A funeral Mass will be held Thursday at 10:30 AM at St. Cecelia Catholic Church in Algona. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery with military honors conducted. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 PM Wednesday at Oakcrest Funeral Services of Algona with a Vigil Prayer Service beginning at 7 PM.
Wilbur Thomas Courtney was born May 1, 1922, in Thornton, son of Walter Edward and Anna Maude (Finn) Courtney. He grew up in Algona graduating from St. Cecelia Academy in 1940. Wilbur then served his country in the United States Army-Air Force during World War II and then recalled a second time serving in Korea.
Wilbur was married to Rose M. DiDonato on December 31, 1946, in Dennison, OH. He worked in Des Moines in earlier years at Solar Aircraft. He then worked 25 years at Snap-On Tools retiring in 1982. Rose preceded him in death on April 8, 1999.
Wilbur married Janelle Kramer on January 29, 2010 in Green Valley, AZ. He enjoyed traveling, putting puzzles together, and most of all he loved being surrounded by his grandchildren. Wilbur was a lifetime member of the VFW, a member of the Disabled American Veterans, and a member of St. Cecelia Catholic Church.
Wilbur became a resident of Westview Care Center in Britt in October, 2015. He died Sunday, September 2, 2018, at the age of 96.
He is survived by his wife Janelle Courtney of Algona and her family; three children, Don Courtney and his wife Lila of Algona, Nancy Byam and her husband Perry "Bud" of Austin, MN, and Joe Courtney and his wife Kay of Algona; nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, Michael (Renee) Courtney of St. Michael, MN and their children Ava and Savannah, Steven (Ashley) Courtney of Algona and their daughter Evalynn, Allison (Chris) Gunderson of Stewartville, MN and their children, Gracey and Gage, Courtney (Nathan) Jorgensen of Doha, Qatar and their children Griffin and Fletcher, Jackie Byam of Annapolis, MD, Jim Byam of Tampa, FL, Laura (Clayton) Courtney-Brubaker of Des Moines and their daughter Clara, Matt Courtney of Kansas City, MO, and Carrie Courtney of Des Moines; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife Rose; two brothers, William Finn and Loren Courtney; and a sister, Betty Arndorfer.
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I was so sorry to hear about Wilbur. My deepest condolences to the family. Wilbur loved life and was full of energy. He will be missed. As the days and years pass by, I pray that your precious memories will help ease your pain as you reflect on good times shared. May our Heavenly Father hear the prayers of your heart and comfort you. Romans 8:26; Psalm 94:19. Loving thoughts.
Janelle and Family, I am so sorry to learn of Wilbur's death. He had a long active life and you can rest assured he did it with all of your help. It is never easy to say "Goodbye," but remember the good times you had.
Just read of Wilbur's passing in the paper & were sorry to have missed his wake. He was a great guy and supervisor at Snap On. He will be missed. Ellen & Darold Hofer.
My most sincere condolences to the Courtney Family. Under Wilbur's guidance in my early working years at Snap-On, provided a great basis for my life. I have thought of him often with things he had told me which in turn I passed along. Among the most momentous, "When you come through those doors, you have no friends." (Guidance in factory leadership). Or when Rose came to visit she became the boss, she told me to call her immediately if Wilbur lifted his arms above his head! To her I said, "Yes, Mam'!" Wilbur looked at me with a twinkle in his eye and winked." (Guidance in family leadership). Wilbur was as fine of a man I've met. To call him a friend is my privilege. Blessings to you. I look forward to meeting him again! Stephen Brody
I was saddened to hear the news of the passing of Uncle Wilbur. I have many fond memories of visits to Iowa to spend time with the Courtney family and all my cousins. (An there are also not-so-fond memories or hours walking beans and detasseling corn.) He was such fun to be around and I remember many of the stories he would share about his experiences during the war. He was devoted to my aunt Rose and his family and he always looked forward to visiting the Casimir, DiIDonato, and Young relatives in Ohio. He was a true warrior during WW II and the Korean War and he now joins another recently departed hero, John McCain. Uncle Wilbur was one of the last of those we remember as the “Greatest Generation” and I was truly fortunate and blessed to have him as an uncle.
“Well done good and faithful servant” Matt 25:21
So sorry for your loss. We enjoyed the time we spent with Wilbur at Westview. Wilbur always stopped to say hello, and I know everyone at Westview will miss him.
We are deeply saddened by the loss of Wilbur. We have so many fond memories of his sense of humor, his wisdom, and his kind & gentle strength.
Ben and Sandi Zuber
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