It’s hard to capture a person in a single page, but if you tried with Richard Dverg Krantz, 80, you might say he was an old-school gentleman, a soft-spoken and patient guy. That may have just been his natural disposition from the day he was born, which was April 22, 1943, the oldest son of Clifford and Raemond Krantz of Titonka, Iowa. Or maybe it was a personality trait he had to acquire after having so many people ask about that unusual middle name, Dverg, which became the name by which he was known. He would patiently repeat the story of how his parents so admired a family friend, Irving Dvergsten, that they gave their son a shortened version of his last name.
That patience, however, also served Dverg in more important pursuits: with family and with farming, the two great loves of his life. As a boy growing up on his family’s northern Iowa farm, he worked alongside his parents, his younger brother, Noel, and his younger sister, Linda. He not only enjoyed helping work the land but also grew to love the business side of farming. His entire life, he was thoughtful in planning for the future, and he could crunch numbers with the best of them when it came to making financial decisions.
After he graduated from Titonka High School in 1961, he headed to Iowa State University to study agricultural business, graduating in 1965. While at ISU, he practiced the same deliberate thinking in choosing a partner in life. His senior year, he met fellow Iowa Stater Karen Pearson, and the two were married in the summer of 1966.
After graduating, Dverg took a job at Brenton Bank in Clarion, Iowa. Four years later, Dverg and Karen moved to Titonka, and farmed with Dverg’s parents and brother for ten years. Their sons, Darin and Jeremy, came along in 1973 and 1977, eventually growing into confident boys who could not only greet adults properly but who could also find ways to - occasionally - push Dverg beyond that legendary patience to the rare level of exasperation. But, far more often, the four shared laughter and joy, both in Titonka and after buying and moving to their farm near the unincorporated town of Monti, Iowa in 1979. Dverg worked his Buchanan County fields year after year, often with his sons by his side, through financial highs and lows, through droughts and floods, always loving the science of row-crop agriculture. In 2014, Jeremy joined his parents in farming, gradually taking over the operation.
Eventually, the family of four grew to include daughters-in-law, Colleen and Emily, as well as six grandchildren. Dverg loved seeing his sons and grandchildren grow and become their own unique people, watching proudly (and often with a sentimental tear in his eye) as they found their way in the world. He loved strong handshakes and looking others in the eye. He loved meeting new people and turning them into friends. He loved the look of a perfectly clean field of corn or soybeans. He loved a great story, including those told at his own expense. He loved dark chocolate, often in too-large quantities. He loved his relatives, neighbors, and his church family at Immanuel Lutheran in Independence.
Dverg died on September 15, 2023, two days after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke. Preceding him in death were his parents; a sister, Kathryn, who died in infancy; brother-in-law Geoffrey Goetz; and his in-laws, Mary and Loren Pearson.
Survivors include his loving wife of 57 years, Karen Krantz, of rural Coggon, Iowa; son Darin (Colleen) Krantz of Adel, Iowa and son Jeremy (Emily) Krantz of Polk City, Iowa; grandchildren Logan, Luke and Paige of Adel, and Jenna, Canon and Griffin of Polk City; brother, Noel (Elise) Krantz of Titonka, Iowa; sister Linda Arnold of Eustis, Florida; sister-in-law Lorraine (Doug) Light of Southlake, Texas; sister-in-law Marcia Goetz of Edwardsville, Illinois; and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be private. A public celebration of his life will be held on Sunday, Nov. 12 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Cedar Ridge Winery in Swisher, Iowa. Please share a memory of Dverg at Cedar Memorial’s site, www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries. In honor of Dverg, memorials for a scholarship fund may be sent to Keith Kramer at F&M Bank, 101 E Main St. Manchester, IA 52057 or the Krantz residence at 2891 Washington Ave. Coggon, IA 52218.