Loren E. Courtney

Aug. 9, 1919 — Nov. 16, 2016

 

Loren E. Courtney, 97, a longtime resident of Algona and Clarion, died at Hiawatha Care Center on Nov. 16, 2016. 

He was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s and had recently fallen and fractured a hip while living in an assisted care memory unit. Loren had lived there for the past four years with his wife, Annabelle.

Visitation was held at 9 a.m., with Funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m., on Monday, Nov, 21, at St. Cecelia Catholic Church, Algona with the Rev. Jeremy Wind officiating. Burial was at Calvary Cemetery, Algona. 

Loren was born in Thornton, to Irish Catholic parents, Walter and Anna Courtney, on Aug. 9, 1919, two months before the infamous Chicago Black Sox World Series scandal and died two weeks after the Chicago Cubs won the World Series and ended the longest championship drought in professional sports. 

These major league baseball landmarks serve as bookends to a life devoid of scandal and one remarkably long. He was always a hit with his three children, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He leaves a legacy of fair play and keeping a sharp eye on the ball. He and Annabelle enjoyed many years dancing to the tunes of Big Band Orchestras at the Surf Ballroom and walking the trails of Call State Park and the Tucson Mountains.  

 He was raised in Algona and attended St. Cecelia’s school graduating in 1936. He attended the University of Iowa for 2 ½ years before being inducted into the army and serving in active duty from 1941 to 1946. He fought in the Pacific during World War II and served in the reserves for 33 years, retiring in 1979 at the rank of major. He seldom talked explicitly of the horror of war but he readily denounced its inhumanity.

Loren’s chief vocation in life was a farm equipment salesman, first at Bradley Brothers’ Implement in Algona before establishing a business partnership with LaVern Baldus in Clarion Iowa in 1959 — Wright County Implement — which they sold in 1983 when Loren retired. He and Annabelle returned to Algona in 1984 and spent winters in Tucson till 2000. 

Loren was a devoted husband and father, a devout man of God, a dutiful servant to his country, a successful business owner and a man of deep integrity, love and service. He served on several community boards and had been active in the VFW, Knights of Columbus and Lions Club. Standing at 5-foot-7-inches tall, he was a quiet giant of the Greatest Generation.

Preceding him in death were, his parents, brother William Finn and sister Betty Arndorfer. 

Left to celebrate his time on earth is the heart of his life, Annabelle Semon Courtney, whom he married at St. Cecelia’s on June 15, 1948 and with whom he enjoyed 68 extraordinary years. He is also survived by his brother Wilbur (Janell) Courtney.  

Others thankful for having shared in his life are his oldest son Pat (Sally) Courtney of Cedar Rapids, and twins — Dawn McCormick (John) of LaGrange Park, Ill., and Dan (Jeanne) Courtney of Mason City. Pat’s children are Justin (Catherine) Courtney of Seattle, Wash., and Sarah Kissida (Justin) and son, Jackson, also of Seattle. Dawn’s children are Michael of Chicago, Ill., and Conor of Fort Collins, Colo. Dan’s children are Patrick (Jackie) Courtney and son Ryan of New York City and Jack (Melissa) Courtney and daughter Roselyn of Cedar Rapids.

Funeral arrangements are through Oakcrest Funeral Services, Algona Iowa, 515-295-3731, www.oakcrestfuneralservices.com. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in Loren’s name to Cedar Rapids Sisters of Mercy Retirement at Sacred Heart Convent, 1125 Prairie Drive NE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 52402, or your local Alzheimer’s Association. 

 

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