Cyrenus W. Elsinger

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Cyrenus W. Elsinger, 88, of Guttenberg, died Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, at Guttenberg Care Center in Guttenberg.

Visitation was Sunday, Jan. 13, at Tuecke-Allyn Funeral Home, Guttenberg and one hour before services at the church.

Funeral services were Monday, Jan. 14, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Guttenberg, conducted by Rev. Marvin Bries.

Interment was at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Guttenberg.

Cyrenus was born March 7, 1930, to Andrew and Irene (Miller) Elsinger in Guttenberg, the oldest of eight children.

He graduated from St. Mary’s High School and took classes at Iowa State in animal husbandry and other agricultural studies. Cyrenus, always a devout Catholic, considered religious orders in his youth. He spent most of his life in the Guttenberg area, though after a time at the New Melleray Monastery in his twenties. He then worked as a farmhand for his uncle, Lawrence Elsinger, in South Dakota. After returning to Guttenberg, he helped his father on the family farm and worked at Hilton Homes for 10 years. Later he purchased a farm near Millville, married Bernyce Kuempel, adopted two sons, and worked the farm through retirement. His love of bid euchre, hard work, storytelling, and square dancing was well-known to all that met him. Born in the heart of the depression and therefore fiscally conservative, Cyrenus was nevertheless generous with his time and money, giving as much as he could to diverse causes. Aside from his faith, family and friends were his highest priorities. 

Cyrenus, a man of the earth and the people, was an active member in the surrounding community, including Farm Bureau, the Knights of Columbus, and the Democratic Party. He was also active in the governance of Clayton County, acting as a Millville Township Trustee and serving on the Planning and Zoning Board for many years. In his retirement, he volunteered at St. Mary’s Church and Plagman Barn, sang in the church choir, acted as a patient advocate visiting residents at the Guttenberg Care Center, and regularly penned letters to the editors of local papers.

Left to cherish his memory are his two sons, William Elsinger of Seattle, Wash.; Robert (Zhanar Azamat) Elsinger of Los Angeles, Calif.; siblings, Cyril Elsinger, Tom (Debbie) Elsinger, Joan Saunders, Lois (Edward) Davis; sisters- and brother-in-law, Jane Elsinger, Marge Elsinger, and Andy Haman; plus many nieces; nephews; relatives and friends.

Cyrenus was preceded in death by his parents; wife; sister, Verna Haman, and brothers, Frank and Andrew Elsinger.

In lieu of flowers or other gifts, the family suggests that memorial contributions be sent to: St. Mary’s School, PO Box 847, Guttenberg, IA 52052.

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