In Memory of Gary L. Godbersen
Died: January 17, 2023
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 https://www.hornmemorialhospital.org/ 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 www.christensenvanhouten.com
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
Ida Grove, Iowa
Daniel Angos Villegas
Quito Ecuador ”
He will truly be missed.”