Virgil VonAhsen - Rio, Wis.

ROCHESTER — Virgil VonAhsen, age 78, formerly of Rochester, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010, at his residence.

He was born in Williamsburg, Iowa, on Aug. 15, 1931, the seventh of eight children, to the late William and Anna (Newkirk) VonAhsen. He married Barbara Jackovich on Oct. 23, 1954. He was a 1949 graduate of Williamsburg High School; attended the University of Iowa College on a track scholarship and earned a B.S. degree in 1952 and a M.A. degree in 1956 as an Educational Specialist from Colorado State University.

Virgil was an honorably discharged Army Veteran, having served in Anchorage, Alaska, during the Korean Conflict; and was a middle school teacher in Rochester, where he lived from 1962 until 1999.

He sang in the Rochester Men’s Chorus for over 35 years and has sung in the Friesland Men’s Chorus for 10 years, as well as the Redeemer Men’s choir and senior choir. He was an active member of the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Rio (the church and church activities central in his life); played golf and tennis; and loved woodworking, fishing in the Boundary Waters and traveling. He was in China for two years as a short-term missionary.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Barbara; children, B. VonAhsen of Minneapolis, Brian VonAhsen of Hawaii, Clark VonAhsen of Los Angeles, Calif., and Stacy Holder, and her husband John, of Rio; four grandchildren, Katie and Tiffany VonAhsen, and John Lee and Emma Holder; great-granddaughter, Sophie; and three sisters-in-law, Phyllis VonAhsen of Williamsburg, Iowa, Luetta VonAhsen of Marion, Iowa, and Geneva VonAhsen of Williamsburg, Iowa; many nieces, nephews and other relatives. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by four brothers, Orville (Elizabeth), Gilbert, Loren and Wayne; three sisters, Erva Swarting, Flora Bailey and Gladys Maas; and three brothers-in-law, Sam Bailey, Bill Swarting and Carl Maas.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. on Friday, March 5, 2010, at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Rio. Pastor Stephanie Lorenz officiating. Friends may call on the family on Thursday evening from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. for visitation at Smith-Vangen Funeral Home, 401 Angel Way, Rio.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the family to be forwarded to Virgil’s favorite charities.