Eldon R Prybil
- February 4, 2023
Eldon R Prybil
Eldon Ralph Prybil (Dec. 7, 1939 – Jan. 31, 2023) was born in Iowa City the son of Ralph George and Lillian Hotz Prybil. Siblings, brother Bernard (Rowena) and sister Joanne Reis. He graduated from Lone Tree H.S & went to Iowa State for the farmer’s winter quarter. The rest of his education came from day to day caring for the land he farmed, agriculture seminars, altering implements that John Deere hadn’t made just right, & talking to anyone about agriculture, stock market investments, & life in general. He was easily the most conversive person around. We knew he could strike up a conversation with a fence post. He served in the National Guard from 1962-1967. He talked about the Cuban Missile Crisis when they loaded planes to depart from Fort Sam Houston & the thrill & relief of the presidents’ signatures.
He married Linda Joy Nelson in Downers Grove, IL on Nov. 26, 1966. They were blessed with 3 children, Phillip Eldon (Denise Jankowski), Iowa City, Karie Michel (Bill Pettinati) of Austin, TX, & Errin Elise (David Frank), North Liberty.
He loved to grow just about anything & wanted to make sure the whole family learned & understood the process from seed, transplanting, weeding, & harvest. Before it was a buzz word to “plant a tree”, he would take the kids to City Park to collect acorns knowing that mighty oaks would grow. They grew & he shared oaks with Project Green, the University, the Iowa City school district, & anyone who savored the joy of a tree. While cleaning a farm stead an area of discarded walnut slabs were found. These led to great pieces of furniture & interest in logging. Eventually Lumber & Milling of Iowa, LLC was formed & continues to selectively harvest trees today.
He loved to talk about farming & educate anyone who would listen. He exuded pride of his profession at upstate New York seminars, at service club gatherings, to many foreign trade teams, the city folks in California, and preschool classes who rode the combine or petted warm baby pigs.
His mantra was “Nothing is ever accomplished without enthusiasm.” The gentlemen farmers in the southeast corner of Johnson County were a very competitive group. Often winning corn or soybean production contests. In 1979 Eldon grew the most corn per acre in the nation, 229.07bu/acre.
His excitement for life involved supporting University athletics, serving on community action boards, & then the love of tennis. He was the captain organizer on many tennis teams. His love of euchre led to bidding & often making 7-14 bids.
There are 6 grandchildren, Lauren & Brandon Pettinati, Amelia & Lillian Prybil, & Ruby & Clara Frank. He loved involving them in combine rides, picking veggies, freezing peaches, hot tub soaks in winter, and back rubs. Sadly, the diagnosis of frontal temporal degeneration in 2011 ended most of those special times.
Over 25 years his California family & friends at Deep Canyon Tennis Club grew. How fortunate to have yet another family of friends for love & support. A special thank you must be given to Kelly Quigley & her staff at Country View who loved & cared for Eldon for 8 years. His final days were in the arms of hospice at The Bird House.
A gathering is planned for Apr. 16, 2023. Open House 1-4pm. Celebration of life at 3pm. The event will take place at Celebration Farm – Timber Frame 4696 Robin Woods Lane NE, Iowa City, IA 52240
In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to: The Bird House-Hospice Home of Johnson County (www.hospicehomejc.org), Friends of Coralville Lake – memo line “Veteran’s Trail” (http://www.friendsofcoralvillelake.org/veteranstrail), or Iowa City Hospice (https://iowacityhospice.org)