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Photo of Darrell Schaper

Darrell Schaper

March 21, 1934 - May 21, 2024


Darrell C. Schaper, 90, of Britt, passed away on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center in Mason City.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 AM on Wednesday, May 29, 2024 at Ewing Funeral Home, 178 Center Street West in Britt, with Pastor Kristen Peters officiating. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery in Britt.

Visitation will be held from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM on Tuesday, May 28, 2024 at Ewing Funeral Home in Britt.

Memorials in Darrell’s name may be directed to Hancock County Agriculture Museum, West Hancock Ambulance Service, or The Nature Conservancy.

Darrell Clifford Schaper, the son of Clifford Sydney and Ardath Bernadine (Strader) Schaper, was born on March 21, 1934 in Mason City, Iowa. Darrell attended rural Britt No. 7 (the Dickerson School) for elementary school. He graduated from Britt High School in 1952.

Following high school, Darrell graduated in 1956 from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Husbandry.  His campus distinctions include service on the Veishea Central Committee and membership in the Gamma Delta honorary agricultural fraternity.

Darrell served in the U.S. Army (1956-1958) as a medical corpsman. Following basic training, he was attached to the 30* Field Army Hospital. Stationed at Fitzsimmons General Army Hospital in Denver, Colorado, he was awarded the Good Conduct Medal and recognized as Soldier of the Month. He received an honorable discharge with the rank of Specialist 4th Class.

He married Judith Ann Freiberg in Storm Lake, Iowa in 1959. Two children were born of this marriage: Stephen (deceased) of Rochester, Minnesota and Susan of Caldwell, Idaho.

Darrell was an active farmer for 40 years. For 31 of those years, he worked as a consultant with the Central Iowa Farm Business Association in Hancock, Kossuth, and Winnebago Counties. Darrell enjoyed being out-of-doors. He loved working in the fields, horseback riding, hiking, and photography. Reading, music, history, John Deere two-cylinder tractors, and restoring antiques were favorite activities. He enjoyed spending time with family and friends, particularly when combined with travel. The Rocky Mountains and England were favorite destinations. He enjoyed the special times that he had with Zachery, Rachel, Jamisen, and Chloe Nielsen.

Following confirmation in 1946, Darrell was a life-long member of the Methodist Church. He chaired several boards and taught an adult Sunday School class with Judy for 30 years. He served as township clerk of Erin Township for 25 years and chaired the Britt Centennial Committee in 1978. Darrell was president and treasurer of the Hancock County Little Theater where he acted in several plays. In 1994, he was diagnosed with and survived prostate cancer.

Darrell was director for 21 years of the Hancock County Historical Society which administers the 1896 Larson-Armstrong House. He was a founder of the Hancock County Agricultural Museum and Pioneer Village and served for many years as curator and president of the Board of Directors. He restored many of the items on display. In the West Hancock School district, Darrell volunteered as an RSVP elementary school reading buddy and as a pen pal. He was honored as the West Hancock High School Alumnus of the Year in 2004.

Following retirement from active farming, he enjoyed helping the Nielsens with the fall field work for 15 years. He spent several years writing his memoirs, reflecting on his life in farming, his appreciation of nature, and the historical changes he had witnessed.

He is preceded in death by his parents, sister Sharron, and son Stephen.

He is survived by his wife Judy of Britt; daughter Susan of Caldwell, Idaho; and sister Martha Hand of Shepherd, Montana; two nieces and one nephew.