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Gregory L. ‘Greg” Harms, 68, of Grundy Center, passed away on Thursday, July 26th at his home in Grundy Center, after a long and brave battle with cancer. He was cared for by his family and the staff of UnityPoint Hospice. A Gathering of Family & Friends will be held on Thursday, August 2nd from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Engelkes-Abels Funeral Home in Grundy Center. A private burial will be held by the family at a later date. Memorials may be directed to the family. Messages of condolence may be left for the family at www.abelsfuneralhomes.com.
Greg was born on August 6, 1949 in Marshalltown, Iowa, to his parents Eldon “Dutch” & Inez (Wrage) Harms. He was born and raised in the Lincoln/Gladbrook area as a child. Greg later made his home in Grundy Center. He was married to Maxine Appel on November 15, 1970. The couple welcomed children Jodi & Brad into their family. The couple later divorced. He later married Sandy Swab on February 29, 2008.
In 1968, Greg opened up a barber shop in Grundy Center. His first customer was Hal Rindels. He said, ‘Thank you “Butch” for taking a chance on my hair cutting skills fresh out of barber school’. And in 1968, Greg recalled a haircut being $1.70. In 1975, Greg went on to work for the Grundy County REC before beginning his long career at the Grundy County Assessor’s Office, in 1981. During that time, Greg had earned a few professional designations in appraisal work including his license as a Certified General Real Property Appraiser for the State of Iowa. After 28 years in the local courthouse, at the age of 60, Greg took early retirement from government work to begin his semi-retirement job as a self-employed Real Estate Appraiser. In 2008, Greg and his wife Sandy started their hobby of buying ‘orphan’ homes with accelerated depreciation and refurbishing them into livable homes. Fortunately, they all sold faster than the time it took them to refurbish them!
Some of the highlights over the last 50 years of Greg’s included first and most importantly; grandchildren! Other things included being elected to the Grundy Center city council at just 21 years old; elected Mayor of Grundy Center at age 24; being appointed to the Iowa Real Estate Appraiser Examining Board in 2013; serving as President of the Institute of Iowa Certified Assessors and serving on various committees for the Iowa State Association of Assessors during Greg’s 28 years in the Assessor’s office.
In Greg’s own words, “I have ridden my Harley in all of the lower 48 states, some were solo trips and some were with other bikes. One additional personal achievement is I am one of three remaining original members of our Poker Club that meets once a month for the last 41 years.” (Written in March of 2016).
Above all, Greg was a family man. He loved his family, especially his children and grandchildren and leaves behind a host of loyal friends.
Greg is survived by his wife Sandy of Grundy Center; daughter Jodi Verly (Nathan Kappel) of Grundy Center and Brad (Rhiannon) Harms of Cedar Falls; grandchildren Claire Verly and Ethan Kappel, both of Grundy Center and Brannon & Cael Harms of Cedar Falls; his beloved dog Maggie; brother Marshall Harms of Cedar Rapids, IA; brother-in-law Harold (Pam) Bollhoffer of Laurel, IA. Greg was preceded in death by his parents; son-in-law Les Verly; his dog Sammy.