Daren D. Mathias, a loving husband, father, brother, and friend, passed away peacefully at his home in Richland, Iowa, on January 10, 2024, at the age of 61. Born in Fairfield, Iowa, on February 23, 1962, to Mearl and Helen (Daughtery) Mathias, Daren spent his youth on a farm east of Richland, where he learned the values of hard work and dedication by milking cows, raising feeder pigs and beef cattle and baling hay.
A Pekin High School graduate of the class of 1981, Daren honed his skills as a self-employed carpenter, becoming known for his incredible craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail. His work was not just a job but a reflection of his selfless nature, always ensuring that every piece was perfect for those who would enjoy it. Daren’s entire life was rooted in the community of Richland, where he built his life, his home, and his legacy.
On January 26, 2006, Daren married the love of his life, Peggy Sue Conger. Together, they shared a zest for adventure, often seen cruising on Daren’s Harley Davidson motorcycle or exploring new destinations on cruises with their friends. Daren’s passion for life extended to his love of sports, from cheering on the Pekin Panthers and the Iowa Hawkeyes to supporting the Kansas City Chiefs and women’s Hawkeye basketball team. He also cherished the times spent in his mancave, a space he proudly built and where he hosted gatherings for family and friends during birthdays, holidays, and game days.
Daren was an active member of ABATE District 14 in Keokuk County. His presence in the community was as strong and dependable as the structures he built, and his absence will be deeply felt by all who knew him.
He leaves behind his devoted wife, Peggy, who will forever cherish the memories of their life together. Daren was a proud father to his children, Brandi of Richland, Trenton of Minnesota from a previous marriage and Tyson Wheeler (Melissa) of Altoona and Brittney Stout (Daniel) of Oskaloosa. He will also be lovingly remembered by his sisters, Marlene Mathias (Jeffrey Moore) and Cynthia Sylvester (Phillip), his brothers, Phillip Mathias (Marcia) and Roger Mathias, and his sister-in-law, Connie Mathias of Texas. His spirit will continue to live on through his eight grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews, who will miss his guidance and affection.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Mearl and Helen Mathias, his brothers Marland, Dennis, and Dwight Mathias, and his in-laws, Richard and Margaret Conger. In their memories and in the hearts of those he loved, Daren’s legacy of love, craftsmanship, and selflessness will endure.
A memorial service to celebrate Daren’s life will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, January 13, 2024, at Cranston Family Funeral Home in Fairfield, with Pastors Jerry Hoover and Steven Pfeifer officiating. Friends and family are invited to pay their respects during the visitation period from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM, an hour prior to the service. The burial of cremains will take place at a later date at the Richland Friends Cemetery. Gifts to a memorial to be designated by the family in Daren’s honor may be left at the funeral home or mailed to the family at 604 North Oak Street, Richland, IA 52585. Online condolences for the Mathias family may be left online at www.cranstonfamilyfuneralhome.com, where memories and tributes to Daren’s life can be shared. As we bid farewell to Daren, we celebrate the life of a man who was a pillar of strength, kindness, and joy to all who had the pleasure of knowing him.