Verdell Haakenson, 88
Tue, 01/02/2018 - 11:20am admin
Nov. 24, 1929 —
Dec. 30, 2017
CRESCO - Verdell Lowell Haakenson, age 88, of Cresco, Iowa, passed away on Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, at Notre Dame Catholic Church in Cresco, with Father Dennis Cain officiating. He was to be buried at Calvary Cemetery in Cresco following the funeral.
Verdell Haakenson was born in La Crosse, Wis., on Nov. 24, 1929, the son of Henry and Florence Gremm Haakenson. His family lived in Decorah, Iowa, during most of his formative years. As a boy, Verdell delivered The Des Moines Register on his bike or on foot for many years.
After graduating from Decorah High School in 1947, Verdell attended the University of Iowa, College of Pharmacy, graduating in 1952. Just a few weeks after receiving his degree, he married Lois Long on June 14, 1952, at Assumption Catholic Church in Cresco. To this union were born three children, Roxanne, Eric and Cheryl.
Shortly after his wedding, Verdell, worked as a staff pharmacist on the base while serving in the United States Army in Igloo, S.D.
After his time in the service was completed, Verdell and Lois lived in Elma, Iowa, Bettendorf, Iowa, Sterling, Ill., and most recently, Cresco, which was his home for the majority of his life.
Verdell was pharmacist and owned Hoines Drug Store in Cresco until he retired in 1992. He was also the owner of the KuTee Shop in Cresco.
As a businessman and resident in Cresco for many years, Verdell was a tireless volunteer and booster of the community he loved, participating in many organizations and offering his skills in various capacities. He served on the Notre Dame Parish Council three times and was a long-time lector at his church. He was an officer and member of Cresco Chamber of Commerce and of Howard County Historical Society, a board member on the Northeast Iowa Mental Health Association, and he also served on the board of Country Winds Manor for over 30 years. Verdell found serving as chairman of the Norman Borlaug Statue Project for Beadle Park in Cresco to be one of his most satisfying volunteer pursuits.
He was also active in numerous Cresco Theater productions and was a Master Gardener. Verdell gardened at the Kellow House and Howard County Historical Preservation Center at Howard County Fairgrounds at the time the building was constructed. He was also a member of the Cresco Country Club for over 50 years.
Verdell loved retirement, and he enjoyed playing bridge and golf with his friends and his wife. He was also a much loved father, grandfather and great-grandfather, who lived the philosophy of putting “family first.” He enjoyed singing Christmas carols at family gatherings and baking Norwegian foods (particularly lefse) for his appreciative family. He also enjoyed traveling, reading and closely following his beloved Iowa Hawkeyes in football and basketball.
Those left to cherish Verdell's memory include his wife of 65 years, Lois; his three children, Roxanne Hughes of Iowa City, Iowa, Eric (Marcia) Haakenson of Lake View, Iowa and Cheryl Krase of Vancouver, Wash.; six grandchildren, Emily Hughes (Scott Marks) of North Liberty, Iowa, Melissa (Ben) Aga of Rochester, Minn., Erin (Jeremiah) Evans of Ankeny, Iowa, Adam Haakenson of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Jennifer Mannion-Krase (Georgia Mannion-Krase) of London, England and Nathanial Krase of Vancouver, Wash.; and six great-grandchildren, Max Von Holten, Eli and Isaac Aga, and Eve, Michael, and Raphael Evans.
Verdell was preceded in death by his parents; his grandparents; a sister, Betty Jean in infancy; and a great-grandson, Gabriel Robert Evans.