IDA GROVE, Iowa -- Byron LeRoy Godbersen, 78, Ida Grove, Iowa, seasonal resident of the Ten Mile Lake area in Hackensack, died Sunday, May 11, 2003, at home.
He was born Jan. 19, 1925, near Mapleton, Iowa to Harry and Minnie (Scheer) Godbersen. He served in World War II as a paratrooper in the Pacific Theatre of operations. He married LaJune Erickson and began farming the family farm near Mapleton, Iowa. He developed a hydraulic hoist for farm wagons called the Bolster Hoist. In March 1954, Midwest Industries, Inc. was incorporated, and in October 1954, a U.S. patent was issued for the Godbersen POWR-LINK. In 1959 he developed and marketed Shore Station. He was awarded Iowa's Small Businessman of the Year award in 1973, and he went on be named National Small Businessman of the Year that same year. His many community contributions and growing businesses became recognized nationwide, earning him the Albert Galletin Award in 1974. In 1976, he created Byron Originals, a division of Midwest Industries. In 1987, Byron Originals was spun off as a separate company.
He has well over 50 patents to his credit. In 1996, he was inducted into the Iowa Inventors' Hall of Fame and was named Inventor of the Year in Iowa. In 1999, the National Marine Manufacturers Association honored him with the Alan J. Freeman Award for his contributions to the marine industry.
Survivors include his wife, LaJune; a son, Bruce Godbersen, Ida Grove, Iowa; four daughters, Beverly Corr, Susan Rusch, Linda Harriman, and Debra Brosius, all of Ida Grove, Iowa; 11 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and a sister, Berniece Pruehs, Ida Grove, Iowa.
A brother, Harold Godbersen, died earlier.
Services will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ida Grove, Iowa, with the Rev. John Schauer officiating. Burial will be in Ida Grove Cemetery with military graveside honors conducted by McNamara-Moore Post No. 61 of the American Legion.
Friends may call from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday, with the family present from 6-8 p.m., at Christensen-Huffman Funeral Home in Ida Grove, Iowa.
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