Gilbert Everett Persinger, age 98, of Smithland, Iowa passed away peacefully in his home on September 30, 2022.
Memorial services will be 10:30 am Saturday, October 8, 2022 at the Smithland United Methodist Church. Burial with military honors will be at the German City Cemetery, rural Hornick. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service on Saturday. Meyer Brothers Morningside Chapel is assisting with arrangements.
Gilbert was born October 18, 1923 in rural Hornick. His parents were Everett Wesley and Gertrude Bertha Weber Persinger. Gilbert graduated from Smithland High School at the age of 16. While in high school, Gilbert played three years of varsity baseball and fondly remembers getting the one hit in a game against Oto in which Red O’Mora pitched.
Gilbert enlisted in the Navy during WWII and was stationed at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Corona, California where he served as a Navy medic.
After being discharged from the Navy, Gilbert purchased his first farm close to his parents’ home in the Loess Hills. He also did custom work with his hay bailer and D4 caterpillar. Gilbert worked on most of the watersheds and dams that were constructed in the area while working for Jack and Jed Brown from Mankato, MN.
On April 21, 1951 Gilbert married Bonnie Reincke. To this union, two children were born. The couple lived in the Smithland area their entire life. Gilbert was known as a farmer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Some of Gilbert’s adventures were raising shorthorn cattle, building both the Texaco gas station (Smithland Country Store) and the Ja-Mar drive in. Gilbert worked on the invention of the Dialoc door locks. He was proud when some Dialocs were used for Herbert Humphrey’s doors when he was vice-president. Gilbert placed many Pong game machines in area restaurants, bars, and motels. These were also much enjoyed by relatives on holidays. He also owned and operated Persinger Sand & Gravel.
Gilbert loved his wife Bonnie, and the couple would often be seen dancing with their matching outfits and leather boots. Gilbert loved hard woods, and their home is filled with beautiful walnut and oak masterpiece creations. He also treasured his children, Mary and Jane along with their families. The family vacations throughout the years in Hawaii, southern Texas, northern Minnesota, and the area around Thunder Bay hold treasured memories for his entire family. Gilbert will be greatly missed by family and friends.
Gilbert was preceded in death by his parents, Everett and Gertrude Persinger, wife Bonnie Persinger, daughter Mary Pat Badami, brothers Ardel and Ival, sister Macel Schneider, sisters-in-law Doris and Nancy Persinger, brothers-in-law John Schneider and Bruce Wightman, and nephew Randy Schneider.
Gilbert is survived by his daughter Jane Gettis and her husband Randy of Winnebago, MN and son-in-law Peter Badami and his wife Carol of Georgetown, TX; grandchildren Stephanie (Justin) Sipla of Coralville, IA, Adam Badami of North Liberty, IA, Benjamin (Autumn) Gettis of Blue Earth, MN, Sarah Gettis of Blue Earth, MN and four great grandchildren.