Alton Hovden

Tuesday, September 26, 2023 3:45 pm

Alton Hovden, age 99, of West Union, (formerly Ridgeway), died on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, at Stoney Brook Village in West Union, IA.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, at Madison Lutheran Church – 2658 Madison Rd, Decorah, with Rev. Nathan Wicks presiding.  Burial will be in the church cemetery. Visitation will be from 12:00 p.m. (noon) until the time of the service at the church  Saturday.

Alton Raymond Hovden was born to Rudie and Alice Hovden on Feb. 23, 1924, in Decorah, Iowa. He was baptized and confirmed his faith at Madison Lutheran Church in rural Decorah. Alton remained a lifelong member there until his death on September 26, 2023 at Stoney Brook Village in West Union.

Alton graduated from Decorah High School in 1943. After graduation, he lived and worked in Des Moines, and made several trips to California hoping to find permanent employment in the car industry. Tire manufacturing, gas stations, and used car lots weren’t enough for him and he returned to the family farm in rural Ridgeway to work with his father. This was his calling and he spent many years farming the land and raising livestock. Alton met the love of his life through his sister, Audrey. The letters they exchanged prior to marriage are proof to family he made the right decision to take over the family farm and settle down with her. Alton and Judy were married on July 13, 1963 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Brodhead, Wis. Together they were good stewards of the land and developed close friendships with their neighbors and fellow church members with whom they shared many cups of coffee and laughter.

After retiring from farming, Alton and Judy moved to Cresco, and began to travel the entire state following their children and grandchildren’s athletic careers and school music concerts. They also ventured to Hawaii, Arizona, Florida, the Western Caribbean, Norway, and Europe. Alton also enjoyed fishing and playing golf. In 2012, they moved to West Union to be near family. After Judy’s death, Alton moved to Stoney Brook Village and was cared for by many kind nurses and staff. After more than 99 years on this earth, he was granted his wish to be called by Jesus to join Him in heaven. Those who met Alton use the same words to describe him: quick witted, grateful and especially kind.

Alton is preceded in death by his wife, Judy, his parents, Rudie and Alice, and his sister, Delores Rovang, formerly of Decorah.

Alton is survived by two children, Dan (Chris) Hovden of West Union, and daughter, Beth (David) Wood of Pella; seven grandchildren: Kirby Hovden of Cedar Rapids, Kylie Hovden (Corey Streif) of Fayette,Trevor  (Addy) Wood of Pella, Tanner Wood of Kansas City, Mo., Tate Hovden of Des Moines, Brooks Hovden of Dekalb, Ill., and Trey Wood of Pella. Also surviving are Chris’ children, Brandon (Tiffany) Cassidy of Honolulu, Hawaii, Cheyanne (Jim) Hackett of Prairie du Chen, Wis., and Sydney Stankee of Cedar Rapids. Alton has one surviving sister, Audrey Dahle of Decorah. Alton has also been blessed with many great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews.

The family will be sharing memorials with Madison Lutheran Church and Gundersen Palmer Lutheran Hospice.


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