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Galen Elmer Omvig
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Obituary for Galen Elmer Omvig

Galen E. Omvig, 61, of Story City died Thursday, November 9, 2017, at Iowa Methodist Medical Center from complications of a heart condition that caused an accident in Story City on November 6. (Evidently someone upstairs needs a cowboy carpenter with a Hereford habit worse than we do down here.)
Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 9, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Story City with Pastor Kurt Jensen officiating. Burial will be at the Fairview Cemetery in Story City followed by lunch and visitation with the family in the church social hall.
Born Galen Elmer Omvig in Ames, Iowa, on June 17, 1956, to Elmer and Maxine Luing Omvig, he was the farm couple’s second child (Elmer finally got his boy!) and a graduate of Roland Story High School Class of 1974 (they got a livewire prankster). A carpenter who helped build many homes across central Iowa, he lived his entire life in the Story City area, much of it on the family’s 1875 farm west of town. There he operated Omvig Cattle Company, raising Herefords and his lively children, Garrett and Kelsey.
While his family can’t recall exactly what fueled this Hereford fixation, it served him well. He showed cattle from Lexington, Kentucky, to Denver, Colorado, and points in between. Acquaintances he met along the way turned into lifelong friends who share his family’s sadness as they remember his willingness to lend a hand, a friendly smile, an infectious laugh, the twinkle in his eyes, and that unique sense of wit (okay, he was a jokester). Appropriately, he met his now former wife, Louise Beyea, at the 1978 American Royal Livestock Show in Kansas City. They married in 1980, established their cattle company, and started a family.
Over the years Galen enjoyed organizations that reflected his love of farming and cattle. Beginning with 4-H, FFA, and the Iowa Junior Hereford Association, he later served as president of the Iowa Beef Breeds Council, was an officer for the Iowa Hereford Association, a board member for the Iowa Hereford Breeders Association and the Story County Fair Board, and a member of the National Cattlemen’s Association. (FYI, his family is kind of proud: By the time he’d outgrown 4-H as a teenager, he’d taken home 5 Grand Champion and 2 Reserve Champion Awards for his Hereford heifers, as well as a Top Showman Award in 4-H competition at the Iowa State Fair.)
Galen was always up for a good time. State Fair was a summer highlight, but he looked forward to weekend jaunts exploring the state or stopping by to visit friends or his cousins. Country boy at heart, he loved music (Randy Travis was reportedly a fave) and was a dancing fool, known to give friends with two left feet a little grief.
But he had talents the outside world seldom saw. Nothing gave his mother greater pleasure than to hear him sing—he’d had previous practice in Immanuel’s church choir, school mixed chorus, and FFA state chorus. (Honestly, he was the only one in the family who could carry a tune.) He was his sister’s chief turkey carver (and the poor guy preferred ham). He had a soft spot for newborn calves, cute puppies, and little kids—especially his own. He was prouder of his children than they’ll ever know. Whether hoisting Garrett onto the tractor to bail hay or guiding Kelsey on cattle-showing etiquette, his greatest joy may have been teaching them the simple routines of farm life and, of course, introducing them to the Iowa State Fair (think cattle barn slumber parties, show ring collaboration, and pork tenderloin sandwiches).
Galen was preceded in death by his father Elmer, in 1996, and his mother Maxine, earlier this year. He is survived by son Garrett Galen Omvig (Suhyeon) of Chicago; daughter Kelsey Omvig Figueroa of Cassopolis, Michigan; sister Ann Omvig Maine (Michael) of Des Moines; niece Emily Coppola (Kyle) of Des Moines; uncle Forrest Luing of Nevada, Iowa; and nine cousins: Judy Hanson Toft, JoAnn Hanson Schwarzenbach, Terry Hanson, Darwin Luing (his cattle-showing bud), Charlene Luing Mullihan, Pam Luing Hamilton, Teresa Luing Suggs, Fred Chitty, and Jan Luing Hallock.
His family would like to thank all his incredible friends, especially the Jackson and Carnahan families, for their long years of friendship; Story City’s police and first responders for doing their best to revive him; and the doctors and staff of Iowa Methodist’s Critical Care Unit for doing all in their power to try to save him—especially nurse Dave who made Galen’s last few days bearable for his family.
“...it’s not what you take when you leave this world behind you, it’s what you leave behind you when you go…” —from “Three Wooden Crosses” by Randy Travis

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Galen Omvig Memorial Fund (3663 Grand Avenue #1007, Des Moines, IA 50312).


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Previous Events

Memorial Service

Saturday

9

Dec

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Immanuel Lutheran Church

604 Lafayette Ave.
Story City, IA 50248

Cemetery Details

Location

Story City Municipal Cemetery

980 Grand Avenue
Story City, Iowa 50248

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