William “Bill” Dean Storjohann, 83, of rural Davenport died Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, at his home, surrounded by his loving family. A private funeral service was held Feb. 13. A Celebration of Life gathering will be held from 2 to 5 p.m., with a Prost at 2:30 p.m., on Saturday, Feb. 20 at the Walcott American Legion.
Memorials may be given to the University of Iowa for Parkinson Research in his name. Online condolences may be left at www.bentleyfuneralhome.com.
Bill was born in Davenport, Iowa on Aug. 19, 1937, the son of William and Erene (Woehlk) Storjohann. Upon his father’s early death, Bill was raised by Erene and her second husband, Carl Behrens. Bill graduated from Davenport High School in 1956, and married Marian Fahrenkrog on May 24, 1958 at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Davenport. Throughout their 63 years of marriage, they remained connected to their faith and instilled their values within three beautiful daughters and families.
Bill was an entrepreneur as well as a hard worker. Immediately after graduating high school he took a floor covering apprenticeship and formed a partnership with Keith Meyer to start their own Meyer & Storjohann Carpentry and Flooring business. But his dream was to farm.
In 1963, Bill and Marian started farming in rural Davenport, and over the years created a beautiful farmstead which filled his heart and made him proud. He was forever seeking ways to have the cleanest fields (ask the Walcott kids), highest yields (ask his neighbors), and shiniest equipment (ask his girls). When not farming, he devoted time to his German heritage and the community. He was past director of Walcott Mutual Ins., member of the Walcott Community Club, Co-founder of A.S.H.H.S, teacher of the low-German language, dance instructor and friend.
He also loved to work with his hands. From building his home, modifying equipment, or rebuilding old cars to pony harness, concrete molds and the endless “daddy-do” projects, he could make or fix about anything and had the right tool to do so.
Bill was a jokester, a prankster, a great storyteller. Whenever the chance, he would take full advantage of making people laugh. His sparkling blue eyes, big smile and kind ways made everyone feel welcomed — unless you were seeking to court one of his daughters. If he asked you to “have a talk in the shop” or help sort hogs, then you likely experienced his stern authority. Wear bibs or blue and share your favorite memory during his Celebration of Life — all are welcome.
To most, he will be remembered as the Polka Bear. “Ah… One, two, three. One, two, three…” will always resonate in the hearts of any one of his hundreds of students when they hear a polka tune.
“Always take the high road and kill them with kindness.” Bill was a mentor. Respected. Humble. But most of all he was loved, and his family always knew he was there for them.
Bill will be dearly missed by his wife, Marian; three daughters, Keri Storjohann of Grimes, Kristi (Dan) Petersen of Polk City, Kay (Don Scroggin) Kiefer of Johnston; seven grandchildren, Cooper Wilde, Kelsy Wilde, Renee (Trent) Brisby, Lindsey (Brian) Wolf, Sydney (Caleb Bailey) Arp, Josh Petersen, Lauren Kiefer; two great-grandsons, Harrison and William Brisby; special extended family, Ravi and Rani Vemulapalli, and children, Ramya and Rishi; Jared (Meghan) Wilde, and children, Camden and Rhett; and brothers, Ron (Carol) Storjohann and Dennis (Glynda) Behrens.