James F. “Jim” Gaukel, 83, of Mapleton, passed away on Saturday, June 1, 2019, at his residence of Mapleton.
Visitation: 4-7 p.m., Thursday, June 6, with a Vigil Service at 7 p.m., St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Mapleton.
Funeral Mass: 11 a.m., Friday, June 7, St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Mapleton.
Officiating: Father Richard D. Ball.
Committal Service: St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, Mapleton.
Jim was born in Sioux City as the second child of Dr. Leo and Frances Gaukel. He grew up in Onawa with his four siblings, Leo Thomas, Dennis, Phillip, and Ann. He was a lifelong resident of Monona County.
Jim graduated from Onawa High School in 1954. He went to college at St. Thomas College in St. Paul, Minn., and graduated in 1958. He was accepted into medical school and attend one year at St. Louis University before transferring to the University of South Dakota Law School, graduating in 1962.
Jim married Mary Helen Rawlings of Sioux City on Sept. 2, 1961. Jim and Mary were blessed with three children, Lisa, Bill, and Scott.
Jim was admitted to the practice of law in Iowa on Oct. 5, 1962, and entered a law practice on Oct. 8, 1962, with John Beardsley of Onawa. He opened a part-time satellite office in Mapleton in 1962, which became his full-time solo practice in 1965 and grew into Gaukel, Nevins and Westergaard.
Jim strongly believed in giving back. He served as the Monona County Attorney (1965-1970) and 35 years as Mapleton City Attorney (1965-2000). He was a member of the Mapleton Electric Board (1984-present) and was one of the founders of Mapleton Progress – “Maple Heights” and an active board member for 50 years.
Growing up, Jim was very active in sports. He played varsity baseball at St. Thomas. He helped organize and coach the Onawa youth baseball league and managed the Red Sox town team. Jim cherished the relationships he built playing ball throughout Western Iowa and Northeast Nebraska with his “Raintree County” crew.
In his spare time, Jim spent as much time as possible playing golf at his beloved Willow Vale Golf Club. He enjoyed woodworking and spent countless hours in his wood shop. He also enjoyed reading and spending time with his family.
Of all the things he valued, his eight grandchildren and great-granddaughter topped the list. Jim was also very proud that he and his father, Dr. Leo Gaukel, enjoyed the privilege of delivering professional services to residents of Monona County for more than 105 combined years.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Mary Gaukel of Mapleton; children, Lisa Kingsbury of Omaha, Neb., Bill (Michelle) Gaukel of Sergeant Bluff, and Scott (Darcy) Gaukel of Kansas City, Mo.; eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild; brothers, Dennis (Carolyn) Gaukel of West Des Moines and Phil (Kathy) Gaukel of Onawa; sister, Ann (Steve) Czonstka of Niceville, Fla.; extended family; and friends.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Leo and Frances Gaukel; brother, Leo Thomas Gaukel; and grandson, Leo Maurice Gaukel.
Jim and family sincerely appreciate the outstanding care he received from Burgess Home Healthcare. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages those wanting to give to make a donation to Burgess Home Healthcare in Onawa.
The Armstrong - Van Houten Funeral Home of Mapleton, Iowa is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be sent online at www.armstrongfuneral.com.