Gabrielle Ray Free, 11 mo.

--Gabriel Free obit picGabby Ray went to live with the angels in heaven on April 23, 2013. Gabby was born May 15, 2012 to her loving parents, Terry and Nicholette Free.

Although Gabby’s life was far too short the impact she had on us will be carried in our hearts forever. Her smile could light up a room. Her laughter and giggles made every day feel special. Though our hearts ache for the loss of this precious child, we take some comfort in knowing that a very special angel will welcome us with open arms when we join her in heaven.

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Farm Family of Year —Jim Trukas honored by Kiwanis

Lori and Jim Truka

Lori and Jim Truka

By Marcie Klomp

Howard County has about 303,000 acres, with about 83 percent of that (251,202) in farm land. According to FSA, that translates into 1,533 farms.

Those are all pretty big numbers. That also makes it a pretty big job year after year for Kiwanis of Cresco to choose just one Farm Family of the Year. Many of our local farm families work hard for themselves and their community. Because of their commitment to church, family and land, Jim and Lori Truka of Lime Springs were chosen as Kiwanis Farm Family of the Year for 2013. They were given their award at the FFA Banquet held April 4.

The couple has been on their farm, two miles north of Lidtke Mill, since they were married 31 years ago. It is where they raised their children, crops and animals. Trukas have two children, Michelle and Scott. Michelle is married to Levi Franzen, and the couple has a newborn son, Kael. All live in the Des Moines area.

Jim said, “We lived here and rented it We bought it in 1988.” Three years later they built a new home on the farm.

The young couple was not afraid of work when they started their lives together. Jim was raised on a farm, just west of Lime Springs, and Lori was raised on a dairy farm by Kendallville. Her folks raised exotic birds including ducks, geese and guineas.

Jim compares how things have changed since helping his dad on the family farm. “With Dad, most of the weed control was done by machinery—cultivation. Now it is done by spraying. That has really reduced erosion.”

[Growing up] everybody had beef and dairy cows, a few pigs, chickens, ducks. It was more diversified. We even had hogs until 2008. Now we only have beef.”

The couple raises 50-60 stock cows and usually that many calves. He said raising animals is another way of helping the land. “By maintaining a beef cow herd, we can utilize alfalfa and hay on some of the marginal (thinner soiled) ground.”

Truka also runs a reduced tillage farming operation. “We take care not to farm it so much that it erodes away.” Conservation of the land has become more and more the norm. So has the advancement of technology and machinery, which Jim has seen a lot of in the last 30-40 years.

He explained, “When I was in FFA, those going into farming were the majority, with a few advancing on to the ag sciences and ag technology. Now it’s the exact opposite with a few going into farming and most going into ag science and ag technology.”

He sees the trend to continue of fewer and larger farms, which, he says, “Is hard on small-town communities.”

Jim appreciates his time in FFA. “It stressed record-keeping, and the advisors were ag oriented.”

FFA, along with the couple’s upbringing, helped shape them into good stewards of the land and givers rather than takers.

Lori has worked at Cresco Bank & Trust for 14 years. The couple has volunteered at many community activities—in Lime Springs as well as Cresco. They have helped at Sweet Corn Days and at the flight breakfast in Cresco. Both attend Notre Dame Parish, where they are Eucharistic ministers. Jim is also chairman of the church council and lector. He is chairman of the board of Howard County Mutual Insurance.

As for the couple’s success in their business and personal lives, Jim says, “It was trial and error—and still is.” He added it was a lot more error. That may be, but many times error or mistakes build character, and Jim and Lori Truka have proven they have lots of that.

One-stop takes care of four things on your list

Small-town living is great. You can go out to eat, get some dessert to take home, sign your child up for softball and purchase a season ticket to the pool!

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Saratoga Boys at UM Church

The Saratoga Boys will be entertaining any and all who would like to listen to them during the church service at Lime Springs United Methodist Church on Sunday, April 28. The worship service begins at 10:30 a.m., with a free- will offering.

Summer filled with fun

By Marcie Klomp

The Lime Springs Community Club has started making plans for all the summer activities members take part in. These include Omelet Breakfast taking place this weekend, Mother’s Day Salad Luncheon, Farmers Market, City-Wide Garage Sales and, of course, Sweet Corn Days.

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Drug pick-up in Lime Springs, Howard County on Saturday

In an effort to help prevent and reduce the risk of drug abuse in Howard County, the Sheriff’s Department will again be hosting a Prescription Drug Drop-Off Saturday morning, April 27 around the county.

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Comedy show successful

Chester’s Partners in Progress went out on a limb and changed their spring fund-raiser from a craft show to a comedy show and dinner, and it was a big payoff. Not all bills were yet in, but the event raised over $700 for the community service club. Members figured they would probably do it again next year.

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Community shocked by Daniel Schroetter death

The Howard County Sheriff’s Department was called to the Brenda Roethler residence in Lime Springs on Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 12:21 p.m. It appeared that Daniel Joseph Schroetter, who was born Jan. 1, 1995 and was 18 years old, stepped out the back door of the home and shot himself with a shotgun. The state medical examiner is conducting an autopsy.

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Daniel ‘Dan’ Schroetter, 18, LS

--obit-schroetterDaniel Joseph “Dan” Schroetter, age 18, of Lime Springs, Iowa, passed away Sunday, April 21, 2013 at home.

Daniel was born on Jan. 1, 1995 in Cresco, Iowa, to Steve Schroetter and Brenda Roethler. He was currently employed at Featherlite in Cresco.

Daniel enjoyed golfing with his Dad, tossing a football with his brothers, hanging out with friends, working in the field, anything John Deere and fishing with anyone who was able to go. He especially enjoyed bow hunting in a peaceful woods.

His parents; two brothers, Joshua and Jacob; maternal and paternal grandmothers, Lavonne Klein and Doris Schroetter; step grandfather, Wayne Klein; and several cousins, aunts and uncles survive Daniel.

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Diana Dvorak, 56, formerly LS

--obit-dvorakDiana Clare Dvorak of Eden Prairie, Minn., age 56, passed away on April 20, 2013.

Diana was born in Charles City, Iowa to Harold and Betty (Robinson) Munkel of Lime Springs, Iowa on Aug. 29, 1956. She was a graduate of Crestwood High School, Cresco, Iowa where she was actively involved in band and cheerleading. She played softball in her youth and was active in both softball and volleyball for many years as an adult. Her first job was as a lifeguard at the Lime Springs Swimming Pool.

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