Maynard "Mike" Garlow

Maynard “Mike” Garlow, 89, of Plainfield, IL and Holy Cross, after a one-year battle with cancer, passed away Monday, September 30, 2019 at his home in Plainfield, IL surrounded by his family. Mass of Christian Burial for Mike was held Saturday, October 5 at St. Clements Catholic Church in Bankston with Rev. Michael Schueller officiating. Burial was in St. Clements cemetery with Full Military honors afforded by the Farley American Legion Post #656.

Mike was born June 10, 1930 in Dubuque, the son of Maynard “Major” (1908-1997) and Anna (Ward) Garlow (1903-1997). He is a graduate of Harpers Ferry High School in Harpers Ferry.

Too young to participate in World War II, yet a strong patriot, Mike enlisted in the Air Force immediately following his graduation from high school. Mike served for four years in the Air Force, including the Korean War. He was stationed in several different locations including Georgia, Colorado, California, England, Puerto Rico and Morocco. While in the Air Force, Mike was a camera repairman for the Air Force bomber planes. Mike remained active with the American Legion in Farley.

Mike left the Air Force in 1954 and returned to Dubuque. He split his time between Dubuque and Harpers Ferry. Upon his return, Mike and a couple of buddies bought a plane and continued to fly for enjoyment. He then met his future wife, Mary L. Schellsmidt of Lansing. They united in marriage July 12, 1958 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Wexford, near Lansing. Mike and Mary were married for 61 years.

Mike and Mary moved to Sherill, near Mike’s employment at John Deere Dubuque Works, Dubuque. Mike was employed for 31 years at Deere’s, where he worked as a Maintenance Engineer and was extremely active in the UAW Local 94 Union as a union committeeman. During this early period, Mike also started an LP gas business, purchasing in volume and making sales and deliveries to local residents.

In 1964, with three sons in tow, Mike and Mary purchased and moved to a farm near Holy Cross. As a first-generation farmer, Mike could frequently be seen reading and researching farming techniques as they raised beef cattle, chickens, pigs and corn. Over the years Mike and Mary had four more kids for a total of seven children (five boys and two girls), which supplied them with a built-in workforce for the farm.

In addition to raising the kids, Mary also worked as a nutrition teacher for Dubuque County where she taught local residents about nutritional foods and cooking. In 1976, Mike and Mary bought the adjoining farm to expand their corn program and raise cattle. In 1987, as several of his children/workers went off to college, Mike retired from John Deere and spent his full focus on farming.

In 2000, Mike suffered a severe three-story fall. He broke his neck, crushed three vertebrae and broke his pelvis but after eight months of rehabilitation, he was able to resume his duties on the farm. In 2011, Mike and Mary decided to fully retire and moved to Plainfield, IL. They sold a portion of their farm to their son, David, and rented out the remaining property to local neighbors. To Mike, family, farming and country were everything. The mechanical, electrical and plumbing skills he taught his children and his patriotism will live through the generations of his family. He enjoyed playing cards, talking politics and doing genealogy.

Mike is survived by his wife of 61 years, Mary (Schellsmidt) Garlow; seven children: son Kenneth Garlow of Plainfield, IL, son James Garlow and his wife Jeanette (Kurz) of Libertyville, IL, son Karl Garlow of Dubuque, son Robert Garlow and his wife Kathy (Hagensee) of Elmhurst, IL, son David Garlow and his wife Chris (Pierce) of Holy Cross, daughter Carol (Mark) Bolton of Livingston, MT and daughter Shirley (Michael) Morris of Bolingbrook, IL; 16 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Rose Boardman of Guttenberg and Annie Meehan of Austin, TX. He is preceded in death by his parents, Anna and Major Garlow; and his parents-in-law, Elmer and Clara Schellsmidt.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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