Daniel J. Willenborg





Daniel John Willenborg, 69, of Dyersville, Iowa passed away peacefully and surrounded by his loving family on Thursday, May 11, 2023, at Accura Healthcare in Cascade, Iowa. 


Visitation will be held from 2 - 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, at Kramer Funeral Home in Dyersville. Dyersville Fire Department will attend at 6 pm. Visitation will continue Wednesday from 9 - 10 a.m. at the funeral home prior to the funeral Mass.


A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, at St. Francis Xavier Basilica in Dyersville. Inurnment will be held at a later date in the church cemetery. Rev. Mark Osterhaus will officiate with Rev. Chris Podhajsky concelebrating.


Dan was born on June 16, 1953 in Manchester, Iowa, the son of Anthony and Mildred (Kruse) Willenborg. He attended St. Francis Xavier grade school and Beckman Catholic High School graduating in 1971. On August 25, 1973 Dan married his high school sweetheart, Joyce Klostermann, in New Vienna, Iowa.   


Following graduation he attended Hawkeye Institute of Technology to complete auto mechanic training. As a jack of all trades his entrepreneurial spirit began already in 8th grade by owning and operating his own bike shop. His desire to be a mechanic began while working at Ed’s Standard in which he ended up purchasing and operating for several years. He then attended auctioneering school and worked as a realtor for a brief time. He worked for the St. Francis Xavier Parish for two years as a maintenance man and in that short time made many memories and friendships. He then worked for Dyersville Propane Gas and Spring Green Lawn Care.  During this time he also began a new venture of engraving monuments part time. Following his time at Dyersville Propane he started the Fix-It Man business while also continuing to engrave monuments. Eventually he focused solely on engraving monuments after the purchase of Tri-State Cemetery Lettering until his retirement. Another accomplishment was the purchase and renovation of the former Warning Hall.  The renovation resulted in a ten unit apartment building now known as Bell Tower Apartments.


Dan was very involved in his community.  He was always willing to lend a helping hand. His service included being a volunteer firefighter, serving on the Xavier finance and administration board and the Dyersville Commercial Club board.  With his auctioneering skills he donated many hours at a variety of charity events including the Beckman Gala.  Always prideful of his community he served on the Dyersville City Council for 12 years and was the mayor for 2 years.


Those who knew Dan knew he worked hard, laughed hard and didn’t meet many strangers. Whether it was connecting with his customers or chatting at the gas station he left many people laughing and appreciated when they laughed at him too.  He lived his faith and spiritually out loud. He enjoyed golfing and spectating at his grandchildren’s events. Dan was a devoted husband and father. Family was very important to Dan and the loyalty to his siblings was equally matched. 


Those left to cherish Dan’s memory include his wife of 49 years, Joyce; his children: Amy and Scott Kluesner, and Lance Willenborg; and grandchildren: Isabelle, Eli and Noah Kluesner and Dizney Willenborg and her children; siblings: Ken and Janice Willenborg, Bob and Sue Willenborg, Joyce and John Tierney, Judy and Curt Keplinger, Bill and Sandi Willenborg, Wilma and Don Rausch, Gene and Tonya Schlichte, Donna and Steve Hunter, Mark and Maureen Schlichte; in laws: Gerri and Phil Lu, Kay and Al Schilling, Rita Klostermann, and Elaine and Jack Schmitt.


He was preceded in death by his parents, Anthony and Mildred Willenborg; his daughter, Elizabeth Willenborg; step-mother, Alma Schlichte Willenborg; step-brother, Gary Schlichte; and step-sister, Joyce Goffinet.


The family would like to thank the staff at Accura and Hospice of Dubuque for their compassionate care of Dan and his family.  Memorials are preferred to St. Francis Xavier School.           


Kramer Funeral Home in Dyersville is assisting the family and information is available at www.kramerfuneral.com. Memorials may be sent to the family in care of Kramer Funeral Home, 750 12th Ave SW, Dyersville, IA 52040.