Gerald "Scoop" Houser, 88

Gerald Allen “Scoop” Houser, 88, Red Oak, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024. He left us from his home in rural Montgomery County, tinkering in the garage, which is what he would have wanted.
Scoop was born on Oct. 10, 1935, near Henderson, to Leslie and Helen “Ticky” (Byers) Houser. He graduated from Henderson High School and was united in marriage to JoAnn Taylor on Oct. 17, 1953, in Glenwood. Scoop proudly served in the U.S. Army, where he was trained in artillery and played baseball. Scoop and JoAnn lived in Tacoma, Wash., during Scoop’s time in the service and moved back to Southwest Iowa in 1960.
Scoop was a farmer. He began by renting land and in 1967, purchased a farm in rural Montgomery County. On this land, he and JoAnn built their home (with the assistance of his sister Janet) and their family. He remained on this land for 57 years until his death. Farming was more than a profession to Scoop, rather it was a way of life. He had deep gratitude and respect for his land and the animals who inhabited it. He was also a good businessman, constantly monitoring the myriad of factors outside his control and making the wisest of decisions about what was in his control. These accomplishments, however, are far from his greatest.
Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of Scoop’s life was the impact he had on people through relationships. Scoop loved and served his family every day until his last, many times in unanticipated ways. He partnered with JoAnn to raise two children, advocate for their needs, and ensure they were able to live their best lives. He was an incredible grandfather – giving of his time, wisdom, and wit without ever being asked. When JoAnn fell ill with Alzheimer’s Disease, Scoop was her primary caregiver for several years.
Scoop would do anything for his family, and, frankly for any human in his orbit. He never knew a stranger. He engaged with all those he encountered and sought to understand them. In so doing, he had a way of making whomever he was talking to feel like the most important person in the world. Scoop changed the world through relationships, and, though not a Christian for most of his life, showed Christ-like love to every person he met.
Scoop became a Christian 12 years ago, shortly after JoAnn’s death. JoAnn was a lifelong Christian and faithful church-goer, and insisted that “he’ll come along (someday).” Little did she know that the end of her life on Earth would mark the beginning of his walk with God. When JoAnn became too ill to drive, he began taking her to church. And since he was there, he listened. He was baptized shortly after JoAnn’s passing and rarely, if ever, missed Sunday church for the rest of his life.
In the years after JoAnn’s death, he developed a special relationship with Ms. Marilyn Fleming. They toured the countryside together, visited friends and family, and enjoyed each other’s company.
Preceding him in death were his parents; wife, JoAnn Houser; sister, Janet Peterson; brothers-in-law, Bud Peterson and Robert Taylor; sister-in-law, Donna Taylor; and special friend, Marilyn Fleming.
Survivors include his children, Julie Barclay and husband Curt of Shenandoah, and Kenneth Houser of Red Oak; granddaughter, Kira Barclay and husband Jim Straub of Urbandale; great-grandchildren, Caroline and Miles Sisson of Urbandale, Gillian Straub of Minneapolis, Minn., Nick Straub and wife Anna Jansen of Heidelberg, Germany, and Mike Straub of Des Moines; sister, Kathy Lunn and husband Rick of Emerson; along with many nieces, nephews, extended relatives and a host of friends.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, at the Henderson Christian Church. A reception will follow at the Community Center. A private family burial was held at Farm Creek Cemetery on Jan. 20, where Scoop was laid to rest next to JoAnn. A memorial fund will be established in Scoop’s name. The family would ask that you make a new friend in Scoop’s honor as a way to further extend his legacy.
Nelson-Boylan-LeRette Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.


The Red Oak Express

2012 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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