Donald M. "Don" Billerbeck, 86, of Reinbeck, passed away on Saturday, April 8th at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo after a brief illness. Public visitation was held on Tuesday, April 11th from 4 to 7 PM at the Union Congregational United Church of Christ, 225 Broad St., Reinbeck and continued for one hour prior to the funeral service at the church. The funeral service was be held on Wednesday, April 12th at 10:30 AM at the Union Congregational United Church of Christ in Reinbeck with Rev. Joel Love officiating. Interment followed the funeral service at the Reinbeck Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the family. Messages of condolence may be left for the family at www.abelsfuneralhomes.com
Don was born December 18, 1930 in Lincoln Township, Tama, County, Iowa, the son of Marcus & Clara (Martens) Billerbeck. He lived for a short time in Lincoln Township and then lived in Geneseo, Iowa until the 5th grade, when he moved to Reinbeck, which became his permanent home. He graduated from Reinbeck High School in 1949, where he was a stellar athlete, playing football and baseball and was a star basketball player. After high school, he began his lifelong career farming his family farm until he was drafted in the United States Army in 1952. Before leaving for the military, Don was united in marriage to Ann Rae Morrison on June 19, 1952 at the United Methodist Church in Grundy Center. One week after he and Ann Rae were married, Don was stationed in El Paso, Texas and was later transferred overseas to Germany. His first son Mark was born in 1953 while he was overseas. Don was honorably discharged in 1954.
During his farming career, Don, alongside his wife Ann Rae, worked the land and brought in the crops and tended to his many animals including hogs, cattle, chickens, geese and turkeys. He and Ann Rae also milked cows for many years. To say he loved his farm was an understatement. The care for his animals and farm came first, and he taught his children how to work hard and always do their best, which included their help on the family farm.
He loved golf and was part of a golf group who called themselves the "World Serious." Golf was such an important part of Don's life that every year he an Ann Rae celebrated their anniversary, his entire family got together for an annual golf tournament. Don also enjoyed riding his bicycle and was part of bike riding group called the "Reinbeck Recyclers." He was a lifelong fan and shareholder of the Green Bay Packers. He also enjoyed playing cards and spending time with his wife and their friends and taking trips but above all, Don enjoyed his family the most. He was very proud of his children and his grandchildren and he loved watching them grow and be involved in their lives. He will deeply missed by his loving family that he leaves behind.
Don was a member of the Union Congregational United Church of Christ in Reinbeck, where he served on many boards and committees including Deacon, he served on the school board for 18 years and was on the Lincoln Savings Bank Board for over 25 years. He was on the Grundy County Extension Council for many years and spent 33 years on the Farmers Mutual board in Traer, Iowa. Don was proud to be a veteran and was a member of the Reinbeck American Legion Post #242, where he served as past Commander. The highlight of his 86 years was being able to be a part of the Honor Flight, along with his son Tim in May of 2014.
Don is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Ann Rae of Reinbeck; children Mark (Janice) of Radcliffe, Iowa, Jeff (Susie) of Reinbeck, Tim (Pam) of Urbandale, Iowa, Marci (Mike) Bengen of Reinbeck and Chris Billerbeck of Reinbeck; grandchildren Rachel (Adam) Wilkinson of Story City, Iowa, Greta (Jason) Billerbeck of Roland, Iowa, Cole Billerbeck of Huxley, Iowa, Jennifer and Josh Billerbeck of Reinbeck, Andrew Billerbeck of Hudson, Iowa, Brady Billerbeck of Ames, Iowa, Emma Billerbeck of Cedar Falls, Iowa, Joe Billerbeck of Ames, Iowa, Eleanor Billerbeck of Iowa City, Iowa, Brett (Jen) Bengen of Reinbeck, Iowa and Lauren Bengen of Cedar Falls, Iowa; great-grandchildren Jonovan, Kamden, Brantley & Kourtlyn Wilkinson, Hendrix Billerbeck, Makaia Billerbeck and Michael Boyd; sisters Frances (Russell) Lorenzen of Clear Lake, Iowa and Francine (John) Klahsen of Aplington, Iowa. He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Myrne Billerbeck, Eunice Neil, Leora Neil and Reva Billerbeck.