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Recent obits and death notices

This news story was published on April 16, 2012.
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John Richard (Dick) Gaffney, 81, of 200 3rd Street South, Swaledale, Iowa died Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at his home.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 am, Monday, April 16, 2012 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 305 Elm St., Rockwell, Iowa.  Officiating will be Msgr. John Hemann.  Visitation will be from 4 until 7:00 pm Sunday April 15, 2012 at the Sacred Heart Parish Center, with a wake service at 4:00 pm.  Internment will be in Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Swaledale, Iowa.  Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to the Swaledale Fire Department.  Condolences may be shared with the family on the funeral home website at

John Dick was born to John and Dorothy (Gibson) Gaffney on February 12, 1931 in Mason City, Iowa.  He was a graduate of Swaledale High School.  He began working for John Jinrich’s implement dealership and later started his carpentry career with Harvey Polsdofer.  After a few years, he began his own carpentry business where he worked for the next fifty plus years.  John Dick joined the Swaledale Fire department in the early 50’s and became chief in the early 60’s.  He retired as chief in 1995 and continued his support of the fire department as an honorary member.  On January 29, 1951 he was united in marriage to Lucille Priebe.  John Dick built their home in Swaledale where they raised their two sons.  They were happily married for 60 years until Lucille’s passing last year.

Over the years, he enjoyed hunting, playing pool, and golfing with his buddies. He also loved watching sports and playing cards weekly with the guys.  He had a special love for animals especially his cat Sophie.  John Dick was admired and respected by those whose lives he touched.

Survivors include his two sons, John Randall of Boulder, CO; Edward and his wife Lorena, Swaledale; five grandchildren Catherine Riegle, Terra Gaffney-Simmer, Sarah Novacek, Angela Sturges, and Benjamin Gaffney; five great grandchildren Bridget Gaffney, Brooke Gaffney-Simmer, Tyler and Ethan Riegle and Grant Novacek; one sister Anne Jane and her husband Tony Castro Sebring, FL; and his in-laws Luella and Jim Bonner, Clear Lake; Gene and Miriam Jaberg, New Brighton, MN; and many nieces and nephews.

John Dick was preceded in death by his parents, brother Robert, and wife Lucille.

Fullerton Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 120 S. 3rd ST., Rockwell, Iowa 641-822-3191,


Russell L. Stowell, 95, of 204 5th Street South, Swaledale, Iowa, died Friday, April 13, 2012, at the Muse Norris Hospice Inpatient Unit, in Mason City. Arrangements are incomplete at Fullerton Funeral Home.

Fullerton Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 123 2nd ST. SE, Mason City, Iowa 50401, 641-423-8676.


Monica Ann Gasca, 43, of 421 N. Monroe in Mason City, IA, died Wednesday, April 11, 2012, at Mercy Medical Center of North Iowa.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 am, Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at Saint Joseph Catholic Church, 302 5th St. S.E., Mason City, with Father Craig Steimel Officiating. Visitation will be 4-8 pm with a Parish Wake at 6 pm on Monday at Fullerton Funeral Home, 123 2nd St. S.E., Mason City. Following the funeral Monica will be cremated. A private inurnment will be held at a later date. Condolences may be shared with the family at


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