Darwin Keith Bartels
Darwin Keith Bartels, 59, died Aug. 26, 2017 from a sudden heart attack at Mercy Medical Center in West Des Moines, Iowa. Funeral services were scheduled for Thursday morning, Aug. 31 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Urbandale, Iowa.
Darwin was born Oct. 12, 1957 in Imperial, Neb., to Reuben and Wilma Bartels. He was baptized Nov. 3, 1957 and confirmed April 4, 1971 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, rural Wauneta.
Darwin grew up in Enders and graduated from Chase County High School in 1975. He earned a Business Administration degree and an Associate of Science Data Processing degree from the National College of Business in Rapid City, S.D., graduating in 1979.
While at National College, he was a member of the DEK fraternity. He later attended Iowa State University on the weekends to get his master’s degree in Business Administration.
In college, Darwin met the love of his life, Brenda Nagel. They were married Aug. 24, 1979 and moved to Des Moines, Iowa, where they started their family, a daughter, Jonalyn, in 1981, and a son, Tyler, in 1985.
Early in his career, Darwin worked for National Cash Register (NCR) and then Townsend Industries. In 1986 Darwin was hired by Reames Foods/Marzetti Frozen Pasta where over the past 31 years he rose to the position of Controller.
His favorite position was being “Papa” to his two young granddaughters who he adored.
Growing up in western Nebraska, Darwin developed a passion for the outdoors which he shared with anyone he could, especially his children. He loved to hunt and fish and led countless fishing trips to Reel Em Inn Lodge in Canada. He always enjoyed being the outfitter to friends while fishing, which was a convenient excuse to buy more gear.
Darwin was a lifelong Nebraska Cornhuskers fan although he also grew an affinity for Cyclone athletics upon moving to Iowa and attending ISU.
He faithfully attended Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Urbandale, Iowa, where he served on the audio-visual team.
Anyone who knew Darwin knows he never met a stranger. Heaven has called home a truly exceptional man.
Darwin is survived by his wife, Brenda Bartels of Urbandale, Iowa; daughter, Jonalyn (Dan) Mulcahy of West Des Moines Iowa; son, Tyler Bartels of Des Moines, Iowa; sisters, Ruby (George) Nekola of Lincoln, Cherine (Kevin) Parde of The Colony, Texas, and Gayle Bartels of Lincoln; granddaughters, Sloane and Claire Mulcahy and father-in-law, John Nagel.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Reuben and Wilma Bartels; infant sister, Rae Jean Bartels; and niece, Kelly Nekola.
A specific memorial has not been identified, but contributions to the family will be utilized for a future memorial to honor Darwin.
Caldwell Parrish Funeral Home, Des Moines, Iowa, was in charge of arrangements.