Donald R. Venzke
- August 17, 2022
Donald R. Venzke
Donald R. Venzke, 83, passed away on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, at the Oldorf Hospice House, surrounded by his wife and daughters. A visitation will be held at Murdoch-Linwood Funeral Home in Cedar Rapids from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 19, 2022, with a vigil starting at 4 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be held at Immaculate Conception Church at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022, with burial at St. John’s Cemetery. Luncheon will follow at Immaculate Conception’s Scotus Hall.
Don was born in Frytown, Iowa, on Nov. 19, 1938, the son of Albert and Irene (Greazel) Venzke. In 1945, his family moved to Iowa City. Don graduated from City High in 1957 and studied engineering at the University of Iowa.
Don worked as an engineering designer and was awarded multiple patents for his circuit breaker designs. He enjoyed spending time outside, running, skiing, skating, boating, camping and swimming. But the activity that he loved most was cycling. Don rode his bicycle to Square D every day, where he worked from 1969 until he retired in 2004. He competed in tour racing and time trial-racing in the Senior Games at the state and national level. He was an enthusiastic racer and a medal winner. He custom built bikes for over 30 years.
The love of Don’s life was Lois (Woods), his wife of 56 years. In 1963, close friends arranged a blind date for the two. They enjoyed going to car races, camping, playing cards, and having dinners out. On Oct 2, 1965, they were married at St. Patrick’s Church in Ryan, Iowa. Don and Lois raised three girls in an active household. They gardened together, took the kids on cross-country camping trips, and lived a healthy life, full of exercise and being outdoors. They also loved researching genealogy of their families. They loved being together.
He is survived by his wife, Lois (Woods) Venzke; his sister, Alyce Toloui; three daughters, Laura (Rance) Hilton, Theresa (James Kitia) Venzke and Kathy (Erik Kondo) Venzke; seven grandchildren, Levi Hilton, Lucas (Vanessa) Hilton, Aza Venzke-Kitia, Benson Venzke-Kitia, Jake Venzke-Kondo, Helena Venzke-Kondo and Weston Venzke-Kondo; and two great-grandchildren. Don also leaves many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Don was treated by University of Iowa Hospital after a liposarcoma diagnosis in 2013.
We are thankful that he had nine more years of a full and active life. We express deep gratitude to the staff and volunteers at the Oldorf Hospice House for their compassionate care. Chaplain Bill lovingly held and guided our family. We thank Renee and Brook from Unity Point Palliative Care for investing in Don’s care at end of life. We also would like to thank the oncology doctors at the University of Iowa.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Frank P. and Marie M. Woods Family Fund in care of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.
Please share a memory of Don at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.