Harry Monroe


Harry Melvin Monroe, 95, of Ottumwa, passed away peacefully at 12:34 a.m. December 16, 2023.

He was born December 4, 1928 in La Porte, IN to Melvin Eugene and Doris Harriet O’Dell Monroe. Harry married Maxine Ivins on September 23, 1950 and they had 8 children together. He married Mary Sue Machin-Carson on December 28, 1976 at the Little Brown Church in Nashua and she preceded him in death on July 20, 2020.

Harry was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving from 1951-53. On January 1, 1956 he began working for Johnson Funeral Chapel as a funeral director, working for over 35 years. In his retirement, he continued to work as a funeral director for other local funeral homes.

Harry was a member of St. Mary of the Visitation and attended the First Christian Church and Davis Street Christian Church. He was a member of Y’s Men’s Club, Spoke Folk Bicycle Club, Christian Men’s Fellowship, Iowa Funeral Directors Association and St. Mary’s Ministry of Care and Questers. Harry was a Scout leader for many years and volunteered for the Salvation Army.

He enjoyed sailing, canoeing, hiking, bicycling, traveling, fishing and music. He especially enjoyed spending time with their pets and eating ice cream and pie.

Surviving are 4 sons, Reginald Monroe of St. Paul, MN, David (Denise) Monroe of Belfair, WA, Patrick (Luci) Monroe of Ft. Madison, Andrew (Carlos) of New York, NY; 4 daughters, Virginia Monroe of Ames, Jennifer (Chuck) Smith of Billings, MT, Emily (Russ) Blauvelt of Longview, WA and Clare Griffis (Nicholas) of Richfield, WA; 2 step-children, Missy (Ray) Carson-Roark of Ottumwa and Phil (Dawn) Carson of Ft. Meyers, FL; 9 grandchildren, Kristi, Wendy, Mackenzie, Madison, Jessica, Andrew, Cory, Nash and Naomi; 13 great-grandchildren; a great-great-grandson; 3 step-grandchildren, Philip, Joseph and Olivia.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a grandson, Darry; a step-grandson, Joshua P. Carson; a daughter-in-law, Linda Druck; and a son-in-law, Tim Blauvelt.

Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Saturday, January 6th at Reece Funeral Home. Burial will be in Ottumwa Cemetery with military honors conducted by Walter B. Schafer Post #775 Veterans of Foreign Wars and O.B. Nelson Post #3 American Legion.

Visitation will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, January 5th at Reece Funeral Home. The family will be present to greet friends from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. prior to the service on Saturday.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Heartland Humane Society.

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