Verle Herbert Burgason, 88 years of age, passed away peacefully around 9:00 pm At Green Hills Care Center on Friday, September 29, 2017. He was born into a Swedish-German settlement in Munterville Iowa, September 8, 1929 and raised on a family farm during the hard years of the depression. He learned the value of faith, hard work, and a deep appreciation for farming, family and friendship.
Verle went to school in a one room schoolhouse near Munterville with a total student population of 5. His mother, Neva, was an elementary school teacher as well as a partner with her husband, Lawrence, in making their living on the family farmstead. He went to high school in Ottumwa, Iowa. He was cut from the 9th grade basketball team because he was only 6'1" and had never played basketball before. Coming home from that experience he was told by his father..."Verle, farm boys don't play basketball...they work on the farm." The next year Verle practiced and grew 5 inches and at 6'6" tall ...he now qualified to play on the varsity team his sophomore year when Ottumwa High School competed in the Iowa State Basketball Tournament. He went on to get a scholarship from Drake University in Basketball and Football. He graduated in 1951 with a BS in Journalism.
It was at Drake that he met and married the love of his life, Jo Ann Humphrey from West Union, Iowa. They were married on Sunday, January 21, 1951 in West Union, Iowa after a Saturday night basketball game against St Louis University. After graduation Verle enlisted in the US Airforce, serving honorably for two years before being discharged from the service. With their first-born son, Scott, age 1, Verle and Jo Ann moved to Ames Iowa, having answered an ad in the paper for a Advertising Sales position with the Ames Daily Tribune in September of 1953. The newspaper, at that time, was owned by Bill Rupe (a lay-minister with the Methodist Church) and Hollis Nordyke.
In September of 1993 after 40 years of employment and eventual ownership, Verle celebrated his 40th anniversary with the newspaper. He had become an owner of the newspaper along with Hollis Nordyke and Jack Nordyke. They sold the newspaper in 1988 to Gary Gerlach, Michael Gartner and David Bellum of Des Moines. At the time of Verle's 40th Anniversary, pulitzer prize winner Michael Gartner wrote the following editorial...
A Note to a Friend...
Forty years ago today, a gangling young man fresh out of the Air Force, walked into this building and started work as an ad salesman. It was his first job. He must of liked it, and the folks running the place must have liked him. For they kept giving him more and more to do, and eventually he ended up as one of the owners of The Daily Tribune.
When the paper was sold a few years ago, he stayed on as chairman, agreeing to help the new people find their way around the newspaper, the town, and county. He's been gracious and good-humored--and of course, immensely helpful--in this task, as he is in all others.
Over the 40 years, this nice man also has done about everything you can do in the line of civic duty in Ames while making sure he always had good seats for any sports event and a comfortable tee-off time.
So this is just a little note... to note a big milestone and to say thanks and happy anniversary to our friend and colleague, Verle Burgason.
Verle and Jo raised four children in Ames: Scott (Shannon) Burgason, Steve (Anne) Burgason, Matt (Araceli) Burgason and Karen (Mike) Sloter. He has 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. They have been married and enjoyed life together for 66 years and were long-standing members of the First United Methodist Church in Ames. The grieving and mourning is deep within our family but the joy of knowing that God is good all the time and all the time God is good and His ways are perfect and complete, is deeper still.
The family will receive friends from 4 - 6:00 p.m. Thursday, October 5, in the multipurpose room at First United Methodist Church on 6th and Kellogg Ames, Iowa (please use the south entrance). A celebration of life memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, October 6, at First United Methodist Church.
Memorials may be directed to: First United Methodist Church Building Fund or the Mile High Ministries (Joshua Station) for transitional housing for homeless families. The Mile High Ministries number is (303)-839-5198 and address is 2330 W Mulberry Pl, Denver, CO 80204.
Online condolences may be directed to www.grandonfuneralandcremationcare.com
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