William Jurs

Tuesday, June 29, 2021 8:27 pm

William Jurs, age 88, of Cresco, died Tuesday, Feb.16, 2021, at Evans Memorial Home in Cresco.

A memorial service will be held Monday, July 5, 2021 at 11 a.m. at Washington Prairie Lutheran Church, with Rev. Jennifer Edinger presiding.

Cards may be sent to his family at: 332 8th Ave W., Cresco, IA 52136.

Bill Jurs was born Dec. 23, 1932 in Ceylon, Minn., to Carl and Evelyn Jurs. He was the oldest of three children. He is survived by his youngest sister, Carolyn. He grew up farming. His parents moved into town where the extended family congregated for holidays and special occasions. Family members might remember that he painted all the farm outbuildings a startling aqua color, with surplus paint. Bill never shied away from color. Bill was an Army veteran. He was enlisted from 1953 to 1955 and then served in the reserves until 1961. During his enlistment, he was stationed in Germany.  He told an entertaining story of his hitchhiking trip home, with two duffle bags and a model 70 Winchester rifle.

Bill and Joan Johnson were married in August, 1958. In the years that followed, three duaghters were born. The family moved several times before settling in the Decorah area in 1973. They enjoyed traveling. Some of their fondest memories are of a cruise to Alaska and a trip to Japana where their grandson was stationed in the Air Force. 

Bill attended the South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD. He continued his education after being awarded a National Science Foundation award. For this, he attended classes at the University of Wyoming for three summers. He moved his family, including three small children into the U of W dorms. Adventures for all of us. Bill taught chemistry, physics and ag at several locations. Bill also farmed, being an early adopter of no-till conservation practices. Today, the family farm near Decorah is organic.

Bill has had a life-long passion for physical fitness. He has run several marathons, countless shorter races and participated in RAGBRAI. The day he suffered his debilitating stroke, he lifted weights in his basement and walked at the fitness center. Bill loved dogs.  We had many good dogs over the years and every one of them was his favorite. Bill had an infectious laugh and enjoyed telling stories. He loved his family and was a friend to many. He will be greatly missed.

In lieu of flowers or memorials, please send donations to the Decorah Humane Society or the Washington Prairie Cemetery Fund.

William is survived by his wife Joan; daughters: Jorja (Paul) Iwaszko, Little Canada, MN; Faith Jurs, Kotzebue, AK; Gretchen Jurs, Spillville; grandchildren: Justin (Niki) Bancroft, Tyler (Heather) Bancroft, Jacob (Jennifer) Pavlovec, Kristy Callaway and Laurel Ellsworth; 10 great grandchildren; sister: Carolyn Struck, Sherburn, Minn.; brothers and sisters-in-law: Lorraine Holt of New Hampton, Roger Johnson of New Hampton, Linda (Gerald) Bakke of Buffalo, Minn., Bernis (Tom) Benzer of Buffalo, Minn., Rick Johnson of Lawler, and Gary (Ann) Johnson of Lawler; along with many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents: Carl and Evelyn (Larson) Jurs.  Sister: Phyllis (LeRoy) Schultze.  Father and mother-in-law: Alvin and Theone (Fouberg) Johnson.  Sisters-in-law: Nancy Reyerson and Thelma Johnson.  Brothers-in-law: Stanley Holt and Sylvan Struck.


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