Feb. 15, 1927 — Sept. 5, 2017
Arthur “Mike” Potratz, 90, of Robins and formerly of Tama, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017 at the Hospice of Mercy in Hiawatha.
A Memorial Service will be held Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, at 11 a.m., at Kruse-Phillips Funeral Home in Tama with the Rev. Tye Male officiating. Interment will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, at Oak Hill Cemetery in Tama. A Memorial Visitation will be held Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, from 10 a.m., until the time of service at Kruse-Phillips Funeral Home.
Mike was born Feb. 15, 1927, in Lotts Creek, to Richard and Adeline (Wetzel) Potratz, the youngest of seven and the adored baby of the family. Mike attended Lotts Creek Lutheran Schools and graduated from Whittemore High School in 1945. He had received a deferment from the Army in order to finish high school. Following graduation, he was inducted into the U.S. Army and was stationed at Ft. Bragg, S.C. Following discharge in 1946, Mike enrolled at State Teachers College (now UNI) in Cedar Falls. He graduated in 1950 with a B.A. in Business Education. On Aug. 28, 1949, he was married to Dona Mitchell at the Lutheran Church in Whittemore. Three children were born to this union: Gayle, Gary and Gina. Mike and Dona were married for 64 years before Dona passed in 2013.
In 1950, Mike began a long and storied career in Education and coaching, and later Administration, beginning in Stratford. In 1953, he accepted a position in Denison, where he taught bookkeeping, typing, Drivers Education and coached numerous athletic teams. Mike started the Denison Little League Baseball program, something he was very proud of. Evidence of the lives he impacted was recently recounted in the many cards and notes he received on his 90th birthday from former students and athletes from across the United States. In 1968, he then moved into Administration in Denison, serving as Business Manager. In 1973, he accepted the position of Business Manager for South Tama Community Schools, retiring in 1988. Mike and Dona continued to reside in Tama until 2013, then moving to the Village at Legacy Pointe in Waukee. In 2016 Mike moved to Emery Place, Robins, where he resided until his death.
Mike was an avid golfer, enjoyed playing cards, and watching sports on TV. Mike and Dona were able to travel in retirement, kept in touch with friends near and far, and enjoyed their hobbies of woodworking, bridge and crafts. Mike was very involved in the Tama-Toledo Community and St. Paul Lutheran Church. He was a member of Kiwanis Club, Booster Club and T-T Country Club. Family was equally important and time with children and grandchildren was precious. As a Veteran, Mike was privileged to experience the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. in 2015 with daughter Gina.
Survivors include his children Gayle (Dave Elgin), West Des Moines; Gary (Brenda), Lincoln, Neb. and Gina (Wes Kaufman), Robins; seven grandchildren: Aaron Potratz, Los Angeles, Adam and Andrew Potratz, Seattle, Wash., Susan Elgin (Matt McGuire), Des Moines, Jennifer Elgin, Chicago, Sarah (Austin) Spooner, Cedar Rapids and Natalie Kaufman, St. Cloud, Minn.; and one great-grandchild Noah Spooner, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death was his wife, Dona; his parents; brothers Herbert, Alvin, Martin (Butch) and sisters Edna, Bertha and Doloris.
Memorials may be directed to STC Booster Club, or Hospice of Mercy, Hiawatha.