Members of the Month
Sharon was raised on a farm 8 miles south of Anita, and was baptized at the Church of Christ in Anita. She then attended country school thru the 3rd grade. She was the 8th child in a family of 6 boys and 4 girls. Her mother came from an even larger family of 12. She was a housewife until the last child was born, and then became a nurse aide at the Anita Nursing Home. She also cleaned houses and took in laundry. Sharon’s father farmed and then worked several jobs after farming. From age 13 she spent every summer in Omaha babysitting for nieces & nephews. While in school she participated in FHA, basketball, was a majorette for the marching band. She was also in Declam, where they acted things out. She was on the Annual and Spy (weekly newspaper) staff.
Her husband, Roger, passed away in March, 2015 from cancer. They met in school, teaming up as biology lab partners. He would get her lab book every day, but never spoke to her, except to say “hi.” The last day of their sophomore year he asked her to go to a movie, and the rest is history. Roger graduated from Atlantic and Sharon from Anita. Prior to their marriage, Sharon’s working career took her to a subcontracting company in Omaha. After seeing an ad for a dental assistant with no experience needed, she applied. The dentist wanted to do his own training so she got the job that day. Meanwhile Roger worked for Omaha Steel as a welder.
They were married in 1968 at First Lutheran, Wiota, and later began attending Zion. That same year Sharon started working for the hospital as a switchboard operator and worked her way up to Accounts Payable Clerk and then to Payroll Supervisor. She retired in 2011. Roger worked for Camblin Plumbing and Heating for 14 years and then started at the hospital in 1982, where he worked for 33 years until his passing in 2015, about the time he had planned to retire. He was head of maintenance for 26 years.
They have 2 children. Daughter, Angie, along with her husband John Kay, farm north of town. They have 2 sons and a daughter. Their son Matt is the Network Administrator for Audubon-Manning Veterinarian Clinic in Audubon. He has one daughter from his first marriage. He and his significant other for 15 years, Jayme Farver, live on an acreage in Wiota. Jayme has two sons.
Sharon’s favorite pastime is spending time with family. She enjoys trying new recipes, rummaging thru antique stores and going on garden walks. She also enjoys reading. She has done some traveling with her family and hopes to do some more. Sharon volunteers at the Food Pantry and, at Zion, attends the Sunday afternoon Bible Class and belongs to the Joy circle. We wish her and her family God’s blessing in her retirement years.
NATHAN AND AMANDA BERG FAMILY
Nathan was born in Atlantic and raised in Anita, where he graduated in 1998, and where he played football, basketball, golf, and participated in speech. He is the son of Joel Berg and Denise Schlater. He has 3 brothers, 2 of which are older. After attending Iowa State for a year, he returned to Atlantic, working at the Coke Plant. He then got into the electricity field, and had over 12 years of experience before striking out on his own. Berg Electric has been in business for 5 years, and he now has 4 employees. They provide all electrical services, including residential, commercial and agricultural. Amanda also works there as the office manager and accountant. Amanda was born in Junction City, Kansas. Her father was in the military and they traveled a lot. Her parents, Allan & Christy Yoshida, live in Exira, where the family eventually settled. Amanda graduated from Atlantic in 1998, she was involved in track and volleyball. She took some accounting classes at Iowa Western and has worked at various jobs until the children came along. She then went to work for her husband. Amanda, a lifelong Lutheran, has also been our church treasurer for the past 5 years. She served 4 years on the Preschool Board prior to becoming the treasurer.
Nathan and Amanda met at a New Year’s Eve party in Wiota and later at a super bowl party in Atlantic. Nathan served 15 years with the Army National Guard and has been deployed overseas 3 times, twice in Afghanistan and once in Kuwait. When he returned from his first deployment he proposed and they were married at a wedding chapel in Las Vegas on September 17, 2001. This was right after 9-11 and the airlines were shut down for a while, and they were rethinking travel plans. Thankfully the flights opened up the day before their scheduled departure. A week later they had a reception at the Anita Community Center. Their family includes Zane, who is in 8th grade and is active in Archery, cross-country, track and band, where he plays the trumpet. Belle, who is in 6th grade and is involved in everything, including band, dance, basketball, volleyball, softball, and choir. Belle also enjoys being a Girl Scout along with Amanda, who has been a Girl Scout leader for the last 3 years.
Nathan has been working with the Atlantic School system to help start a trade program for Junior and Senior High School students, here in Atlantic. He loves to play golf and does so at every opportunity. Amanda likes to read, cook (especially Italian foods), garden, and sew. She also enjoys running and has down a couple of half marathons. They also like to travel and just returned from a family vacation in Belize in Central America, where they did some parasailing. Someday Amanda would like to go to Ireland. They currently live on Lomas Circle, but would like to eventually live on an acreage in the country. We wish them God’s blessings!
STEVE AND DEB BARBER
Steve, the new School Superintendent, and his wife Deb moved to Atlantic last July. Deb is the youngest of 12 children, growing up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her father worked for Honeywell, and her mom managed a Dry Cleaners. She did some broadcasting work in High School. Deb graduated from Wayne State with a Degree in Human Services. Following their marriage Deb worked in several jobs in this field: State tracker, Community Service Director, Administrator at Buena Vista University. Also, including work with special needs children. Deb now works for Hockenberry Funeral Homes, doing pre-need counseling. Steve was born in Worthington and has 1 sister and 2 brothers. His father was a furniture salesman for 40 years. In High School he participated in Baseball and FFA. Following graduation he attended Bemidji State, majoring in secondary education. He taught 7-12 grade science at Grand Junction. While there he coached track and cross country, while also attending Iowa State, where he earned his Master’s Degree in 1998. He then served as Principal at East Union Middle School and then at Spencer for 9 years. His first Superintendent’s job was at George-Little Rock for 4 years, prior to coming to Atlantic.
Although they knew each other in High School, they never dated, and got together later in Worthington. Their first date took them to the movie “Diehard.” They were married August 17, 1991, at St. Matthews Lutheran in Worthington. Following the ceremony, the limo driver did not show up, so they had to hitch a ride to the reception. Their honeymoon took them to the Minnesota Zoo. They had a delayed honeymoon on their 25th anniversary in Hawaii.
The Barbers have 2 girls. Emma, 23, is a graduate of Iowa State and now works at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., as a Lab Technologist. Madelyn, 21, is a senior at the University of Iowa, studying psychology and international Studies/Arabic. Steve has belonged to the LCMS his entire life. Deb grew up in the Catholic Church, joining the LCMS when they were married. Steve has been an Elder. Deb taught Sunday School and at Zion belongs to the LWML Joy Circle. Steve is a member of the Rotary Club. They attend a Dinner Club once a month. Hobby-wise, Steve enjoys gardening and fishing/hunting. He also enjoys baseball and has umpired for 20 years. Deb really likes to travel and they have been on several trips, including Disneyland, Europe and Cancun. Deb would like to do more long distance traveling, whereas Steve is more of a homebody. They also enjoy their dog, Pax, a Sheltie. We are happy to have them among us and wish them God’s blessings as they enjoy their years in Atlantic
JANET E. KING
Janet was born near Adair on September 11, 1937, to Harold & Edna Wesack. They had 2 farms both close to St. John’s Lutheran. She had an older brother Harold, Jr., who lives in Chicago. She was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s with 12 boys in her confirmation class. She attended country school through the 6th grade, walking 2 miles most days. Janet was in 4-H, where she was county secretary, and did a lot of sewing for the county fairs. When her brother went to the service, Janet helped with the field work and chores, including a few hogs, cattle and lots of chickens. While attending Adair High School, she started piano lessons. She also started a group of 12 girls twirling batons for the High School Band. While in school she played the clarinet and in her senior year was drum majorette. She also played 6 player basketball.
Following graduation Janet moved to Atlantic, working as a secretary & bookkeeper for the E. C. Henningsen Construction Company. She later met Ron King, and after he served 6 months in the National Guard, they were married at St. John’s, Adair. Making their home in Atlantic, they joined Zion Lutheran. Their marriage brought forth 3 children: Michael who lives in Phoenix, Az. He is married with one boy; Rhonda of Exira, married to a farmer and has 2 boys and a girl; and Karen of Adel, who has a boy and a girl. All 3 children were baptized at Zion and 2 were married here. Janet was active in the lives of her children, especially with their participation in Girl Scouts. Janet was a scout leader, Atlantic Girl Scout Chairman, and Nishnabotna Girl Scout Council Member, receiving their Juliet Lowe Award for 20 years of service.
Following Rhonda’s birth, Janet came to work as Secretary at Zion for 13 years. She also worked at the ASC office, King Pin Co, King Sporting Goods and Frederick Video Store. She then became manager of the Atlantic theater for 21 years. Following retirement from the theater, she was hired as part time Secretary for Zion, where she is still employed. Her volunteer activities at Zion have included Sunday School, Weekday, VBS, LWML, Action with Young Adults, Endowment Committee, Governing Board, Outreach Committee, Golden Years, Counting Committee, and Bells. Additional volunteer work has included YMCA Board member, where she helped start the girl’s basketball program, United Way, Cass Co. Hospital Auxiliary, and Atlantic Promotion Committee. Over the years Janet’s family has enjoyed camping, boating and fishing. They used to spend every year at Lake Okoboji. Janet’s cat, Boji, completes her household. We wish her God’s continued blessings in the years ahead.
Joe and Wendy Finnell
Joe was born in Creston, Iowa. The family soon moved to Lewis, where his dad was employed as a farm hand and also worked building silos for Harvester. His mother was the Atlantic City Clerk for a number of years. He has 2 brothers and one sister who is deceased and also 6 step –siblings. When he was 6, the family moved to Atlantic, where they first lived in town and then moved to the historic 8-cornered house east of town. Joe participated in Future Farmers of America, raising and showing steers at the fair. Joe graduated in 1976, having participated in football, track and concert band, playing the clarinet. At age16, Joe began working in the grocery industry. He worked for Safeway and the subsequent grocery stores that occupied what is now the Iowa Western college building. He was Produce Manager for over 15 years. From 1995 to 2000, Joe worked for Anderson Erickson Dairy as a relief driver. In 2000 he went back to the grocery industry, working for Hy-Vee in Harlan, IA, and later transferring to Council Bluffs, where he is still employed in the meat department. He gets up at 4 am and works from 6am-2pm. Due to his many hours on the road getting to and from work the past 17 years, he has hit numerous deer and totaled several vehicles!
Wendy was born in Denison, Iowa and lived in Manilla, where her father farmed. She has 2 younger brothers who own a construction company together. When she was 2, they moved to Council Bluffs. Two years later they moved to an acreage west of Oakland, IA, where her dad first farmed, then worked as an insurance adjuster, and later as a supervisor to the adjusters. Her mother managed the family and the upkeep on the acreage as well as cleaning other people’s homes. Wendy graduated from Oakland in 1976, the Salutatorian in a class of 33. She participated in golf, National Honor Society, Future Nurses of America, section editor of the Yearbook, and concert, marching and pep band, playing the clarinet. She immediately went to Iowa Western, earning a degree as a Registered Nurse. Her entire working life has been at Cass County Memorial Hospital, including 24 years on the Behavioral Health Unit. She retired in 2012.
During their high school years, there were dances on Saturday night in the old 4H building in Atlantic. Wendy and some of her girlfriends came from Oakland to the dances and this is where she and Joe met. She was impressed by his politeness, shyness and his red 1955 Chevy. They finally dated separate from the group and after 3 years were married on August 18, 1978, at St. Paul’s in Oakland. They honeymooned in Daytona Beach, Florida. Their children include Jennifer, who works for Nationwide Insurance as a processing analyst for the Commercial line and is married to David, who is owner/operator of T & T trucking. They live in Norwalk, IA, with their 2 year old, Lydia. Their second daughter, Melissa, is a Certified Pharmacy Technician, who is now a stay-at-home mom caring for their 2 sons, Connor and Liam. She is married to Nathan, a deputy sheriff in Polk County. They live in Grimes, IA.
Wendy has been a LCMS member all her life. Joe joined the church when they were married. At Zion, Wendy is Communication Director for the “By Grace-Access for All” handicap accessibility project. She also manages Zion’s website. Since 2001 she has been on the Outreach Committee and designs, prints, and sends out the cards to visitors. Together they take part in the Greeters program. Joe ushers and is now on the Endowment Committee. Wendy belongs to the Retired Nurses Group and is a backup baby sitter for the grandchildren (whenever possible!). They have done some traveling, including cruises to the Caribbean and Hawaiian Islands. In her spare time Wendy likes to garden and read. She helps take care of her mom, who is battling leukemia. Joe likes to fish and play tennis. His avocation is riding his Honda Goldwing motorcycle. Back in 1977, he had a serious accident on the cycle in front of Roland Funeral Home. His family was advised he had been in a serious accident and was at Roland’s! Thankfully, he was still alive! Both Joe and Wendy are avid Iowa Hawkeye fans. Joe hopes to retire in 8 more years. They both hope to stay healthy and active, and continue to be involved at Zion. Their dachshund, Cinnamon, a rescue dog, completes their family.
We wish them God’s blessings into their future.
KEITH AND DIANE LAUER
Diane was born on a farm in rural Massena. Her parents farmed and she was their only child. She attended school in Anita, where she played basketball, graduating in 1968. She then attended Iowa Western Community College, training as a Medical Assistant. She then worked in the Des Moines area, as a receptionist for a Doctor, as a Veterinarian’s Assistant, and as a small animal technician, prior to their marriage. Keith was born in Ft. Dodge, the youngest of 3 brothers. His parents also farmed. He graduated from Gowrie High School in 1964 where he played football. Prior to their marriage, Keith worked as a general laborer and heavy equipment operator in Ft. Dodge. He is a certified welder. In 1974, David Anderson, Charlotte Bancroft’s brother, who is a cousin of Diane’s, asked Keith if he would like to go on a blind date. He agreed and their first date was to Diane’s home in Des Moines, where she made dinner for him. After dating for a year, they were married on December 6, 1975 ,at Holy Cross in Anita. Their honeymoon took them to Oklahoma City, where they attended the rodeo national finals.
They then settled in Ft. Dodge, living there from 1975 – 1982. Diane worked as a Medical Assistant and Receptionist at the Medical Center. Keith continued his work as a laborer, working for Bush Hog in Fort Dodge. He was also a van driver for the County Care facility. When Bush Hog closed they moved to Anita where they farmed with Diane’s parents for 6 years. In 1988 they moved to Creston, where Diane attended Southwestern Community College, where she earned her Associate Degree in Nursing. During her college years, she did private duty nursing in Creston. While in college she was a member of the Student Senate and was on the President’s list. She then went to work as an RN at Cass County Memorial Hospital. She worked in several positions at the Hospital over the years, including Acute Care, Home Care Hospice, and the Behavioral Health Unit, from which she retired in 2015. During this time Keith worked at the Creston Sale Barn and did general farm work. From 1997 – 2012 he worked at the Atlantic Cemetery, retiring in 2012
Keith and Diane moved to Atlantic in 1989. In 2006 they built the home in which they now live at 1612 Aspen Drive. Diane is a lifelong Lutheran and Keith joined the church when they were married. He helps with the ushering. They also enjoy donating altar flowers several times a year. In retirement they spend time working in the yard and reading. They also spend time at the family farm in Anita, and are members of the YMCA. They are rodeo fans, and attend a lot of rodeos, Keith having been a calf roper. They also like to go dancing, listen to country western music, attend sales, and go out to eat. Diane enjoys crocheting, and attending retired nurses’ get togethers. We wish them God’s blessings into their future.