Skip to content



Joseph James Garrels, 93, of Kahoka, passed away at 7:50 pm on Monday, October 26, 2020 at the Clark County Nursing Home in Kahoka.

He was born on November 10, 1926 in Thayer, Iowa, the only son of the late Herman Joseph and Mildred Walker Garrels. 

In 1935 his family moved to Memphis and later to Revere in 1941. 

Joe graduated from Revere High School in 1943. 

He farmed north of Revere until 1945 when he left to serve in the United States Army. 

After his military service, he returned home to Revere to farm and to raise livestock. 

On February 13, 1949 he was united in marriage to Mary Louise Heinze at the Evangelical & Reformed Church in Kahoka. 

They became parents of three children: Michael, Terri and Tina. Mary preceded Joe in death on June 19, 2012.

Joe was a member of the Revere Community Church and later St. Paul United Church of Christ in Kahoka where he served on the cemetery board. 

Through the years he served on the Revere School board, the County School board, Clark Co. ASCS Committee, Clark Co. Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD), Lewis Co. & Clark Co. Rural Water Districts, and the Northeast MO Regional Library board. 

After he retired from farming, he was employed part-time for a number of years at Southeast Iowa Feeder Pig Inc., IMI Equipment, and Dadants Incorporated. 

Joe liked to keep busy for most of his life and did not seek retirement until he turned 88.

He had many friendships through activities at both the Revere Community Center and Kahoka Senior Housing. 

He enjoyed attending the annual Revere Alumni Banquet. 

He loved his family and enjoyed making trips back to Iowa to visit cousins there. 

He especially enjoyed being “Grandpa Joe” to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

His favorite pastimes were reading, crossword puzzles, watching the St. Louis Cardinals, and collecting International Harvester toy tractors.

He is survived by one son, Michael Garrels (Verna) of Kahoka, MO; two daughters, Terri Brewer (Bill) of Kahoka, MO, and Tina Forsythe (Jim) of Farmington, IA; seven grandchildren, Mykal Wilson (Robert) of Leeton, MO, Logan Garrels (Hannah Oliver) of Ephrata, WA, Mikayla Dotterweich (Jason) of Palmyra, VA, Tabitha Scott (James) of Canton, MO, Kris Brewer (Joanna) of Muscatine, IA, Blake Forsythe (Amy) of West Point, IA, and Cory Forsythe (Ana) of Burlington, NC; five great-grandchildren, Emma Garrels, Coralee Dotterweich, Luke Scott, Brooklyn & Brantley Forsythe, and several much loved nieces, nephews, and other cousins. 

In addition to his parents and his wife,  Joe was preceded in death by one son, Alan Ray Garrels; two sisters, Jean Halferty and her husband, Stuart; Anne Martin and her husband Leo; brother-in-law Howard Heinze and his wife Elizabeth and sister-in-law, Ethel Lillard and her husband, Leroy, and a nephew, Jack Halferty.

Funeral Services honoring the life of Joe were conducted at 10:00 am on Friday, October 30, 2020 at the Wilson & Triplett Funeral Home in Kahoka. 

Pastor Shawn McAfee officiated the service. 

Cremation rites were accorded following the services. 

A visitation was held from 5 until 7 pm on Thursday, October 29, 2020 at the funeral home.

 Inurnment will be held at a later date. 

Memorial contributions in memory of Joe were suggested to the Clark County Nursing Home’s Activity Fund. 

Those attending services were encouraged to practice social distancing and follow coronavirus safety guidelines. 

You are invited to share your memories of Joe and leave a condolence at

Acknowledgment of Military Service

The members of the United States Army, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars hereby acknowledge that Comrade Joseph J. Garrels served our country for one year, eight months, and seven days in the United States Army.

He served as a Utility Repairman (maintenance) with the 176th Signal Repair Company during World War II.  

He was stationed for one year and twenty-eight days in Okinawa, Japan and attained the rank of Technician 5 (E-5).

He was awarded and authorized to wear the following decorations:

Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal

World War II Victory Medal

Army of Occupation Medal-Japan

Overseas Service Bar

World War II Honorable Discharge Lapel Button (“Ruptured Duck”)

The caissons have been muffled and the flag lowered for our comrade, who joined the staff of the supreme commander 26 October 2020.  

At his final post we with him fair skies and smooth pathways.