Lawrence "Shorty" Roes

lawrence roes
Lawrence E. Roes, age 77 of New Hampton, IA passed away on Wednesday, September 9, 2015 at Chautauqua Guest Homes, Inc. in Charles City, IA. Lawrence “Shorty” Roes was born December 21, 1937, the son of William and Wilhemine “Minnie” (Gasseling) Roes in Hemingford, NE. He was a 1958 graduate from Hemingford High School. After graduating, Shorty entered the United States Army. Upon returning from the military, Shorty was united in marriage to Lois Testroet on April 4, 1964 at St. Bridgette’s Catholic Church in Hemingford. The couple made their home in Ionia, IA where they raised their two sons, Thomas and Daniel. Shorty worked hard all his life to provide what his family needed: a house, food, work ethic, and a true sense of security. In his lifetime he was an athlete, went to college; was a farmer, a carpenter, a softball coach, his sons’ cheerleader (you could hear him from the stands), a factory worker, furniture delivery man, a gas station attendant, and a 33-year veteran of the Ionia Fire Department. He was quiet but loved to play. He stood his ground when he needed, bending when warranted. He loved family. When his family thinks of all the lives he touched, they smile because that quiet gentle giant tried to make life a better place with a helping hand. Shorty had many interests, including Nascar, books, the Nebraska Huskers, and playing cards. In the words of his children, “He was a son, brother, husband, grandfather, and we called him a great grandfather. We also called him friend and Dad. God bless you, Pop. We love you and know you will be our guardian angel.” Shorty is survived by his two sons, Thomas (Theresa Bailey) Roes of Nevada, IA and Daniel (Jody) Roes of Onalaska, WI; his grandchildren, Trevor and Collin Roes, Ray Wisecup, Candice Washington and Kristina Ellis; 5 great-grandchildren; one sister, Teresa Wehling of Broken Bone, NE and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his loving wife, Lois; and his seven brothers, Victor, Albert, Bernard, Donald, Everett, Herman and Marcus.

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  1. Hi Tom and Dan,
    My heart is heavy for you both today. Shorty, or as I would like to call him “Santa Claus,” was a very wonderful man. I enjoyed the trips with my family to come see him and Louis. They both made beautiful marks on my heart and I am glad I got to be apart of their lives. I am praying for you and your family during this difficult time.
    With sincere sympathy,
    Jessica (Wilson) Halbrook

  2. Tom & Dan, My heart hurts for both you. Uncle Shorty was one of my favorite people. He had one of the kindest hearts. A gentle giant! I find comfort he is back with Auntie and no longer has to suffer. Hugs to you both, Love your cousin Sharon

  3. Dan and Tom,

    My sincerest sympathy to both of you and family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I have a lot of fond memories of Shorty.

  4. Dearest Tom, Dan & Families,

    I just want you to know how sorry I am about your dad! I have so many fond memories of visiting your mom and your dad, not only when we were little and came to stay with Grandma Testroet, but also when we were older as well!
    They were always so welcoming and we always ha d fun! My favorite times were when we were singing and listening to the beautiful harmonies of Aunt Lois and my mom! And playing cards & games! How competitive both him & your mom were!
    This is stupid, but I think the thing I’ll always remember about your dad was the size of his hands! LOL! He had hands the size of canned hams! As a little kid, that made a big impression on me! Stupid, I know, right? I was in awe of those hands! I don’t recall ever seeing hands that big!
    It makes me so very sad that the only family that we have left up there now is Dan & Peg! How I miss going up there to see all of our family!
    As I told you, Tom, in our Facebook message, I take great comfort in the fact that he was speaking to our loved ones before he died, , so you know, that there is life beyond this earthly realm! And I take comfort in knowing that we’ll see each other again someday!
    I last saw your dad when Doug & I took a trip up to Ionia a couple of years ago; I think it was to see Aunt Norita in the hospital before she died, and we stopped at the Hideaway and I called your dad to see if he would come up and we would buy him dinner or a pop, and he said that he was having trouble with his feet at the time, and that he wasn’t up to going out, & I remember that is when all his problems started.
    I regret now that I didn’t visit him when he was sick. Many times I thought about it, but of course, stupid life gets in the way.
    I’m so very grateful that Uncle Shorty was a part of the Testroet family, and it was a true honor knowing him! He was truly one of a kind and will be missed by all of us!
    Love you
    Mary & Doug Thornburg

  5. I felt like I have known Shorty my whole life. He welcomed me into his home and treated me so good. At times I would recall calling him ‘Dad’ and he never objected.

  6. Tom you know that Dad meant the world to me. I remember at times when I would call him that ‘Dad’ and he never objected. I was welcomed into your home by both your Mom and Dad and I will never forget either one of them. They are together now, and although it is hard to say goodbye, have some comfort in knowing he is on no more pain, God his Savior has taken him into his arms and welcomed him home. I am ALWAYS there for you, love you!

  7. When I think of Shorty, I remember the many good times we had with him and Lois, we did so many things together, when Jack and I and family moved from Pa. to Ia. back in 1976, we spend many hours at their house, making quilts, I don’t know how many we made, but it passed the time and we enjoyed laying out the pattern on the floor and then putting it together., and we would sing, Shorty had such a deep voice, he could knock a song out of the park. We enjoyed playing cards and other assorted games. with both of them. Shorty never had a problem doing what many would call women’s work, and he could quilt and sew well.. The last few years have been hard on Shorty, and we know that God took him home and he is at peace in a beautiful place that know’s no pain or sorrow, only beauty, happiness and family. Nothing can be better then that. Tom, Dan and families, you have our deepest sympathies. May God Bless you at this very difficult time.

  8. Tom, Dan and families– Just want you to know you are both in our thoughts and prayers, your dad was a great guy– we both always loved talking with him and seeing him around Ionia.

  9. Tom,Dan & Family, My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. May God’s grace grant you comfort and peace.

  10. Dan, prayers for you and your family. I did get an email announcing this, but it went into my junk folder, and I just saw it this weekend. Sorry for the late condolences.

    It sure has been a long time since I have seen you, and even longer since I was at your house back in the Luther days!! But I do have good memories of my time there. Would you believe that this year is 25 years since graduation?

  11. R.I.P. Shorty. Always keep singing, you were good. “Nothing Like Dame” Chadron State musical. Just now looking at your picture I realized how much you look like Uncle Bill,( Shorty’s dad). Hi to the family, I knew your Dad and Mom, and Uncle Bill and Aunt Minnie. It’s been a number of years since we last visited. Take care cousin Sylvester.

  12. Tom and Dan and your families. Our deepest sympathy for the loss of your Dad. It’s been a long since I’ve seen Uncle Shorty and when I saw his picture in the Ledger I thought I was looking at Grandpa Roes. It is a nice picture. May your Dad now rest in peace.

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