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William Dean Hohlfeld, 89, passed away January 5, 2020, in Des Moines, IA. Visitation was held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, January 12, 2020 at Iles Westover Chapel. Funeral services was held at 11 a.m. Monday, January 13, 2020 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Des Moines, IA. Cremation will follow the service and interment will be held at a later date at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Mount Ayr, IA.
William was born August 22, 1930 in Milligan, NE, to parents Gustav and Anna Hohlfeld. He graduated from Hastings High School and received his bachelor’s degree from Hastings College in Hastings, NE. He met Norma Lee Talley at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse in Bemidji, MN and they were united in marriage on December 27, 1955 in Minneapolis. Bill taught in several places before they settled in Mount Ayr, IA in 1962. Of his 45 years as a teacher, he worked 34 years at Mount Ayr Community High School as a teacher of drama, speech and English. He retired in 1996 and moved to Des Moines in 1998 where he worked at Home Depot in the electrical department for 14 years.
William was coauthor of a course of study called “Media Now,” which was used in 15 states and two foreign countries. He served on the advisory board of Southwestern Community College in Creston, IA, for several years. He and Norma founded and led the Moonlighters Community Theater Group in Mount Ayr. He enjoyed building model railroads in both HO and N scales. He also studied the Civil War and built dioramas of battle scenes.
William is survived by his children, Paul (Marchell) Hohlfeld, Talley Sue Hohlfeld (William Terdoslavich), Lee (Marilyn) Hohlfeld, and Anne-Marie (Don) Bryan; grandchildren, Grace and Grant, Brenton and Amanda, and Caitlin, Tarah and Jacob; great-grandchildren, Aidan, Laury and Carter; and his sister, Elizabeth “Betty” Hohlfeld. Also included are Frank Raue and Johannes Lauerbach, Bill and Norma’s foreign exchange students. They and their families are considered part of our family. He was preceded in death by his wife, Norma Lee Hohlfeld, and his parents.
Memorial contributions may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church. Online condolences are welcome at

1 Comment

  1. Robert Burrell on January 22, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    In 1965, William Dean Hohfield, Mr. Hohfield to the students in the Mount Ayr High School class of 1965, played a pivital role in my young life. In 1965 I was invited to serve as a Senate Page in the 61st Iowa General Assembly. When the invitation was received, it was determined that I needed to complete two classes in order to graduate in the spring. One of the classes was an English course. In 1965 there was no such thing as “on line” courses. Distance learning was not a term anyone was familiar with. Thanks to Mr. Hohfeld’s personal generosity of time and encouragement, I was able to live in Des Moines the second semester and complete a study course personally crafted by Mr. Hohfeld. Each Friday, I would return to Mount Ayr after the legislative work week was complete. I would turn in my course work to Mr. Hohfeld and he would review and offer his evaluation. I still remember writing a paper about Robert Burns, a Scottish poet. The bottom line is that serving in the Iowa Legislature was a life changing event. It would not have happened without the encouragement and support of Mr. Hohfield. Thank you, William D Hohfield. Rest in peace!

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