Office of the Governor of Iowa

Governor Branstad


EDWARD BRANSTAD (1924-2013)

July 26, 2013

Edward Branstad, of Leland, passed away on July 26, 2013, in Mason City. He was 89.

Edward was born on March 9, 1924, to Helmer and Hazel (Peterson) Branstad, and grew up on the farm that has been in his family for 130 years.

Edward attended Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Leland, where he was confirmed. Upon graduation from Leland High School, Edward attended Waldorf College in Forest City. He then returned to his family farm with his wife, Rita, where they were both lifelong farmers.

His sons recall that after the family would work the farm in a typical 14-hour day, Edward’s regular comment when they walked in the house was, “We didn’t get much done today. We will give it heck tomorrow.”

That work ethic was shown repeatedly. During the mid-century drought and farm crisis, Edward and Rita helped the farm survive by taking second jobs.

Again, during the farm crisis of the 1980s, Edward took a second job working as the county Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS) director. After leaving the office, he would return to the farm, often working until midnight. When Edward turned 70, he vowed to work no more than 10-hour days. He never met that goal.

Friends and family note that Edward would help anyone. He would stop to help any stranded motorist. He mowed the neighbors’ lawns and he took time to teach farmers how to be in ASCS compliance.

As Edward entered his 80s, he found he was able to relax when he and Enolia traveled to Donna, Texas, where he and Enolia spent their winters. His family notes, however, that when he returned most of his stories were about helping neighbors fix up their homes or about traveling to Mexico to do missionary work.

Edward is preceded in death by his wife of 44 years, Rita (Garland) Branstad.

He is survived by his wife of 23 years, Enolia Wing Branstad; 3 siblings Carl (Lorraine) Branstad, Helene Iverson and Hubert (Fern) Branstad; two sons Terry (Chris) Branstad of Panora and Monroe (Lanette) Branstad of Leland; grandchildren Christine (David Phillips) Branstad, Eric (Adrianne) Branstad, Allison (Jerry) Costa, Heidi (Tom) Aitchison, Jordan Branstad, Marcus (Nicole) Branstad, Andrew (Keniesa) Branstad, David Branstad; and great-grandchildren Samuel Branstad Phillips, Thomas Branstad Phillips, Mackenzie Branstad, Madison Branstad, Gabrielle Branstad, Bridget Branstad, Maxamilian Aitchison, Addyson Aitchison, Sofia Costa, Alexis Branstad and Estelle Costa.

Visitation will Sunday, July 28, 2013 from 4-7 p.m. at Waldorf College, Salveson Hall, 106 S. 6th St., Forest City, Iowa.

The funeral will be held on Monday, July 29, at 10:30 a.m. at Waldorf College, Waldorf Atrium, 106 S. 6th St., Forest City, Iowa.

Burial will immediately follow at Forest Home Cemetery in Leland, Iowa.

Petersen Lund Funeral Home in Forest City is handling the arrangements.

Memorial contributions in Edward’s honor may be made to the Cancer Society or to Hospice of North Iowa.


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