James A. Bogenrief, 99, of Merrill, Iowa passed away on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at the Good Samaritan Society in Le Mars, Iowa. Funeral services will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, February, 3, 2020 at Merrill Melbourne United Methodist Church, rural Merrill, Iowa. Rev. Kolleen Queener will officiate. Burial with military honors will follow at Floyd Valley Cemetery, rural Merrill, Iowa. Visitation will begin at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 2, 2020 at the Mauer – Johnson Funeral Home in Le Mars. The family will be present to greet friends from 2-4 p.m. with a prayer service at 4:00 p.m. There will also be one hour of visitation at the church prior to the funeral service on Monday.
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James Arles Bogenrief was born on August 29, 1920 in rural Merrill, Iowa, the son of Benjamin A. and Albena (Winter) Bogenrief. He attended school at Plymouth Township #1 and Merrill High School. He furthered his education at Western Union (Westmar) College graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education. He later served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Westmar College.
He met his wife, Kay (Becker) during their concurrent time at college. They married in Le Mars, Iowa on September 19, 1942. During the same month and after one week of teaching Jim was drafted into the military. His military service was spent as an Army Bandsman at Ft. Bliss near El Paso, Texas and as a part of the U.S. occupation forces in the South Pacific. After discharge he returned to his farm near Merrill with his wife. During that first year back in Iowa he also attended several G.I. agricultural classes in night school in Le Mars. He became an active farmer with his father. During 1956, which was a very difficult year for farming, in order to save his farm, he took on additional responsibility to work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture A.S.C.S. office in Le Mars. He retired from that job in 1976.
He was a lifelong member of the Merrill Melbourne E.U.B. (United Methodist) church for which he served as Trustee, Financial Secretary, Treasurer and Choir Director. He took great pride in his small church and was concerned about it to the very end of his life.
In the community he continued his love of music as a 62-year member of the Le Mars Municipal Band. Very seldom did he miss a musical event given in the Le Mars Community Schools and at his former college. Additionally, he served in several positions with the county Farm Bureau, Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. and was a Plymouth County Township Director. Jim and Kay enjoyed travel, both near and far, during their almost 75 years together. Their family learned quickly to expect and enjoy long car rides.
Grateful to have had Jim as their father is a son, Richard and his wife, Jill Bogenrief of Merrill, IA; a daughter, Kathy Moore and her husband, David of Le Mars, IA; a son, David and his wife, Margarete of Mauthausen, Austria; grandchildren, Lara (Shawn) Brant of Severna Park, MD, Abigail Bogenrief of Alexandria, VA, Ben (Mary Carmen Garcia) Bogenrief of Washington, DC and Erica Jimenez of Merrill, IA; great-grandchildren, Dana and Stephen Brant; nieces, Nanmarie (Mike) Kucher of Seattle, WA and Barb Goll of Ellensburg, WA; extended family, Gretchen Bogenrief of Alexandria, VA, Curtis and Karyn Brinkmeyer of Hubbard, IA and Roger and Theresa Boettcher of Prior Lake, MN.
He was preceded in death by his wife; his parents; a sister; and a brother.