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Virgil George Vavra

March 5, 2020
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Virgil George Vavra, 76, of Chelsea, IA passed away unexpectedly Sunday, February 23, 2020 doing what he loved.

Virgil was born July 30, 1943 to George and Louise "Seidel" Vavra. He attended school at Chelsea through his youth and graduated high school in 1961. Following his education, he enlisted in the United States Army Reserves and served four years in the early sixties. Through his youth and during his military service he continued to work at the family run sawmill business that his grandfather started. Working along side his brother, Jerry and their mother and father, he helped grow the business into a huge success. At one point they were dredging sand from the river to be used in the construction trade. They owned a portable cement mixer that could be taken to a job site where the concrete was mixed and placed by hand to form foundations for barns, corn cribs and other buildings which they then sawed the lumber for and constructed. When they could no longer dredge sand from the river due to state regulations, the company started building pallets to fill the void. By working well into the night, they would saw and build hundreds a week. With the passing of his father in 1987, his mother in 2001 and brother Jerry in 2013, Virgil was left to run the business by himself. He was extremely proud when the business reached its 100th year anniversary. Virgil died doing the job he loved on February 23, 2020 working with wood in the timber.

He is survived by many cousins and their families whom he loved so much. Also left to remember him are the countless friends and business acquaintances that he met through the years.

Article Photos

Virgil George Vavra

He will be remembered for his infectious smile and sense of humor as well as his unwavering honesty and fairness. Always willing to lend a helping hand and asking for nothing in return. While he will be missed by all who knew him, we take comfort knowing he has joined his family in a place that we all strive for. Well done, good and faithful servant. Your memory will be in our hearts forever.

Services are 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at Hrabak-Neuhaus Funeral Service, Belle Plaine with visitation starting at 9:00 a.m. prior to the service. Burial will take place at Rector Cemetery, Chelsea. A memorial fund has been established. Online condolences can be sent to



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