Irene E. “Toots” (Gottschalk) Herbst

Irene E. “Toots” (Gottschalk) Herbst

Irene E. “Toots” (Gottschalk) Herbst, age 90, of Dubuque, was called home peacefully at 10:30 p.m., on Tuesday, December 18, 2018, at Bethany Home, surrounded by her loving family. To honor Toot’s life, funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., on Saturday, December 22, 2018, at the Church of the Resurrection, 4300 Asbury Road, with Rev. Phillip G. Gibbs officiating. To celebrate Toot’s life, family and friends may visit from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., on Friday, December 21, 2018, at Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, where there will be a parish scripture service held at 6:30 p.m. Burial will be in Resurrection Cemetery.

Toots was born on November 27, 1928, in Dubuque, Iowa, daughter of Henry and Mabel (Hedrick) Gottschalk.

Toots was united in marriage to the love of her life, Leo Herbst, on June 14, 1952, at Fort McClellan, Alabama, and they were blessed with 54 years together and 5 wonderful children, before Leo was called home ahead of her on February 20, 2007. She was a devoted wife and mother, but also shared her talents outside of the home working at Four Mounds, Burdens, the Battery Factory and Ponderosa Restaurant. Toots was a faith filled woman and a long-time member of the Church of the Resurrection, as well as a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. Toots loved the outdoors, and had an undeniable green thumb, tending to a large garden and several beautiful flower beds every summer. She also enjoyed a day out on the water fishing and giving the guys a run for their money when it came to catching the biggest fish. Toots also had a playfully competitive side and enjoyed a spirited game of Euchre whenever the opportunity arose. She had an adventurous spirit, and Toots and Leo loved traveling the country visiting new places and taking in all the sights. Family was always the most important thing in her world, and Toots cherished any chance she had to spend time with Leo, the children, and eventually the grandchildren and great-grandchildren, always making sure everyone knew how special and loved they were. Our hearts are saddened today at losing such a kind, thoughtful, loving mom, grandma, great-grandma and sister. We feel very blessed for the 90 years Toots was here walking on this Earth with us, and take some comfort in knowing that she and dad are reunited for their 1st Christmas in their Heavenly home.

Those left to cherish Toot’s memory include

her children,
Randy (Sandra) Herbst, Belgrade, MT,
Rick (Joan) Herbst, Durango, IA,
Terry (Dennis) Bellmann, Dubuque, IA,
Ron (Deb) Herbst, Sherrill, IA
and Tina (Mike) Longsdorf, EauClaire, WI;

her 17 grandchildren;

her 28 great-grandchildren;

her sisters-in-law,
Dorothy Gottschalk,
Anita (Jim) Gulyash
and Sylvia Dietz;

and her brothers-in-law,
Leroy Bettcher
and John “Bill” Theisen.

Toots was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Leo Herbst; her brother, Earl Gottschalk; a sister, Jeanette Bettcher; and her in-laws, Florence (Charles) Weiland, Arlene (Charles) Chapman, Roselyn (Tom) Erlich, Lavonne (Leo) Abitz, Betty Theisen and Kenneth Dietz.

Toots’ family would like to thank the outstanding staff of Bethany Home for all of their loving care and support of Toots and her entire family.

Memorials will be accepted by the family to be distributed among her favorite charities.


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Behr Funeral Home
1491 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa
December 21st, 2018 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Funeral Service

Church of the Resurrection
4300 Asbury Road, Dubuque, Iowa
December 22nd, 2018 at 10:30 AM

6 condolences for Irene E. “Toots” (Gottschalk) Herbst
  1. John A Wagner says:

    I would like to extend my sympathy to the family of my Toots, my third cousin. We had a delightful visit in 2012 and she showed me her garden and family albums. She had great energy and great love for her children, her grandchildren and, at that time, 20 great grandchildren (waiting for 21). Toots and I shared Martain Specht as our GG Grandfather.

  2. Pamela Moriarty says:

    Our condolences to you and your family Ron! Tj and I are sending our love through this Holiday season knowing you mom and dad are back together again!

  3. Donna Thiess says:

    Thinking of all of you during this difficult time. Hugs, prayers and immense love to one and all of you.
    She was a wonderful person. ❤️

  4. David & Bonnie Coyle says:

    Rick & Joan,
    So sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. Will be praying for you and your family through this difficult time.

  5. Joan kramer says:

    My heart is sad at the death of Toots. She was a wonderful person. So happy and kind. She did have a great family. I am in Az. Cant be at the services. Know my thoughts and love is with u all. Joan

  6. John & Carol Friedman says:

    So sorry about your loss. She will be missed, Prayers to you & family

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