Harold "Ike" Colsch

Harold “Ike” F. Colsch, 92, of Waukon passed away Sunday, May 21, 2023 at Good Samaritan Society in Waukon with his wife and family by his side. Funeral services will be held Saturday, May 27 at 11 a.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Waukon with Fr. John Moser officiating. Burial with military honors will be at St. John The Baptist-West Ridge Cemetery, rural Waukon. Friends may greet the family from 4-7 p.m. Friday, May 26 at Martin - Grau Funeral Home in Waukon, where there will be a 3:30 p.m. scripture service.

Harold “Ike” Francis Colsch was born April 14, 1931 to Nicholas and Charlotte (Theobald) Colsch at the family farmhouse on Sand Cove, just a few miles southwest of New Albin. He attended the Sand Cove country school through eighth grade.

As a teenager, Harold helped his parents on the family farm and spent several summers hitchhiking to South Dakota and other Midwestern states to help with wheat harvesting. When his parents retired from farming, Harold joined in partnership with his brother, Robert, growing crops and raising beef cattle on Sand Cove.

In January of 1952, Harold was inducted in the U.S. Army. During the Korean War from 1952-1953, he was stationed in Germany as part of an allied peacekeeping force. He was trained as a combat engineer and was assigned to a unit that constructed floating platoon bridges. Harold achieved the rank of corporal before being honorably discharged in December of 1953.

February 15, 1954, Harold was united in marriage to Shirley Ann Mauss. To this union, 13 children were born. From 1955-2001, Harold and Shirley rented and purchased land on West Ridge, rural Waukon, raising “cattle, corn and kids” as part of a diversified farming operation. He also briefly worked on a road construction crew and provided custom hay baling while managing his ever-growing farm operation.

In 2001, Harold and Shirley moved to a small house in southwest Waukon, where they lived until moving to Wellington Place Assisted Living in Decorah in 2021. In 2022, they both moved into Good Samaritan Society in Waukon due to failing health.

While raising his family, Harold served as a 4-H club leader for the West Ridge Riders. He was a member of the National Farmer’s Organization (NFO) for a few years and served on the parish council for St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in West Ridge. During his free time, he enjoyed playing golf, card games and competitive board games with family and friends. Harold loved traveling to Wyoming, Texas, Washington, Oregon and other parts of the western U.S. when given the opportunity.

He was preceded in death by his parents; six brothers: Edward, LeRoy, Clem, Robert, Dale and Carl; three children: Greg (1980), Bonnie (1982) and Lee (2022); and one granddaughter, Kaitlyn Fuhrman (1995).

Harold is survived by his wife, Shirley; 10 children: Jay (Patricia) Colsch, Karen (Mike) Whalen, Michael (Karen) Colsch, Keith Colsch, Mary Beth (Karle) Wigginton, Cheryl (Kevan) Forest, Kathleen (Nathan) Block, Christina (Ken) Frana, Nichole (Michael Elsbernd) Colsch and Jennifer Shabani; his sister, Martha Arlene Swatosh; a brother, Lloyd (Sheila) Colsch; three sisters-in-law: Joan Welper, Bernadette Becker and Maureen (Orville) Strothman; two brothers-in-law: John (Mary Lou) Mauss and James (Carol) Mauss; 39 grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren.

Online condolences may be left at www.martinfunerals.com.