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Francis Fye

By Ellis Codjoe, April 02, 2018

Francis L. Fye, 94, of Ottumwa, formerly of Ollie, died at 11:45 a.m. March 30, 2018 at Hospice House in Ottumwa.

He was born January 11, 1924 in Ollie to Delbert A. and Mildred Weber Fye Sr.  He married Ida Mae Haines on September 22, 1946.  They have been married over 71 years.

Francis was a graduate of Ollie High School where he played saxophone in the band.  He was a World War II veteran serving in the U.S. Navy and played in the Naval Band.  He was Seaman First Class with the P.T. boats in the South Pacific and later participated in pilot training at the Ottumwa Naval Air Base.

Francis and Ida Mae moved to a farm north of Ollie where they farmed and raised their family.  Francis worked construction as a heavy equipment operator and was a 50 plus year member of I.U.O.E. Local #234B out of Des Moines.  Part of his work was in Greenland on the first Distant Early Warning System across North America.  While away his wife, Ida Mae took care of the farm, livestock, milking and their four children.

He was a 50 year member of Ollie Baptist Church, Past Master and Past Treasurer Emeritus of Justice Masonic Lodge #230 A.F. & A.M. where he was a member for over 70 years, a member of Ollie Order of Eastern Star #549 where he was Past Worthy Patron several times and Past Grand Representative of the Grand Chapter of Iowa and Davenport Consistory.  He was also member and past president of the Mt. Pleasant Antique Car Club, a member of American Legion Post #504 in Richland and Ottumwa Radio Controlled Flyers for several years.  He also wrote an autobiography.

Surviving is his wife, Ida Mae; his children, John L. Fye, Joel A. Fye (Paula), Francine K. (Ed) Paxton, all of Ottumwa and Vickie L. Garrison of Minneapolis, MN; 3 grandchildren, Dylan (Allison) Garrison, Derek (Amy) Fye, Gage White Buffalo; 4 great-grandchildren, Lincoln and August Garrison, Harper and Halle Fye; a brother, Delbert A. (Carolyn) Fye Jr. of Ollie and a sister, Arloine (Roland) McCreery of Ottumwa; two nephews, D.A. Fye III and Tracey Fye.

He was preceded in death by his parents and infant twin brothers, Delbert and Delmer.

Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Wednesday at Reece Funeral Home with Pastor Frosty VanVorst officiating.  Military services will be conducted.  Cremation will follow the services.  Inurnment will be in Ollie Cemetery at a later date.

Visitation begins at 11 a.m. Tuesday with the family present from 5 to 7 p.m. A Masonic service will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.

Memorials may be made to Ollie Baptist Church, Justice Masonic Lodge #230 A.F. & A.M. or Ollie Order of Eastern Star #549.

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