Herbert W. Mittelhauser, 90, of Sedalia, passed away in the presence of his family at his home February 12, 2020.
Born to August and Lucy Schultz Mittelhauser in 1929 in their Georgetown home, Dad was the youngest of five children. He completed eight grades of elementary education in seven years at the Georgetown School and then graduated from Smith-Cotton High School a month after turning 17. He was proud to have played halfback as a senior, but was always quick to point out that the starter was injured early in the year and his was one of the few losing teams during Coach Stub Dow’s tenure.
Following high school, Dad worked at the Missouri Pacific Shops as a machinist, painter, on the B&B gang and in the scale shop, taking a four-year break to serve in the Navy during the Korean War. When he returned to Sedalia, he met and married Coleene Goode with whom he would spend the next 64 years.
Dad was a lifelong member of Georgetown United Methodist Church.
Always a farmer at heart (“drove milk cows through two feet of snow to the dairy barn at 5 a.m.”), Dad left the railroad in his mid-30s to farm full-time. With a dawn-to-dusk work ethic, a sharp mind with an excellent business sense, and machinery held together with baling wire, Dad was part of the final generation of successful small family farmers.
He loved sports, and baseball was his favorite. Dad played on the Georgetown team well into his 20s and was an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. When his younger daughter joined the track team, Dad took up the sport at age 48 so she didn’t have to run alone on rural roads. He found his strongest sport a few years later when he climbed on a bicycle to participate in duathlons. Dad still holds three Missouri Senior Games cycling records, setting one such record as recently as 2015 at age 86.
Dad’s love of competition was surpassed only by his enjoyment in watching his grandchildren play volleyball, soccer, softball, and basketball, and run cross-country. He and Mom rarely missed a game, and sometimes became the Team Grandparents.
In 2017, Dad’s cancer returned; his tenacity, strength, and resilience however remained. Dad’s doctors issued a dire prognosis which day after day and week after week over the next three years Dad steadfastly proved wrong. In these three years, Dad returned to caring for his cattle, walking for exercise, enjoying his great-grandson and the birth of his two great-granddaughters, attending Chiefs and Cardinals games, and taking trips with his family.
Dad was predeceased by his parents and his siblings, Maynard Mittelhauser, Esther Dow, Willis Mittelhauser and Wilton Mittelhauser, who died as a toddler, and a grandson, Alexander Shaffer.
He is survived by his wife, Coleene; children, Jeff (Maria) Mittelhauser, Tracey (John) Drenon, and Julie Mills; grandchildren, Lindsay Mills, John Drenon II, Mary Drenon (fiancé Shawn Hampy), Davis (Kayla) Mittelhauser and Cooper Mittelhauser, and three great-grandchildren, all of whom will treasure their memories of Herb/Dad/Grandpa/PaPa until they join him again.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, February 15, 2020 at Heckart Funeral Home, with Pastor Kenny Cripe officiating. The family will receive friends before the services, starting at 12:30 p.m. Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery.
Honorary bearers will be grandchildren.
In place of flowers, the family suggests donations to Georgetown United Methodist Church or the Bothwell Regional Health Center’s Lub Dub event.
The family would like to thank the doctors and staff of Bothwell Regional Health Center, especially the Canon Cancer Center, for their excellent care.