BY KAREN HANSEN
After reading this recollection of Donald Fischer in No Stone Unturned page 256, I found the obituary of Hans Mundt. A photo of his gravestone is on findagrave.com.
I remember another man from my youth. He had probably been a settler from Germany for that is the language he spoke when he came into my dad’s grocery store. Hans, pronounced more like “Hauns” Mundt was in his 90’s when I knew of him. I passed by his house often each day. It was a small place with a shed to the rear. On rare occasions in the summertime he would be resting on a bench out of sight of the street. Hans never had visitors nor anyone to love or care for him. My childhood memory of him was in the wintertime when he would venture out for a few groceries. The journey was only two blocks but it took a toll as if it were ten miles. Hans would enter the side door to save steps. I never saw him venture beyond my dad’s store. He would enter huffing and puffing as though one more step would be his last. His full facial beard was covered with frost from his labored breathing. He was limited to a purchase he could carry and what his little pocket purse would provide. He would sit and rest a moment and then begin the struggle to get back home. I don’t know when he died. . .. But I think of “Hauns;” and if I should ever get back to my hometown in this earthly body, I am going to look up Hans Mundt’s gravesite, stand at his feet and say, “Someone is thinking of you today.”
HANS MUNDT DIES
Mr. Hans Mundt was born at Stokendorf, in der Prostie, Holstein, Germany, February 20, 1840. He received his early education and religious instruction in Germany. When 18 years old he came to America settling in Davenport, Iowa, where he lived about 17 years, after which he came to western Iowa spending some years in Sioux county and the last 30 years of his life in Walnut.
Mr. Mundt remained unmarried all his life. His only relative is Mr. Henry Miller, a nephew, who cared for his needs during his later days. Mr. Mundt was held in respect by all who knew him.
Though hard of hearing, he was well until the last two weeks, when he retired to his bed and quietly came to his end October 11, 1936, aged 96 years, 7 months and 21 days.
Funeral services were held in the Evangelical church Tuesday afternoon at 2 o’clock, with Rev. Wm. Krummel in charge of the services.
The Evangelical Choir furnished the music. His remains were placed in the Walnut cemetery. (Walnut Bureau, Thursday, October 15, 1936, p. 1)