In Memory of

Wayne Wilford Kress

July 10, 1921 - January 18, 2021
From: Spencer, IA
Wayne Wilford Kress

Wayne Wilford Kress

Born: July 10, 1921
Died: January 18, 2021
Age: 99

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     Wayne Wilford Kress was born to Charles and Amy (Carrigan) Kress at their home south of Ayrshire, Iowa, on July 10, 1921. Wayne was only one and a half years old when he lost his father, and he spent his childhood years with his mother and siblings as tenants on different farms. They farmed with horses in the beginning and eventually converted to mechanical equipment. The family rode to town in a horse-drawn buggy until they bought their first vehicles - a Ford Model T and then a Model A.    

     After walking or riding in a horse-drawn school bus to country school and attending six other schools in Palo Alto, Clay, and Buena Vista counties, he transferred from Dickens to attend high school in Gillett Grove where he graduated in 1939. He continued to farm in the Dickens area until he and his mother purchased a farm and moved to Webb in 1945. This farm became his home for the next 62 years.    

     Wayne married Shirley Eriksen from Spencer on March 9, 1952 and together they raised three children, Julie, Debbie, and Russell. His farming years were spent planting and harvesting corn and soybeans and at times raising cattle, hogs, and chickens. Most repairs on the farm were done by Wayne and he taught his children to be handy at making repairs. He helped his children with 4-H projects and served on the county 4-H Board for two terms and on the Clay County Board of Review for several years.     After his son Russell graduated from college, they began farming together; and at age 73, Wayne retired and turned the farming operation over to Russell.    

     For over thirty years, Wayne and Shirley also owned a home at Millers Bay in Wahpeton. On weekends, he enjoyed visiting with neighbors, hosting family vacations, and boating around the lakes. At retirement, they began to spend winters in Mesa, Arizona at the Mesa Spirit RV Resort. Their time there was spent with other friends from Clay county, other Iowans, new friends from other states and Canada and visits by their children and grandchildren. Wayne had a gift in that he could carry a conversation with anyone even strangers although farming usually entered the conversation.      

     In 2007, they moved to a condominium in Spencer. Although Wayne enjoyed the convenience of their new home in Spencer, he missed the peacefulness and openness of farmland. His new favorite pastime became taking a drive out in the county. Many trips were made to Webb and the surrounding communities to check the crops and look at the land. He also enjoyed reading western books, watching old westerns on TV, and riding his stationary bicycle four to five times a week.

     Wayne passed away at Spencer Municipal Hospital on January 18, 2021 at the age of 99. He is preceded in death by his parents; his son Russell; two brothers: Bruce and Jerry; and two sisters: Berniece Talley and Phyllis Kress.

     Left to cherish his memory are Shirley, his wife of 69 years; daughter Julie Chastain of Spencer, Iowa, daughter Debbie Kress (Steve Sourbier) of West Des Moines, Iowa, daughter-in-law Cynthia Kress (Dennis Halverson) of Webb, Iowa; grandchildren Chad (DeeDee) Whiting of Bondurant, Iowa, Jacob (Sandy) Kress of Franksville, Wisconsin, and Nathan (Amanda) Kress of Kelley, Iowa; five great grandchildren, TJ Whiting and Sophia, Lucas, Adelyn, and Franklin Kress; other relatives and friends.

Private family services will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, condolences may be sent to: 
  Shirly Kress
  2208 W. 11th Street
  Spencer, IA 51301
Garfield Cemetery
Webb, Iowa


Friday, January 29, 2021 at 6:20 PM
“I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your dad. Watching the video brought back so many memories of your parents and growing up near Webb. They always had smiles on their faces. I remember the 500 card club get togethers they had with other couples. Such great memories. Also, sorry for the loss of your brother, my sisters and I did not know that. ”
- Karilyn Richards (Braunschweig)
Tuesday, January 26, 2021 at 8:49 AM
“So sad to learn of Wayne’s passing. I have fond childhood memories of our families spending time together as well as Wayne and my dad celebrating their birthdays together. Wayne was such a great guy and my dad considered him to be his best friend. My heart goes out to all of Wayne’s family. ”
- Anne Hoberg Bauder
Monday, January 25, 2021 at 8:38 AM
“Shirley and Family, we are sorry to hear of Wayne's passing. We didn't see him often but every time we did, we enjoyed his conversation.”
- Howard Borchard
Friday, January 22, 2021 at 10:58 AM
“Dear Family, so sorry to hear this news. I remember fondly the time spent together with your family and mine (Grace and Gilbert Raveling). Our sympathy, Gail and Deryl Nielsen.”
- Gail and Deryl Nielsen
Friday, January 22, 2021 at 8:10 AM
“To all of Wayne's Family. We are very sorry for your loss. We got to know Wayne & Shirley when we sold them their condo in Spencer when

they moved off the farm. What an awesome couple they were! Hold tight to the memories. Mark & Sue Hallett”
- Sue Hallett
Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 5:03 PM
“Dear Shirley and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Wayne was a remarkable man and a real joy to talk with.
- Jacque Easter
Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 7:49 AM
“Shirley and family, sending you our deepest sympathies. Wayne was a wonderful, one of a kind man who had a beautiful smile that drew you in. Debbie has asked us to write a memory about Wayne, so here goes. When we were kids and were fortunate to come to the farm, there was one warm day I will never forget. On this day one child was bitten by a dog. What I remember about Wayne and that incident was how much he loved his child and took care of her. He was always someone to look up to. I'm proud to say he was my uncle! ”
- Mary Eriksen Talbott
Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 11:49 AM
“to family of Wayne Kress. You have my condolences as you remember your hero and patriarch. In his life you gave him love joy and pride. In his death and forever you will carry on his legacy as you hold him in your hearts.
My Dad Sandy Salton and his brother Kenny were friends of Wayne from school at Gillett and days of playing baseAs farmers and neighbors they shared common interest and mutual respect. I enjoyed whoever I got to visit with him. He made conversation easy and fun. Wayne will be remembered as a true gentleman with a good sense of humor who made our world a better place. He loved the land and his family as is obvious by how he took take of them. His legacy will live on in family who loved him well. God’s peace, La Vonne & Gary Anderson ”
- La Vonne (Salton) Anderson
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