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Joe Rash, 95

Joe Rash, 95, of Union left the earthly world January 25, 2021 to join his loving wife, Patricia Louise (Fistler) Rash and his son, Bennett Rash in heaven. A service for family and friends and the burial will be at East Lawn Memory Gardens in Eldora, IA at 1:00 PM on Friday, January 29, 2021. The wearing of face masks is requested. Mitchell Family Funeral Home is caring for Joe and his family. Phone 641-844-1234. For condolences: www.mitchellfh.com. Memorials may be directed to the family.

Joseph William Rash was born on April 5, 1925. The 4thchild born to Howard and Florence (Faris) Rash. Joe started school in Liscomb and graduated from Whitten High School in 1942. He was a good student and athlete. He participated in multiple sports. After graduating, he worked on the farm until he was drafted into the army in January 1946. Basic training was at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He was assigned to 30 Engineers Base Surveying Company stationed on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii, August 1946 to May 1947 as Technician Fifth Grade. Joe wasn’t drafted until his brother Dave Rash was discharged from the navy. At Fort Belvoir, VA, Joe was trained in reading aerial photography and surveying. He was trained to operate a stereoscope and transit. Joe was a Private First Class (PFC) receiving one promotion while in the army.

On August 11, 1946, Joe married his high school sweetheart, Patricia Louise Fistler. Together they started farming in Marshall County where their first son, Jerry Dean Rash was born. In 1951, Joe and Pat moved to Pat’s family farm at rural Union. It was there they stayed and farmed with Pat’s Uncle, Dean Spurlin. Three more children were born: Nancy Jo, Bennett Lynn, and Peggy Louise. Joe and Pat moved to Union in 2009 and Pat died in 2010.

Joe was forever the farmer, but also a good neighbor. In his 95 + years he lived and breathed farming. Joe tended his crops with great care. His crop rows were very straight, his fields were weed free, his pastures were green and lush. Joe was a successful corn, bean, and hay producer. When growing up in the Rash house, any day at noon when the markets came on the radio, he would shush or silence his family at the table so he wouldn’t miss the market prices.

Joe enjoyed animals: raising pigs, sheep, and cattle. He had milking cows in the early years on the farm. He quit milking in the 60’s. He transitioned from small sow pens and pigging outside to farrowing crates and confinement buildings. His sheep and hog operations continued until in the 1990’s. Joe then began to concentrate on building and improving his Angus cattle herd and cattle facilities along with the help of his son, Jerry and later his grandson, John. Together they have raised many Angus cattle. Utilizing grass pasture and promoting conservation and sustainability were important to Joe and Pat.

Joe has been involved in many community and county organizations. He fulfilled public service with the support of his wife Pat. Joe served on the Union-Whitten School Board, was a founding member of the Heart of Iowa Telephone Board, co-leader of the Union Whitten Hustlers 4-H Club for 22 years, served on the Hardin County Fair Board for over 12 years, Prairie Land Elevator Board (now IAS), Union Community Church Board, church trustee, Hardin county ASCS Committee, Hardin County Cattlemen’s Association, Hardin County Pork Producers, American Legion member, and Tall Corn Angus Association member. Joe was honored as a Hardin County Master Pork Producer in 1978, Iowa Master Corn Grower 1960 and 1964, and Iowa Master Soybean Grower 1999 and 2001. Joe and Pat were honored as Hardin County Fair Persons of the Year in 2007, Hardin County Fair Grand Marshalls in 1999, 4-H 400 Donor Club 1998, Century and Heritage Farm Recognition in 2007, and IDALS (Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship) Good Neighbor Award in 2006. Joe, along with Jerry and John were honored as Wallace’s Farmer Master Farmer in 2018. The Iowa Quilters Guild honored Joe in 2019 for his military service with the gift of a Quilt of Valor made by two former Union residents.

Joe is survived by three children Jerry (Carol) Rash of rural Union; Nancy Rash (Lyle Moen) of Washington, IA; and Peggy Rash-Daniels of Eldora; four grandchildren John (Tammy) Rash of rural Union; Rachel and (Danny) Ritchhart of Norwalk; Ben Daniels (Jaime Halstead) of Unionville, MO; and Laura Jo Daniels (Tully Beeghly) of Eldora, IA; great-grandchildren Macie, Anistyn, and Jeremy.

In death he has rejoined his parents, his wife and brothers: David Rash, John Rash, and sisters: Margaret Wooten, Ruth Andrews, and Millicent Ann Woodward; son Bennett Lynn Rash who died in 1969, and son in law, Dr. Larry Daniels who died in 2020.