In Memory of Gary L. Godbersen

Gary L.  Godbersen
Gary L. Godbersen
Born: May 18, 1939
Died: January 17, 2023
Age: 83
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Gary L. Godbersen
May 18, 1939 - January 17, 2023
From: Ida Grove, IA

Gary L. Godbersen, age 83, of Ida Grove, Iowa, passed away on Tuesday, January 17, 2023.

Private Family Services will be held at the First United Methodist Church of Ida Grove, Iowa, with Rev. Luann Benge officiating.  A Public Celebration of Life Gathering will be held on Saturday, February 18, 2023, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the Skate Palace of Ida Grove, Iowa.  

In lieu of flowers, memorials in honor of Gary may be directed to the Horn Memorial Hospital Foundation to support the current Emergency Room project. Go to Click on the orange and white "Click Here To Donate" button. 

The Christensen-Van Houten Funeral Home of Ida Grove, Iowa, is in charge of the funeral arrangements.  Condolences may be sent online at


Gary L. Godbersen, loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend, left this Earth for his heavenly home on January 17, 2023. His last days were spent surrounded by his loving family.

Godbersen was CEO and cofounder of GOMACO in Ida Grove, Iowa.

Born May 18, 1939, in Mapleton, Iowa, where Gary's true legacy begins, he was the only child of Leone (Lee) and Harold W. Godbersen. Gary was a humble, curious, and hardworking child. He graduated from Ida Grove High School in 1957 and continued his education at Iowa State University, where he was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Construction Engineering. His love for his alma mater continues in his future generations.

On June 16, 1963, Gary married Sharon McIntosh of Ida Grove. The couple relocated to Minnesota where Gary took on leadership roles in two family businesses, Highway Bridge Inc. and Godbersen-Smith Construction. In 1965, a dream was born when Gary moved back to Ida Grove and with his father Harold, created Godbersen Manufacturing Company (GOMACO) to manufacture bridge deck finishing machines. As a company, GOMACO grew to include a full line of concrete paving equipment and became the worldwide leader in concrete paving technology. With Gary’s personality, hospitality, and ability to build long-standing relationships within the construction industry both nationally and internationally, the company became the foundation of his life’s work, while remaining family owned and operated.

While GOMACO acquired international status, at its core, it remained a true family company. Gary worked alongside his wife, and he was exceptionally proud that their three children joined the organization where they are leaders to this day.

Throughout his career, Gary was recognized by his peers for some of the industry’s highest honors. He was one of twelve individuals honored as an inaugural inductee into the Construction Equipment Hall of Fame for outstanding contributions to the construction equipment industry. Gary was also named as one of the “Top 100 Private Sector Transportation & Design Construction Professionals of the 20th Century” and earned the Governor’s Achievement Award for community betterment. Gary lent his time and talents to the construction industry’s major organizations, serving on numerous boards or as chairman. Gary’s passion and zest for life were inspirational and contagious. He had the ability to motivate and help those around him succeed.

Outside of work, Gary enjoyed golfing. From collecting antique clubs to hosting the GOMACO Invitational for forty years, Gary relished in a good round of golf with friends and a drink after work on the patio at the country club. He was an avid collector of boat memorabilia, fishing rods, reels, and lures, along with antique automobiles, which are on display in his museum located in downtown Ida Grove. He was a member of the Alpha Kappa Psi National Business Fraternity, the First United Methodist Church of Ida Grove, McNamara-Moore Post No. 61 of the American Legion, and Masonic Lodge-Kane #377.

In his younger years, Gary enjoyed hunting, fishing in Canada, and the great outdoors. Family time on the weekends was spent on the water in Okoboji and wintering in Exuma Bahamas, where he affectionately adopted a stray cat named Hurricane. A family tradition that lasted over 40 years was holiday ski trips to Vail, Colorado. As an ode to his beloved wife Sharon, Gary named his boat after her, and many adventures were enjoyed aboard the Shar O Kay.

Working together, the couple continued to support their local community with the Godbersen Family Foundation. Through the foundation, the family supported local projects, including renovations to the King Theater, installing new pickleball courts, paving the walking trail, and funding construction of both the youth ball fields and Rec Center. He was especially proud to award several scholarships to graduating OABCIG seniors each year. 

Although Gary was a very busy businessman, he would always make time to be grandpa to Jennifer, Jackson, Reed, Carson, Morgan, Libbie, and Ty. He attended as many of their activities as he was able. Gary always instilled in his children and grandchildren to be humble and hardworking. Up until the time of his passing he continued to amaze those around him with humility and charisma. 

Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Harold W. and Leone Godbersen.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Sharon; children Grant (Julie) Godbersen, Kent (Jill) Godbersen, Micki (Trevor Kruger) Godbersen; grandchildren Jennifer, Jackson, Reed, Carson, Morgan, Libbie, and Ty; as well as a lifetime’s worth of dear friends.


Celebration of Life
4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 18, 2023
Skate Palace
Ida Grove, Iowa


Tuesday, March 14, 2023 at 10:44 AM
“Sharon. I am so sorry for your loss. I don’t know if you remember me but I a the grandson of Jim and viola crane. I believe you are a bit younger than I am. I do remember you and Gary from the three years we lived in ida grove. My sincere condolences. ”
- Karen Usavage (Mulder)
Monday, February 20, 2023 at 11:04 AM
“My sympathy to the entire Godberson and GOMACO family I have great memories with Gary from our Canadian and Dakota fishing trips,working on Con Expo and WOC and always the Great Golf invitational in Ida Grove! Coe & Cindy Power”
- Coe Power
Friday, February 17, 2023 at 9:20 AM
“My sincerest condolences to Sharon and family. Gary played trumpet, Sharon flute in the Ida Grove H.S.Band which I
directed 1954-55. Sorry it takes a sad situation to bring back great memories. God be with you, Gary.

- Jim Maltby
Friday, February 17, 2023 at 9:20 AM
“Please accept our sincere condolences on behalf of myself and the entire Trimble family. While we only interacted rarely with Gary, it's clear that he instilled a culture of belonging, loyalty, customer service and honesty in the Gomaco organization. He will surely be missed, please accept our condolences as you celebrate this amazing man and his life.”
- Kevin Garcia
Monday, February 6, 2023 at 9:10 AM
“I feel blessed by the Godbersen family, Gary was a fair and strong leader, I will truely miss him. May God continue to smile on the Godbersen family ”
- Gene and Nadine Dutler
Tuesday, January 31, 2023 at 9:31 AM
“My sympathy to Gary's family. ”
- Russell Vetter
Tuesday, January 31, 2023 at 9:31 AM
“Dear Godbersen Family,

On behalf of the entire Machine Caretech team, I would like to express our deepest sympathy and condolences for the loss of Gary. We were deeply saddened to hear of his passing and our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

Gary was not only the president of GOMACO, but also a valued business partner, and most importantly, a friend to our company. He was also a true professional and a respected leader in the industry, and he will be missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Thank you, Gary.


Katsu Yoshida
Machine Caretech Corporation”
- Katsumi Yoshida
Sunday, January 29, 2023 at 11:53 AM
“My sincere sympathies for the loss of Gary.”
- Nadine Kelly
Wednesday, January 25, 2023 at 3:26 PM
“We are very sorry to hear of your loss and wish to continue his support of Horn Memorial Hospital.”
- Scott and Bonnie McIntosh (Bonnie Liszewski)
Wednesday, January 25, 2023 at 3:26 PM
“My most heartfelt condolences. Gary was always so friendly and welcoming. He will be missed by so many. Maria and I will be keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.”
- Kevin Lynch
Tuesday, January 24, 2023 at 9:14 AM
“Our deepest sympathies to the Godberson family and all of GOMACO. Gary was a kind visionary and a great example on how to handle business even from afar. From Germany, we are sending thoughts of peace and courage. ”
- Bodo Gävert
Tuesday, January 24, 2023 at 9:14 AM
“I want to say hello and send my heartfelt condolences to the family, mainly Kent and his family. We are very grateful for everything that Gomaco could give us and help us as a company. May God have Gary in his presence and may perpetual light accompany his soul and the Lord Jesus bless him in all eternity

Daniel Angos Villegas
Quito Ecuador ”
- Daniel Angos Villegas
Tuesday, January 24, 2023 at 9:14 AM
“I am extending my sincere condolences to all of the Godbersen family on behalf of myself and my late husband, Dan. Dan would remark about his time at GOMACO and share that the most he learned was on Saturday mornings at GOMACO around the table drinking coffee and listening to others' experiences. Gary would be there among others and contributed expansive wisdom and experiences. Dan respected the company and especially Gary's leadership as well as all of the GOMACO team. He strived to be successful as a Sales Manager. Thank you for the years that you supported Dan in his sales endeavors. Gary will be deeply missed by many. Thank you for those great years!”
- Becky Napierala
Monday, January 23, 2023 at 1:51 PM
“From all at JBI CONSTRUCTION prayers for entire Gomaco family. The concrete industry has lost one of the very best.”
- Tim Sigler
Monday, January 23, 2023 at 9:18 AM
“Condolences to all the family. Gary will be missed, keep him in your hearts.”
- Marty Ahrendt
Monday, January 23, 2023 at 9:18 AM
“Sharon, I was sorry to hear about Gary our prayers are with you and your family. ”
- Monte McCormick
Monday, January 23, 2023 at 9:18 AM
“Dear family of Gary, I am saddened to hear of Gary's passing. My memory of the whole Godbersen experience is one of my fondest. I met Gary, as well as his wife Sharon, sons Grant and Kent and daughter Micki...this meeting turned out to be a long and memorable friendship for which I am grateful. I pray that Gary will rest in the peace we all pray for. ”
- Al Nicholas
Monday, January 23, 2023 at 9:18 AM
“So sorry for your loss Micki and family. We know Gary will be greatly missed. Very appreciative for all that he and your family have done for the community. ”
- Ryan & Jen Albers
Saturday, January 21, 2023 at 2:38 PM
“I’m so sorry for your loss. Great man, great business leader, and a great host. They should rename WOC for him.”
- Jim Moriarty
Saturday, January 21, 2023 at 2:38 PM
“thanks to Gary for my years at gomaco. I recently retired, after 48 years and always enjoyed visiting him when he came through the plant. he always had ideas and dreams. he was a very special person. now I know he is at rest. and let us all carry on his spirit and dreams. god rest, Gary”
- patrick platt
Saturday, January 21, 2023 at 2:37 PM
“Our sympathies go out to the Godbersen family. Gary, along with his family, have been instrumental in so many community projects. May you find peace that his legacy will continue and cherish the memories you have. Our thoughts and prayers for you all.”
- Jaclyn & Mark Bogue
Friday, January 20, 2023 at 9:28 AM
“Our most sincere condolences to the Godbersen family on the passing of Gary, a friend to me and industry colleague for 40 years. He will always be remembered for his many friendships and his kindness to all. RIP, Mr. G!”
- Michael J Porcaro
Friday, January 20, 2023 at 9:28 AM
“My sincere condolences to Gary. On my first Gomaco factory visit, my team and I received warm welcome from Gary. I feel very comfortable with him. He is a kind person. He will always be in our heart. R.I.P.”
- Thailand Distributor
Friday, January 20, 2023 at 9:28 AM
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the Godbersen family during this difficult time. Gary was an Icon to the community that he gave and supported to in so many ways.
He will truly be missed.”
- Chris Kallas
Thursday, January 19, 2023 at 8:10 PM
“To the Godbersen family. Gary was super person, he did a lot for the Ida Grove Community and our school system. He and Sharon did a lot for my golf program and many other school activities. I enjoyed every conversation I had with him. Most of them were about Iowa State athletics. He will be missed by many.”
- Byron Hartwig
Thursday, January 19, 2023 at 2:47 PM
“Sending hugs, prayers and love to all of you. Our deepest sympathies and may God give you peace in all the good memories that you shared with him. ”
- Doug and Patty Wheeler
Thursday, January 19, 2023 at 1:18 PM
“My condolences, Gary was a great man and leader.”
- Kelly Bivens
Thursday, January 19, 2023 at 1:18 PM
“My sympathy to the family. Gary gave so much to so many ,..The entire community benefitted from him and Sharon and the projects completed with their help. I personally benefitted from having the experience of working for as well as with him. He had vision and a want to stay connected to our past through mass transportation while moving forward with technology. He was very approachable and welcomed interaction. The fact Godberson's have upgraded our hospital in the past and are moving forward with support again on the next step there. Peace to the family..
- Robert Bjorholm
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