George Raymond Colthurst

George Raymond Colthurst

George Raymond Colthurst


George Raymond Colthurst passed away on Aug. 14, 2022, at Washington County Hospital from complications of congestive heart failure. He was 93 and anticipating a joyous heavenly reunion with his bride and other loved ones who passed before him. Whenever George was asked when his heart problems started, he was quick to say, “The first time I saw my future bride. My heart skipped a beat, and it hasn’t been the same since.”

Celebration of life services will be held 1:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, 2022, at the Ainsworth Community Church with Pastor Jason Collier officiating. Calling hours will begin 1 p.m. Thursday at the Jones & Eden Funeral Home in Washington where the family will be present to receive friends from 5 until 7 p.m. Interment will take place at the Oregon Township Cemetery in Ainsworth, Iowa. Memorials have been established for the Ainsworth Community Church, Ainsworth Opera House, or the Washington County Hospital Foundation. Online condolences may be sent for George’s family through the web at

George Raymond was born on Feb. 22, 1929, in Waterloo, Iowa, to Roger and Lottie Marie (Reaney) Colthurst. He grew up in rural Ainsworth, Iowa, with one sister, Betty Jean. George graduated from Ainsworth High School and went on to Iowa State University where he met the love of his life, Margaret Ellen Wilson. George often quipped that he went to college “not to get an education, but to find my bride. I knew I wanted to farm.” George loved to tell their love story of meeting and marrying and building a life together; his recounts were always filled with tenderness and humor. George lived their love story in his devotion to his faith, wife, and family. George and Margaret were married on Sept. 4, 1949, in Mason City, Iowa. They were married for 70 years, when Margaret passed in 2019. George and Margaret were the parents of five children, Jorjean Marie, twins Joyce and Janet, Ralph Andrew and Thomas Allan.

They raised their family and farmed in Ainsworth. George joined Life Investors in February 1966 as an additional means to support his growing family; “I was trying to keep the wolf from the door and the stork was coming down the chimney.” He enjoyed two successful careers, running his Life Investors business from home while working his farms. He was a member of the Fortunaires Club and President’s Cabinet for many years. In 1993 he was chosen to receive Life Investor’s Community Service Award. George met many lifelong friends in his clients and in other insurance agents and staff. He and Margaret enjoyed many company trips to other countries and destinations in the U.S. All these experiences were fodder for future stories and anecdotes he would share with others. He was always scouting for another client, carried insurance applications with him wherever he went, and loved to tell the story that he packed applications for his first company reward trip in 1967, selling the first-ever Life Investors’ policy in Hawaii.

George was a lifetime farmer interested in conservation of land, water, and clean air. He was owner and operator of a sesquicentennial farm; he especially enjoyed his cow herd in previous years. He was a true steward of the land.

His hobby was work, whether it was on the farm or selling insurance. He enjoyed sharing mealtimes with other people, and meals with George took a while; not just because he was a slow eater, but because he had a lot to talk about, and he savored his food, often complimenting the cook and proclaiming, “this is the best I ever ate.”

George was a member of Ainsworth Community Church since 1937; he has served as a soloist, a choir member, an elder, communicants sponsor, and on numerous church committees. George’s community involvement included serving on several boards in previous years: Washington County Beef Producers, the county compensation board, Town View Village board, the Ainsworth School Board, and the mediation board of Highland Community School. He previously served as an Oregon Township trustee, and as a Lions Club International member. He was a 50-year Mason and member of the KAABA Shrine. His recent community involvement included keeping everyone supplied with a new joke.

He is survived by his sons, Ralph Andrew (Jolene) Colthurst of Washington, Iowa, and Thomas Allan (Patricia) Colthurst of Washington, Iowa; grandchildren, Joshua (Dorinda) Colthurst, Lydia (Jeff) Fagen, Alanna (Michael) Hummel, Margo (Kyle) Kass, Ryan (Anita) Foor and Megan (Jesse) Burns; and precious great-grandchildren.

George was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Margaret; stillborn twin daughters, Janet and Joyce; daughter, Jorjean Mark; son-in-law, Leslie Mark, grandchildren, Jeff Mark and Julie Mark, and his sister, Betty Caldwell.

George will be remembered for his generosity, whether it was sharing his strong singing voice in earlier years, compliments sincerely and freely given, a big tip to a favorite waitress, a special gift to a friend, sharing a watermelon or corn he picked up at Stout’s Market, helping someone in need, or holding a door. He loved to tell stories, anecdotes and jokes. And he will be remembered for his faith; always giving credit to “the good Lord” for helping him through the hard times and providing the good times.

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