Darwin Lyle Holtmyer passed away, with children by his side, in Washington, IA on June 21, 2014. A memorial service will be held Friday, June 27th 2014 at 11:00am on the farm 1204 Macksburg Rd, Macksburg, IA. A private family gathering will immediately follow at Moon Cemetery in Macksburg. The family welcomes friends to convene for fellowship to remember Darwin at Kramer’s Café in Orient from 2-4pm on Friday afternoon.
Darwin was born on August 21, 1940, in Red Oak, IA to the late John (Bus) and Wilma Holtmyer. He was raised on a farm near Greenfield, IA where he graduated high school in 1959. On June 4th, 1962 Darwin married Jeanette Mundt (Allen) in a country church near Massena, IA. Darwin and Jeanette had 6 children together, and raised the family near Greenfield and Stuart areas then eventually settled their family on an acreage outside of Macksburg. Darwin remained in his Macksburg home until the recent decline of his health; moving then to a nursing home in Washington, IA near children.
In high school Darwin purchased and showed registered Guernsey cows, and had great interest in horses. He had a creative mind; while still in high school he developed a bi-level portable calf shed. Later he transformed an old school bus into a portable cattle working facility; completely outfitted with a cattle ramp, running chute, and scale. He could work cattle right on the producer’s ranch, easily running cattle through for: weighing, castration, freeze branding, AI, pregnancy checking, vaccinations etc. He was also a certified AI technician, and trained many people the trade.
Darwin spent 40 plus years as a professional in cattle genetics. He provided AI services to many producers throughout SW Iowa and NW Missouri over the past 40 years. He and his family also managed a dairy cow operation for many years through the 70’s and 80’s.
Darwin trained many cattle horses throughout his career; with a horse by his side his entire life. Later in life he treasured his small flock of sheep. He loved animals and animal genetics, and was a cowboy to the end.
Darwin later married Sharon Beckman, of Des Moines from 1986-1996; and then married Cyrena Durham from 1996-2005, and to that union was born a daughter. Although not married at the time of his death, Darwin enjoyed time spent with special friends at area dances in the last years of his life.
He is survived by his children, mostly all from Iowa: Diana Kramer (Dan Stark) of Leon, Donna (Kevin) Blair of Griswold, Jeffery (Tamera) Holtmyer of Knightstown, Indiana, Jerry (Barbara) Holtmyer of Washington, Denise (Michael) Peiffer of Washington, Debra (Marty) Vohs of Moville, and Rita Holtmyer, of Fort Madison; one brother Lee Holtmyer (Martha), New Virginia; a sister Judy Bullis of Winterset, and a sister-in-law, Pat Ashley of Las Vegas, Nevada; 14 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, an adopted brother Lyle Ashley, and granddaughter Mamie Blair.
Beatty Funeral Home in Washington is handling the Arrangements. In lieu of flowers, the family has set up a general memorial fund; condolences can be sent to Jerry Holtmyer, 415 S 9th Ave, Washington, IA 52353.