Darel D. Hein, 86, of rural Stockton, passed away peacefully at Clarissa Cook Hospice with his daughters by his side on Jan. 12, 2023. Born July 7, 1936, to Orville and Alice (Dietz) Hein in Stockton, the first two years of his life were spent in a humble farmhouse without electricity and plumbing. The family later moved to the farmstead where he raised his family and lived the remainder of his life. Darel wedded Mary Geiger of Davenport on Feb. 13, 1971. They were married 50 years until Mary’s passing in 2021.
Darel attended a one-room schoolhouse through eighth grade. A pony was his transportation. He graduated from Durant High School in 1954, where he played basketball and baseball. He was a member of NHS, 4-H, and FFA. He served in the Marine Corps Reserves then earned his BBA from the University of Iowa, where he was a yearbook photojournalist. One highlight was photographing the 1959 Rose Bowl. He worked as a photojournalist at the Des Moines Register for two years after college before returning to the family farm. Soil improvement, conservation, and health were top priorities. He was a member of Iowa Livestock Feeders Association, Iowa Cattleman, and a delegate to the Meat Export Federation. He “retired” in 2014, but worked full-time until cancer slowed him down. His hobbies included photography, snowmobiling, and watching Iowa Hawkeye basketball.
Darel is survived by his daughters, Kimberly Hein, Davenport, and Brittany (Troy) Burmeister, Stockton; and brother-in-law, Dave Finck, Stockton. He was preceded in death by his wife; parents; and sister, Llyn Finck.
Celebration of life will be at the Walcott Legion on April 15 from noon-4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Durant Volunteer Firefighters, Durant Ambulance, or Walcott Fire Department. Condolences may be left at www.bentleyfuneralhome.com.