David A. Packer, 62, of Le Grand died Monday, January 20, at his home with his wife, Donna, by his side.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. , Monday, January 27, 2014, at Hope United Methodist Church, Marshalltown, with the Rev. Nan Smith officiating. Burial will follow a lunch at Hope Methodist at Marietta Cemetery. Friends may call from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Anderson Funeral Homes at 405 West Main St. where the family will be present from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to Hope United Methodist Church or Marshall County Youth and Shelter Services. Online condolences can be sent to the family at www.andersonfhs.com.
David Allen Packer was born March 10, 1951, in Marshalltown, the son of Ben and Irene (Lander) Packer. Dave attended elementary school in Albion and junior high and high school in Marshalltown. He graduated from Marshalltown High School with the class of 1969. After high school Dave attended Marshalltown Community College earning his Associate Arts Degree in 1971. On August 24, 1971, Dave married Donna Keen from LeGrand. Dave and Donna then moved to Maryville, Mo. Dave transferred to Northwest Missouri State University where he earned his BS Degree in education in 1973. Dave then moved to his first teaching job at Brookfield, MO, where he taught history for 2 years and was a guidance counselor for 2 years, coached cross country and assisted at track. Dave attended Northeast Missouri State University (Truman State University) in the summers while working during the school year at Brookfield earning his Masters Degree in Counseling in 1976. Dave continued his career in education, moving back to Iowa in 1977. He was a counselor at Red Oak High School from 1977 to 1980 and at South Tama High School during the 1980 1981 school year. In the fall of 1981 Dave went into the purebred hog business with his brother-in-law Richard Keen; and while in this career, he was diagnosed with cancer in July of 1983. After a successful experimental bone marrow transplant at The University of Iowa Hospital in 1984 Dave went back into education continuing his career as a school counselor in each of the following schools from 1984 2008; Garwin, Baxter, East Marshall, and Marshalltown. Dave's favorite part of being a school counselor was having the opportunity to help students plan their future. He believed college could be possible for all students but that students might not be able to go to the college that was their first choice. Dave also believed that where a student attended college was not as important to the student's success as what the student did when they got on campus. In 1985 Dave took the classes necessary to become certified to teach driver education. Dave enjoyed driving with students very much as he drove with students every summer and during the school year from 1986 until retirement. Dave retired from the Marshalltown Community School District in 2008 but did work part-time two more years at the Meskwaki Settlement School.
Dave was a member of Hope United Methodist Church where he served as head usher as well as serving on various committees. Dave served on the advisory board of Marshall County Youth and Shelter Services serving one term as president of the board. Dave was chosen to serve on the advisory board for the Iowa College Planning Center. He was also chosen to serve two years on the counselor advisory board for the University of Iowa Admissions Department. Dave also served a number of years as the chairman of the Iowa PTA Scholarship program developing the application and chairing the selection committee. In his spare time Dave enjoyed the outdoors. He helped his brother and cousins in their farming operations and was known for taking personal days from his job at school to go to the farm and help with harvest or planting. In later years when he no longer was able to help as much, he drove his pick-up around to watch the activity. During retirement Dave and Donna enjoyed spending the winter months in south Texas.
Dave is survived by his wife Donna of LeGrand, one daughter, Bethany Charlsen and her husband, Matt of Minneapolis, his mother Irene Packer of Marshalltown, one sister Ellen Smith and her husband, Dave of Geneseo, IL; brother-in-law Dan Collins and his friend Anne Doyle of Iowa City; three brothers: Elwood Packer and his wife Jeri of Marshalltown; Bennett Packer and his wife Lisa from Kearney, NE; Jon Packer and his wife Jill from Omaha, NE; 17 nieces and nephews and 31 great nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father and sister, Mary Collins.