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 DURANT — Herchal E. Fitzer, 89, of Durant, passed away Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, at the Wilton (Iowa) Retirement Community.

Herchal was born May 16, 1927, in Cedar County to Hugo and Mary (Lage) Fitzer. He was a 1945 graduate of Durant High School.

Herchal married Bernadine W. Guttenfelder on Oct. 2, 1948, in Davenport, and with her raised a family of four children on their family farm. He later married Donna K. Kraklio Semsch on May 31, 2005, in Las Vegas. They continued to farm until they retired in 2012.

He served on many local boards, including the Wilton Savings Bank, Cedar County Board of Health and the Stockton Farmer's Coop. His leadership was valued because of his fair-mindedness, his even disposition, his keen ability to evaluate situations, and his wit and sense of humor.

He was a lifelong farmer and cattle feeder in Cedar County, who started as a child in an era of horses and horse-drawn implements. Never one to shy away from innovation, at the age of 85 he was still embracing new technology.

The real measure of his life is the lives he touched and his gift for raising things — whether it be crops, cattle or, most importantly, children and grandchildren. He was not a man with hobbies, nor was he a sports fanatic. He was, however, an avid fan of everything his kids and grandkids took part in. He taught them all that when things do not go perfectly in life, it is best to say, "Well, you'll have that."

Visitation will be 2-5 p.m. today with services 10:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 20, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Durant.

Interment will take place at the Durant Cemetery.

Herchal is survived and lovingly remembered by his wife Donna, of Durant; his children, Mike (Patti) Fitzer, of Savannah, Georgia, Murry (Julie) Fitzer, of Wilton, Iowa, Mary (John) Haila, of Ames, Iowa, Melody Fitzer, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Lisa (Ashley) Larion of Wilton, and Jared (Julie) Semsch of Durant; 15 grandchildren; and 22 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

He was a man of the soil, and now is one with the land that he loved.

Memorial contributions may be made to Durant Ambulance or Durant Volunteer firefighters in his memory.

Online condolences and remembrances may be left for the family at www.bentleyfuneralhome.com.

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