Hugo Franz Federhart, 99, of Charles City, Iowa, died early Sunday morning, November 27, 2016, at the Eleventh Street Chautauqua Guest Home.
Funeral services will be held Friday, December 16 at 11:00 a.m. at First Congregational Church UCC in Charles City, 502 N. Jackson St., 50616, followed by burial at Riverside Cemetery. A visitation will be held an hour prior.
Hugo was born January 31, 1917 in Sioux City IA, the eldest child of Emma (Brown) and Karl I. Federhart. He graduated from Central High School (’35), and it was there in Spanish class that he met his future wife, Elaine Bennett. They married on May 15, 1938. Elaine lived long enough for them to take many trips together and visit many different countries, and to celebrate their seventy-first wedding anniversary in 2009 a few months before she died.
Hugo had no schooling post-high school, but he read widely. His early work career with Cudahy Packing Company in Sioux City was interrupted by World War II when in 1943 he was called up and could have refused service, but chose to serve his country in the Armed Services. He was assigned to the 28th Infantry Division and saw action in various locations in the European theater. He received a Bronze Star Award for his service. In 2011, he participated in the Honor Flight program and was flown to Washington DC where his service was further recognized and he got to tour several national landmarks.
When Hugo returned to civilian life, his first son, James, was born in 1946 and his second son, Douglas, in 1950. Hugo left Cudahy and in 1954 began working for Iowa Public Service Company. He gradually rose to management positions, first in South Sioux City, Nebraska; then Storm Lake, Iowa; and finally in Charles City. He retired from I.P.S. in 1981 after 27 years of service.
Church and civic life were always vital aspects of Hugo’s life. In Sioux City years he and Elaine belonged to Mayflower Congregational Church UCC, and in Charles City, they became very active members of First Congregational UCC. Hugo was always involved with service groups: the Jaycees, Kiwanis Club, the United Way, and the American Red Cross. In Charles City, he joined the Lions Club and devoted many hours to the annual book sale, as well as helping tend the riverfront rose garden. He was especially proud of his work with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), being honored as volunteer advocate of the year in 2000. Additional involvements included the Library Board, the Area Development Committee, Kiwanis Club, and volunteering as a visiting elder at Jefferson Elementary School. His commitment to community life was twice recognized by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad.
Besides his years of civic service, Hugo will be well-remembered for his overall integrity and kindness. In his last years and months at both Apple Valley Assisted Living and 11th Street Chautauqua in Charles City, staff frequently commented to family members what a joy it was to have him as a resident. Even as his memory and health declined, Hugo’s strong, loving (and fun-loving) spirit shone through.
Hugo was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers: William Frederich “Buster,” who died in childhood, and Robert L. (Roberta) of Champaign IL; and by his beloved wife, Elaine, in 2009. Surviving members of the immediate family include his two sons, James (Linda) of Madison WI and Douglas (Stuart Holland) of Minneapolis MN; granddaughters Lisa (Travis) Janssen of Carbondale IL and their two children, Alder and Rainier; Katy (Rob) Yang of Cambridge MA and their children, Carter and Hannah; and a foster grandson, Pablo Lopez Arrieta (Jon) MacLachlan of San Francisco.
Memorial gifts may be made to First Congregational Church UCC, Charles City, or the Charles City Lions Club, 1107 Ellis Drive, Charles City, Iowa 50616.
Hauser Funeral Home, (641) 228-2323, in Charles City, is in charge of local arrangements. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.hauserfh.com.