F. Edward Traut was born on the family farm on September 25, 1920 to Cecil and Nellie Holland Traut. He attended grade school for 8 years and then went to Mt. Pleasant High School where he graduated in the spring of 1937. Edward worked on the family farm and did odd jobs in 1937 -1938 along with working weekends for the A & P Grocery and Western Auto Store.
On September 4, 1940 Edward married Prudence “Prudy” Peterson, daughter of Nels and Hanna Peterson of Swedesburg, IA. They had two daughters, Janet and Judy. They soon moved to Galesburg, IL, where Edward took a job as brakeman for the Burlington Railroad, which ran between Galesburg, IL and Ottumwa, IA. In 1943 he was promoted to conductor continuing to work until December 1949 when he took a 2 year leave of absence. In October 1951, Ed and Prudy moved to Sigourney, Iowa where they opened the business of Traut’s Ice Cream Bar. He later sold the ice cream shop but continued operating and manufacturing ice cream for wholesale, which he sold by operating delivery trucks to farm homes and small businesses. In 1968 they sold the business to Schwan Dairy, Which is still in operation.
Edward then started his own insurance agency where Prudy helped run the office and later added H & R Block tax services to the business. The insurance office was sold but they continued running the tax service until 1985 when he had a heart attack and daughter Judy took over managing the office. In 1992 Ed and Prudy moved to Ottumwa due to Prudy’s ill health. Prudence passed away August 8, 1996. On July 5, 1997 Edward married Esther (Jackie) Newell in Ottumwa, IA.
Those Left to cherish his memory are his wife Jackie, of Oskaloosa, daughter Judy and husband Don Parks, of Rose Hill, grandchildren Jeffrey Gilliland, Lori Brainard, Janese Smallwood, Kristi Hollingsworth, Michael Parks, Deb Crookham, Chris Parks, Scott Gilliland, Staci Shettler, several great - grandchildren and one great - great - granddaughter, Karlie Crookham who completed Edward’s pride and joy in having a 5 generation family. Also left to mourn are stepchildren Charles (Karen) Weatherwax, JoAnna (Harold) Francis, Terry (Brenda) Weatherwax, David (Jane) Weatherwax, numerous step - grandchildren and step- great - grandchildren.
Preceding him in death were his parents, wife Prudence, daughter Janet Brainard, son-in-law’s Larry Brainard and Billy Megrew, and great - grandson Connor Gilliland, and brother Omar Traut and sister, Ruth Snyder.
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