Obituary of Sharon Gudenkauf
Sharon R. Gudenkauf, 82 of Dyersville, Iowa was surrounded by family as she was called to her heavenly home on June 17, 2023.
Sharon was born to Raymond (Dick) and Jeanette (Loes) Vorwald on September 15, 1940. The oldest of six children, she spent her entire life in Dyersville, IA. She married James Gudenkauf on October 15, 1960, and together they raised their daughter Judy.
A person’s life can be chronicled as a list of roles they held over the years. But it is what they brought to those roles, and the lives they impacted, that turns the list into a legacy. Sharon was truly selfless, honestly, it was never “about her.” This quality made her a natural in her desire to serve her family and others throughout her lifetime.
Sharon developed her work ethic while serving customers at the family restaurant, Dick’s Steak House. After working in the clothing department at the Emporium for many years, she brought her impeccable seamstress skills to managing their fabric department, eagerly assisting customers in planning their sewing projects. Despite her lack of formal banking experience, her personality and potential were recognized when she was recruited to work at The Dyersville National Bank. Her devotion to customers was never more evident than at the time of the bank closure in 1986. Despite her own fears, she greeted worried customers with comforting reassurance and guided them through the transition to American Trust & Savings Bank. At that point, her banking career soared in her role as a personal banking officer where she loved her coworkers like family. Sharon volunteered enthusiastically on committees and boards for several organizations including the Dyersville Area Community Foundation, Mount Hope Cemetery, Dyersville Area Chamber of Commerce, multiple Mercy Hospital committees, Federated Women’s Club, and NE Iowa Chapter of Financial Women International. She loved being part of Real-Life Academy, teaching high school students budgeting and money management skills. Sharon was humbled when selected as the Dyersville Area Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year in 2005.
As a devoted Catholic, Sharon was a true prayer warrior, known to light candles any time a family member was traveling. She was a kind, gentle soul and a best friend to so many who will miss her immensely. Her family frequently teased her that it took nearly an hour to buy a gallon of milk because she visited with everyone she knew at the store. As the heart of the family, Sharon loved holidays and took extra measures to make them memorable. Perhaps most inspiring was the courage with which she faced her cancer diagnosis. So strong in her faith, she never shed a tear. Instead, she comforted and humored others until the very end.
Some of Sharon’s happiest memories centered around Lake Delhi. From picking berries on the Point, to melted ice cream cones in the car, to Liverpool Rummy games, to friendly visits on their inviting covered porch – all of these put a twinkle in her eye and a smile on her face. Sharon and Jim loved to dance and it was a thrill to watch as they glided effortlessly across the dance floor in perfect unison. Yet nothing was more precious to Sharon than her family. She loved following the grandchildren’s sporting events, regular phone calls, pictures and especially the family time at the cabin.
She will be deeply missed by her loving husband of 62 years James, daughter Judy Burkle (Eric Hinz) of Waunakee, WI, grandchildren Libby (Aaron) White of De Pere, WI and Zach Burkle of Green Bay, WI, and great-grandsons Hudson and Bennett White. She also leaves behind siblings Fred (Judy) Vorwald of Manchester, IA, Donna Sue Vorwald of North Carolina, June (Dan) Platz of Dyersville, Barry (Jo) Vorwald of Florida and Wendy (Steve) Graf of Texas and in-laws Grace Stevens, Marian (Dan) Hoeger, Carol Wegmann, and Janet (Charlie) Prier all of Dyersville.
She was preceded in death by her parents, son-in-law Neal Burkle, parents-in-law August and Leona Gudenkauf, and brothers-in-law Fred Stevens and Jim Wegmann.
Visitation will be held from 3-7 on Thursday, June 22, 2023, at Kramer Funeral Home in Dyersville. Visitation will continue at the funeral home from 9-10 am Friday prior to the funeral mass.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Francis Xavier Basilica in Dyersville at 10:30 am on Friday June 23, 2023, with burial in St. Francis Cemetery. Rev. Chris Podkajsky will officiate.
If love could have kept her here, she would have lived forever!
Kramer Funeral Home in Dyersville is assisting the family and information is available at www.kramerfuneral.com. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred and will be directed to her favorite charities. Cards may be sent to the family, (in care of Kramer Funeral Home) 750 12th Ave SW, Dyersville, IA 52040.
Visitation prior to Funeral
VIsitation prior to Mass
Mass of Christian Burial
In Loving Memory
1940 - 2023
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Kramer Funeral Home Dyersville
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Dyersville, IA 52040
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