Herbert Ignatius Peiffer died Wednesday, August 1, 2012, at his
home near Sigourney, Iowa, of congestive heart failure. He was 85.
Herbert was born on October 15, 1926, near Harper, Iowa, the second
youngest of nine, to Henry L. Peiffer and Barbara Hammes Peiffer.
He attended St. Peter and Paul Parochial School. He began farming
the family farm in Clear Creek Township at age 14 when his older
brothers left home to serve in World War II. At that time his
parents traded a team of horses for their first farm tractor, a
Farmall H. Herbertís brother Omer later joined him in farming and
they worked together until entering the service during the Korean
Herbert served his country from 1950-1952 during the Korean
Conflict as a U. S. Army mechanic in charge of a motor pool. He
attained the rank of staff sergeant and forged lifelong friendships
during his army service. After discharge he returned home to
again farm with his brother. He used his mechanical skills
throughout his life and spent many hours in his shop fixing farm
equipment and vehicles.
Herbert met his future wife Jeanene Williams at the Ottumwa Air
Base Skating Rink. They were united in marriage on July 30, 1955,
at St. Patrickís Catholic Church in Ottumwa. In 1964 they
purchased a farm south of Sigourney, Iowa, where they raised five
children. He grew corn, soybeans, oats and hay. He raised hogs,
cattle, sheep, and chickens. Herbertís favorite time of day was the
quiet of the early morning when he did chores. His farm neighbors
were treasured friends. Herbert retired from farming in 1988.
Herbert was awarded the 2000 Owner/Tenant Conservation Award from
the Keokuk County Soil and Water Commission. He represented West
Lancaster Township on the Sigourney Fire Board and served as
president of that board for many years. He was a lifetime member of
the Veterans of Foreign Wars, a member of the Keokuk County Izaak
Walton League, the Iowa Farm Bureau, the ASCS Committee and was a
West Lancaster Township Trustee for over 25 years. Herbert also
served on the church council and as a Eucharistic minister at St.
Maryís Church in Sigourney.
Photography and travel were favorite hobbies of Herbert. He would
hire help to run the farm so the family could vacation and explore
the United States. Many evenings were spent eating popcorn balls
and watching his slides in the kitchen of the family home. He
supported his childrenís dreams, whether it was playing instruments,
starting a business, flying planes, designing bridges or teaching.
He and Jeanene enjoyed following their childrenís dance band for
Above all, Herbert shared the gift of his Catholic faith with his
family. Not by preaching it, but by living it. He was a faithful
husband, a good steward of the land, and created a safe and loving
home for his children. He encouraged his children and grandchildren
to share their gifts with the church.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife Jeanene, his children
Gregory and Diane Peiffer of Rose Hill, Sharon and Wayne Hammes and
Bruce and Cyndi Peiffer of Oskaloosa, David and Angelika Peiffer of
Eldridge, and Eric Peiffer of Issaquah, WA. His grandchildren
include Melissa and Craig McLaughlin of Robins, Christina Peiffer
and Theresa and Pat Glandon, all of Sigourney, Megan Peiffer of Des
Moines, Ben and Kayla Peiffer, Andy Peiffer, Molly Peiffer, Adam
Hammes and John Hammes of Oskaloosa and Nicolas Peiffer of
Eldridge. He has eight great-grandchildren. One sister, Eveline
Adam of Washington, IA, survives.
Preceding Herbert in death were his parents, his five brothers:
Elmer, Bernard, Edward, Norbert and Omer and two sisters: Florence
Wehr and Marcella White.
The funeral mass for Herbert will be
Monday, August 6, 2012, at 10:30 a.m., at St. Mary of the Assumption
Catholic Church in Sigourney. A prayer service will be held at 4:30
p.m. on Sunday, August 5, followed by visitation from 5-7 p.m. at
Holm Funeral Home in Sigourney. Holm Funeral Holm is handling
may be made to Keokuk County Hospice.