INDEPENDENCE- Albert C. Althaus, 89, of Independence, IA died at his home on Saturday April 3, 2021
after a prolonged battle with cancer.
Al was born on April 8, 1931 in Shell Rock, IA the son of William C. A. and Beatrice M. (Hurd) Althaus.
He attended the Shell Rock Community schools and went on to receive his G.E.D. from Hawkeye
Community College, Waterloo, IA
Al worked as a farm hand for several years before joining the US Army on June 5, 1951. He worked as a
welder, fixing machinery behind the frontlines of the Korean War. He did not talk much about his time
in the service, but he was proud to be an American.
Upon returning from the service Al married Mary “Darlene” Ossman on June 16, 1954 at St. John’s
Catholic Church in Independence. They made their home in Independence where they had seven
children together. Darlene passed away on October 14, 1977.
In the early 1960’s, Al started to work in maintenance at the People’s Memorial Hospital in
Independence. While at the hospital Al became an EMT and helped save lives in the community for
over ten years. He also ran a gunsmithing and reloading business from home for many years, called
He worked for over fifty years as an Electrical Journeyman and part-time Welder for Freeman Electric.
Even in his retirement he was known as the go to guy if you had an electrical problem. When he
decided he was tired of retirement and wanted to get back to work, Al set a record. He became the
oldest person in Iowa to renew his Electrician Licenses.
On September 4, 1982, Al married Maryann Van Pelt in Independence. Together they enjoyed their time
volunteering at church and at the St. John’s School.
Al was an active member of the St. John’s Church. He served for many years on the Parish council and
the Building and Grounds Committee. You would always find him helping set up the church before
mass and cleaning after. He also drove the school bus for St. John’s School for many years. In the
early 2000’s, he received the Iowa Governor's Volunteer Award for his service in the Independence
He is survived by his seven children; Debra Majors, Dysart, IA, Diane (Mike) Williams, Independence,
IA, Alice, (Mike) Peyton, Independence, IA Ann (David) Saucedo, El Paso, TX, Alison (Adam) Michels,
Independence, IA, Albert (Julie) Althaus II, Winthrop, IA, and Donna (Brian) Derr, Independence, IA, five
step-sons; Michael Van Pelt, Winchester, ID, Mark Van Pelt, Winchester, ID, Marvin Van Pelt, Oak
Harbor, WA, Matthew (Debbie) Van Pelt, Oak Harbor, WA, Martin Van Pelt, Dike, IA, thirty-four
grandchildren, sixty-three great grandchildren, eight great great grandchildren, two sisters, Marguerite
Reeves, Independence, IA, and Rose McElroy, Henry, SD, a brother Fred Leonards, Hamilton, MO, and
many nieces and nephews.
Al is preceded in death by his parents, William and Beatrice Althaus, his first wife, Darlene Althaus, his
second wife Maryann Althaus, three sisters; Dorothy Cornish, Mary Benson, and Roberta Mathis, four
brothers; Bill, Victor, John and Frank “Joe” Althaus, and a granddaughter, Jodi Williams.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM on April 9, 2021 at the St. John’s Catholic Church in
Independence, IA with Rev. David Beckman Presiding. Burial will be held at St. John’s Catholic
Cemetery with Military Honors. Visitation will be held from 5 PM until 8 PM on Thursday April 8, 2021 at
the Reiff Family Center – Funeral Home & Crematory in Independence. A Rosary will be said at 5 PM
and a Parish Vigil Service will be held at 7:30 on Thursday.
To leave an on-line condolence please go to www.reifffamilycenter.com