Darwin Lussman

Darwin "Dusty" Lussman, 84, of Storm Lake, died Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center.

Funeral services were held Wednesday, Oct. 12, at St. John Lutheran Church in Storm Lake. Burial was in Buena Vista Memorial Park Cemetery in Storm Lake with military rites by Amvets Post #66. Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home in Storm Lake was in charge of the arrangements.


Darwin Lussman was born Feb. 25, 1932 in Grant Township, Buena Vista County, the son of Edward and Anna (Mohr) Lussman. He was baptized at Zion Lutheran Church in rural Buena Vista County and was later confirmed at St. John Lutheran Church in Storm Lake. Dusty, as he was known by those who loved him, cherished living on the family farm for over 80 years. Highlights growing up included: attending country school via pony or buggy through seventh grade, driving horses to make hay, racing ponies with his siblings and neighbors and chasing gophers around the pasture in his Model T. He graduated from Sulphur Springs Providence Consolidated School in 1950.

He was drafted in the Army in 1952. Darwin served at Fort Polk, La. and Fort Riley, Kan. and participated in the first mock atomic bomb response held on US soil. Darwin was then honorably discharged having attained the rank of sergeant.

On Feb. 23, 1958 he married the love of his life, Joanne Hartman at Sioux Valley, Minn. Together, they were blessed with five children. Dusty farmed until he retired in the 1990s.

Faith was extremely important to Dusty. He was an active member of St. John Lutheran Church. He especially enjoyed being a trustee and member of the Evangelism Committee. He was very grateful to fellow members who assisted him getting to church every Sunday.

He was a lifetime member of Amvets and DAV, and served as commander of Amvets Post #66 for seven years. He also was in the Honor Guard for 48 years and served as commander for 20 of those years. Dusty was passionate that local veterans who passed away were given final military rites and he participated in over 250 rites throughout the entire county.

Dusty cherished the camaraderie of “hunting for bells” with Joanne and belonged to the American Bell Association. He was honored to ring in Iowa’s Sesquicentennial at the Capitol with a Town Crier bell manufactured by the White Chapel company, which made our Liberty Bell.

Dusty was secretary treasurer of the bowling league for 15 years. He also belonged to the Oliver Hart Parr Collectors association, the “real” green tractor. His favorite was the 88 Oliver Diesel. Dusty’s favorite cars were his ’21 Ford Model T, ’54 Ford and ’65 Ford Mustang convertible. His favorite card game was cribbage. He was gifted with artistic talent and created unique folk art from metal, wood and scraps for his church, family and friends. Most of all he loved spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was blessed with a great sense of humor, being dealt good cards and joy of life. Dusty will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.

Those left to cherish his memory include children: Mark (Darlene) Lussman of Storm Lake; Carolyn (Glen) Armstrong of Albert City; Sarah Lussman (Lori Stirn) of Hood River, Ore.; Nadine Lussman (Wouter Koedam) of Arzier, Switzerland; Connie (Curt) Reis of Storm Lake; grandchildren: Matt (Sara) Lussman of Sioux Falls, S.D.; Jeff (Angie) Lussman of Storm Lake; Jessica (Scott) Bettin of Holstein; Randi Armstrong (special friend, Keegan Paul) of Cedar Rapids; Kerri (Josh) Suhr of Storm Lake; Ivonne and Isabelle Koedam of Arzier, Switzerland; Chris (Jenni) Reis of Albuquerque, N.M.; Caycee Reis (special friend, Adam Schmidt) of Le Mars; great-grandchildren: Kiptyn and Brigham Lussman; Adysen and Easton Lussman; Camille Bettin; Chloe and Blaine Suhr; sister, Arta (John) Harman of Corydon; sister-in-law, Lorna Lussman of Storm Lake.

Darwin was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Joanne; and his brother, Harold Lussman. Less than a day after Dusty’s passing, his brother, Willis Lussman passed away.