Photography

France Robert Wanberg

April 5, 1921 ~ April 9, 2020 (age 99)

Obituary

France R. Wanberg, age 99, of Holstein, formerly of Galva, passed away on Thursday, April 09, 2020 at the AbiliT Senior Living of Holstein. A funeral service will be held at a later date. A private family burial will be held at the Galva Township East Cemetery of Galva.

France R. Wanberg having 99 years of a life well lived, passed away on April 9, 2020 at Holstein Senior Living.  The son of Elmer and Vera (Clapsaddle), France was born on a farm northwest of Galva, Iowa on April 5, 1921.  He attended school all 12 years in Galva, graduating in 1938.  Following graduation, he worked for the Sioux Honey Association in Sioux City and Lima, Ohio.  On December 31, 1941 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps.  He was stationed in Los Angeles in communication radio radar with the 1st Fighter Control Squadron before being shipped overseas.  On November 11, 1943, while en route to New Guinea, a torpedo hit his troopship, the USS Cape San Juan.  Forced to abandon ship, he spent 30 hours in shark-infested waters before being rescued by the destroyer USS McCalla.  After his squadron reorganized, he made D-Day landings in New Guinea and the Philippines.  He was honorably discharged on Nov. 12, 1945 and was awarded the Purple Heart, Asiatic Battle Stars, Philippine Liberation Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.

After returning home, he attended Morningside College and Iowa State University.  He then returned to help his father farm.  On June 6, 1948, he was united in marriage to Helen Ling of Sheldon, IA.  He continued to farm until he was appointed Postmaster of Galva in June of 1954 where he served until retiring in 1981.

France was very active in the Galva community.  He served on various church boards of the Galva United Methodist Church, was a 75- year member of the Galva Legion and its past Commander, member of the Odd Fellows Lodge, served two terms as Mayor, member of the Ida County Fair Board, and Chairman of the Galva Centennial Committee.

France and Helen loved to travel, having visited all 50 states and spent time in Florida during the winter.  He enjoyed working in his garden, drinking coffee with friends and occasionally telling a joke.

He is survived by his children, Kathy (Dennis) Breyfogle of Holstein IA, Gary (Deb) Wanberg of Galva, IA, Becky (Kirby) Neil of Gravois Mills, MO, Rick Wanberg of Denison, IA; grandchildren, Grant Breyfogle, Scott (Rachael) Breyfogle, Sean Courtney, Michelle (David) Patterson, Ryan (Kerry) Wanberg, Justin (Cassie) Wanberg, Sarah (Eric) Szymanski, Ashley (Anthony) Leis, Zach and Laura Wanberg, and Emily, Chloe and Abby Wanberg; great-grandchildren, Jake and Maxwell Breyfogle, Wesley, Ellanore and Adeline Breyfogle, Michael and Sean Courtney, Sam Patterson, Beckett and Sydney Wanberg and Jason and Ben Wanberg; sister, Joanne Brueck, brother Dr. Kenneth (Dottie) Wanberg and several nieces and nephews. 

He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen and his parents.

The family would like to thank Char-Mac and Holstein Senior Living for the wonderful care and concern that was given to him.  France will be remembered for his love of his family, his church and community, and his country.  

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