John L. Rekward

Tuesday, August 30, 2016 2:44 pm

John L. Rekward, 95, of Decorah, died Sunday morning, Aug. 28, 2016, at Aase Haugen Senior Services in Decorah. Funeral services are at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 2, at First United Methodist Church in Decorah, with Rev. John Caldwell officiating. Burial is in Phelps Cemetery in Decorah, with full military honors.   Visitation begins after 10 a.m. Friday, one hour before services, at First United Methodist Church. Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at

John Lewis Rekward was born Nov. 27, 1920, at home in rural Castalia, Bloomfield Township, Winneshiek County, the son of Lewis and Zoa (Russell) Rekward. He attended rural school through 8th grade and then Decorah High School. He entered the U.S. Army July 17, 1942, and served in New Guinea, Bismark Archipelago, Southern Philippines and Luzon, earning the rank of Corporal, and Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two Bronze Stars. He was honorably discharged Oct. 22, 1945. John was united in marriage with Marjorie Lucille Gjetley Aug. 8, 1954, at First United Methodist Church in Decorah. They were blessed with one son, Allan. Marge had three sons from her previous marriage: Arlin, Gary and Robert. John drove heavy equipment, managed the V.F.W. Club in Decorah from 1958-1962, was a truck driver for S.E. Brickner and Son, then went to work at Luther College in the boiler room for many years. He and Marge delivered Meals on Wheels, volunteered at R.S.V.P. and loved to garden.  John was admitted into Aase Haugen Senior Services in Decorah Aug. 18, 2016.

John is survived by two sons, Arlin (Delores) Sorenson of La Crescent, Minn. and Allan (Becky) Rekward of Readstown, Wis.; 10 grandchildren: Kari (Jim) Benesh, Cindy (Fred) Ross, Ian (Leah Sierrer) Rekward, Thomas Rekward, Anna Rekward, Erika Rekward, Carmen (Dale) Kriener, Rachel Sorenson, Kimberly (Bob) Rubalcava, and Jan (Richard) Hedrick; 11 great-grandchildren: Stefanie Benesh, Andrea Benesh, Cassandra Ross, Jared Ross, Abigail Ross, Kaitlyn Kriener, Brandon Kriener, Kaiti Rubalcava, Pablo Rubalcava, Nickales Hedrick, and Jordan Hedrick; and one brother, Walter (Dee) Rekward of Davenport.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Marge, Oct. 24, 2009; two sons, Gary Sorenson Aug. 25, 1981; and Robert Allan Sorenson, in infancy; two sisters, Esther Gilson and Audrey Hermann; and four brothers: Wallace, William, Russell and Merlin Rekward.

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