Earl Edward Iben
- February 22, 2023
Earl Edward Iben
Earl Edward Iben passed away quietly at home on Monday, Feb. 20, 2023.
Earl was born in Ryan, Iowa, in 1931, to Fred and Margaret (Vifian) Iben. After high school, Earl enlisted in the U.S. Army on Nov. 20, 1951, and served as Private First Class during the Korean War where he received a United Nations Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, National Defenses Service Medal, and ROK Presidential Unit Citation. Upon his return to Cedar Rapids in 1953, Earl began working at Cherry Burrell Co. where he met his future wife, Irene D. Vagts of Eldorado, Iowa. Shortly thereafter, he began work for Iowa National Mutual Insurance Co., married Irene in February 1959, and relocated to Greensboro, N.C., where his two sons, Leland (1962) and Jeffrey (1964), were born. Upon returning to Cedar Rapids, they had their third child, Sarah (1969).
Over the next couple of decades, Earl continued his work as a Safety Inspector and relocated his family to Omaha, Neb., Raytown, Mo., and finally settling back in Cedar Rapids as work demanded.
Eventually, Earl and Irene went their separate ways. As a result, Earl met Nancy Heaverlo and fell head over heels. Earl and Nancy spent the next 30 years together, attending family gatherings, grandchildren’s sporting events, and, after his retirement from United Fire and Casualty, began wintering for 16 years in sunny Arizona. Earl and Nancy enjoyed golfing and watching Hawkeye sports as often as they could. The day before he passed, Earl commented how blessed he was to have Nancy by his side for so many years.
Earl is survived by his three children, Lee (Polly) Iben of Riverside, Iowa, Jeff (Lori) Iben of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Sarah (Josh) Iben of Pasadena, Calif. He also is survived by his grandchildren, Lauren (Tom) Cahill, Colin (Alexa) Iben, Christian Iben, Xavian Iben, Brandon (Kaleigh) Iben, Jenna Iben, Harper Miller and Hudson Miller; five great-grandchildren; and his sister, Ruth Beckley.
Earl is also survived by his partner of 30 years, Nancy Heaverlo, and her loving family including her children Karen (Craig) Cavanaugh of Cedar Rapids, Craig Heaverlo of Vinton, Carol (Robyn) of Boone, Chris of Cedar Rapids, and Cherie (Brian) Ridenour of Martelle. He is survived by Nancy’s seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Earl was preceded in death by his two brothers, Harry and Roy.
Upon Earl’s final request, a private burial service for the immediate family is to be held in the near future in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.