 to John F. and Ruth Beattie Garrels.
He married Helen Irene Hazen March 30, 1947 at Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church.
He was a 1941 graduate of New London High School and attended Burlington Business College. As a member of Long Creek Methodist Church, he taught Sunday School and was a lay leader. Ernie was a lifelong farmer, worked at the Iowa Ordinance Plant during World War II and for the last 30 years of his life, woodworking was his passion. He was featured in "52 Faces" in the Burlington Hawkeye for his woodworking. In his lifetime, he planted thousands of trees and made over a hundred cedar chests. He believed in preserving the history of farming, especially through antique farm equipment. He was an avid reader, enjoyed anything having to do with nature, loved his family dearly and enjoyed his devoted dogs.
Besides his wife, he is survived by one son, James Irwin (Joan Brooks) Garrels of Beverly, Massachusetts; one daughter, Susan Irene (Mark) Larsen of Louisville, Tennessee; one granddaughter, Shaina Simerly, one step grandson, Chris (Andrea) Larsen, two step great-grandchildren, Olivia and Bentley Larsen and one sister-in-law, Betty Hazen. He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother, Miles Garrels and one brother-in-law Dale Hazen.
The funeral service for Mr. Irwin Garrels will be Sunday, April 30, at 2:00 pm at Elliott Chapel, New London. Reverend David Mixon and Reverend Randy Gearhart will officiate. Visitation will begin after noon Saturday, with the family present to receive friends from 4:00 - 6:00 pm. Burial will be at Long Creek Cemetery, Danville. Memorials have been established for Great River Hospice House, Long Creek Church and the American Cancer Society.
Thanks to Ernie and Helen for mentoring our son Brian and making him the farmer he is today. He taught him how to do things the "old school" way that serves him well today.
My fondest memory of Ernie is when he taught Rick and I to square dance! We learned to listen, quickly extend the right or left hand, right chain, pass through, etc! He had so much patience as we went over and over the dance steps. We laughed! We had fun! He worked so hard to get us to not give up and go home! We enjoyed a beautiful New Years Eve Buffet in their warm and wonderful home. It was freezing outside but with friends like Ernie and Helen we felt their warm friendship!