GORDON F. FETT
Funeral services for Gordon Fett will be Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 9:00 A.M. at the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Aurelia with Pastor Derek Evans officiating. Burial will be in the St. John Lutheran Cemetery at Hanover. Visitation will be Friday from 5:00 to 7:00 at the Redig Funeral Home in Aurelia.
Gordon Francis Fett, a teacher extraordinaire, age 92, joined his wife Marilyn in Heaven on October 9, 2019, after faithfully serving his God, country, family and community, he completed his journey and met his Savior, Jesus Christ. A lifelong educator, he was born at his farm home south of Aurelia, Iowa, on April 5, 1927. As an outstanding teacher, Gordon taught mathematics and sciences at the high school and college levels for over fifty years before retiring from Buena Vista University. It was his great pleasure to work with young people and instruct them in the skills they would need in their professional careers, and to prepare them for their lives outside of academia. His passion for being in the classroom motivated him for his entire life and given a choice there is nowhere he would rather have been than in a classroom with a piece of chalk in his hand and facing a blackboard. When Gordon wasn’t in the classroom as an instructor, he was in the classroom as a student. He received his B.S. form Buena Vista College and his M.S. from Ohio State University. In addition, through grants form either the National Science Foundation or the General Electric Fellowship, Gordon also attended the University of Iowa (on four occasions), the University of Michigan (on two occasions), the University of Northern Iowa, Purdue University, the University of Oregon, the University of South Dakota, the University of Washington, and Johns Hopkins University. Courses of study were primarily in mathematics, but also in physics and chemistry. The family was with Gordon for these summer-long studies, and was able to live in different locations and experience different parts of this country — a wonderful opportunity to learn about this great country.
During the summers when Bob and Sue were growing up and Gordon was going to graduate schools, we would do a lot of camping. Our first camping expedition was on our way to Eugene, Oregon in the summer of 1962. We purchased a new tent and all the equipment for camping. We especially liked the summers in Oregon and Seattle, WA because we were close to the ocean and also the mountains. We have many precious memories of setting up camp, hiking, campfires, hot and cold weather, watching the last glow of the gas lantern at lights out in the evening, and keeping bears away with the trusty bear “cabonger”.
Gordon was a lifelong Iowan, graduating from Alta High School, living in Aurelia, Marshalltown, and Storm Lake for nearly hia entire life. He proudly served our country during WWII in the Navy, and the Korean War in the Marines as a hospital corpsman (medic).
Gordon also taught for the U.S. Navy on a program called FACE (programs for Afloat College Education). His first assignment was to an aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Coral Sea, which was deployed in the Mediterranean Sea. When the ship was in port he toured Marseille and Canes, France, Sicily, Egypt, Izmir, Turkey, Israel. And Tel Aviv. This was in 1988. His second assignment was in 1989 to the western Pacific aboard the
U.S.S. Germantown. In port he toured Okinawa, Hong Kong, Red China, some of the Phillipeans, and Sydney, Australia.
Gordon and Marilyn traveled much of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. They also went to Canada, England, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Lichtenstein, Italy, France, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Not bad for two people born and raised in rural Iowa.
Gordon was a man of high integrity, honesty and deep faith. He loved spending time with his family and we thank God for the time he allowed us to treasure him on earth. He lived his whole life with dignity and honor. He made a difference in the lives of untold students at all levels and influenced many to reach out for their dreams. “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” Gordon touched the lives of all who knew him. He was a provider and protector all the days of his life.
Gordon’s best friend Jack Henneberry was quoted as saying, “To be a gentleman is an accident, to die one is an achievement.” He must have been talking about Gordon. His life will always be honored, cherished, and celebrated by his family and friends.
He was proceeded in death by his parents, August and Mamie Fett; his brothers Harold, Donald, LuVerne, and Robert; his wife of nearly 62 years and love of his life Marilyn; and a grandson Billy Johnson. He is survived by his son Robert and his wife Gretchen Fett of Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota; his daughter Susan and her husband David Johnson of Aurelia, Iowa, five grandchildren; Jeremy and wife Nikki Johnson of Ames, IA, Tanner Johnson of Grimes, IA, Kelsey and husband Randy Hale of Aurelia, Christian Fett of Inver Grove Heights, MN, and Daniel and wife Lisa Fett of South St. Paul, MN, and five great-grandchildren; Bella and Cole Johnson, Dayde and Zoey Hale, and Maverick Fett, and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.