Delbert Earl Harford Sr.

Delbert Earl Harford Sr.

Delbert Earl Harford Sr.

Cedar Rapids

Delbert Earl Harford Sr., of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, peacefully passed away at the Dennis & Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy in Hiawatha, Iowa, on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, after a short illness. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Murdoch-Linwood Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cedar Rapids, assisted the family.

Delbert was born May 14, 1944, in Cedar Rapids, the son of John and Donna (Phillips) Harford. On Aug. 13, 1966, he was united in marriage to LaDonna Jean Bowman. Affectionately known as “Delb” to his family and friends, he was a quiet observer for most of his life. He’d often respond with a shrug, soft grunt or his trademark “whatever,” especially when perplexed by our decision making or indifferent about whatever plans we had concocted. Never known for being a great conversationalist, but rather a man who could sit silently for hours watching his wrestling matches, old westerns or his favorite sports teams, the Cubs, Bears and Hawkeyes. One of the best sports moments of his life was watching his Cubbies finally win the 2016 World Series and the only thing missing was our mom by his side. Our dad was so proud of the family vacations that he and our mom would take us on throughout our childhood and he loved traveling by car because nothing was better that being tucked in a station wagon with your wife and three kids taking in the beauty of the national parks. He wasn’t known for being affectionate or verbal with his love for us, but he was our anchor. There whenever we would need anything and always willing to lend a hand, but never asking for anything in return. Gambling was one of his favorite past times and he was an excellent bowler, often referred to as a “power lefty.” He loved his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and has been so proud of all of them. Always eager to know what they are up to, but often wringing his hand with worry when he knew one of them was traveling or going through a rough patch.

Dad worked for over 34 years at National Oats/Ralston Foods, until his retirement in 2006. After retirement, he also spent time working alongside his son-in-law, Brent from 2012-2018. Those years are what helped keep him healthy and gave him purpose after losing our mom. He had a love of family that was unspoken, but unconditional and along with our mom, provided a “home base” where we all knew that we could return to without question.

Our mom, the love of this life, passed away in 2015, and she was literally his will to live. He was known for saying that “without her, his time was done” or that “he had lived his life”, yet he gracefully navigated his final chapter without her for the past 7 1/2 years. We hope he knew how proud we all were of him for that, because she truly was everything to him. Each day that he lived without her, has been a gift to us.

Survivors include his children, Del Harford Jr., Chad (Page) Harford and Julie (Brent) Thompson, all of Cedar Rapids; siblings, Charlie McNitt of Cedar Rapids, Terry Harford of Marion, Iowa, and Carol (Butch) Longerbeam of Marion; brother-in-law, Dale Bowman; grandchildren, JaLisa, Zack, Sam, Kyle, Lindsay, Daryn, Meghan, Chase and Drake; and great-grandchildren, Kinley, Kiera, Sophie, Cooper, Kolten, Kellen, Beau and Stella.

Delbert was preceded in death by his beloved wife, LaDonna; parents, John and Donna; in-laws, Tom and Effie Mae Bowman; siblings, Johnny Harford and Donna Mae Swenson; and brothers and sisters-in-law, Leland Swenson, Bill McNitt and Diana Harford.

We would like to extend a special thanks to Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids for their excellent care over the past 4 1/2 years and to the staff at the Hospice House who took such amazing care of him over his final day and provided him with comfort, peace, and dignity.

Please share a memory of Delbert at under obituaries.

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