Grace Louise Brechtel, 92 of Des Moines, Iowa passed away at home on July 1st, 2023. Grace was born May 6th, 1931, to William and Daisy Altemeier at home in Waukee, Iowa. Grace spent most of her childhood growing up on a farm in Madrid, Iowa. Around the age of 15, she was Born Again (John 3:3) at a Church of Christ church camp near Marshalltown, Iowa. She graduated from Madrid High School at 17 years old, as Valedictorian, and then attended A.I.B. (American Institute of Business) in Des Moines, while also working jobs at Equitable Life Insurance company and the Open Bible Standard Church’s headquarters. During these years, she attended First church of the Open Bible, often sitting in the balcony where she eventually caught the eye of Robert (Bob) Brechtel. Legend has it she spurned his requests to go out several times before she finally gave in to his persistence. They married May 17th, 1952, and celebrated 71 years together this year. Grace was also a devoted mother to their four children, Nancy, Robert Jr., Bruce and Jon.
Grace enjoyed children and faithfully taught Sunday School for over 40 years. Grace was the head bookkeeper of the various business enterprises she and Bob were involved in, all operating out of their home office. This allowed Grace to stay involved in the daily activities of her children as a full-time homemaker as well. While her own childhood was simple, Grace allowed her children to enjoy theirs with as many things as she could manage. She was game to take them to the Camp Dodge pool, Riverview and later, Adventureland, allowed many sleepovers, trips to the movies and the science museum, etc., enriching all of their lives.
Grace loved and prayed for her family, and those left to honor her memory include her husband Bob; son-in-law, John Sagherian of Beirut, Lebanon, sons, Rob (Neva) of Lathrop, California, Bruce (Lisa) of North Liberty, Iowa, and Jon (Coleen) of Urbandale, Iowa. 16 grandchildren; Thia (Alistair), Jay (Lisa), Robert III, Stephen, Philip (Alyssa), Josiah, Jeremiah, Heather (Mike), Melanie (Jonathan), Holly (Tanner), Nathan, Daniel, Ginny, Renee, Elena, Jacob and 11 great grandchildren. Special friends (more like family), Howard (Kathy) Livingston of Sagle, Idaho and Jody (Todd) Jacklin of Johnston, Iowa as well as many nieces and nephews.
Grace was preceded in death by her parents, William and Daisy Altemeier, sister, Wilma Jean Altemeier, brothers, Clarence and Norman Altemeier, and daughter Nancy (Brechtel) Sagherian
Services will be held on Monday, July 10th, at 2 pm at Ankeny Baptist Church in Ankeny, Iowa with visitation 1 hour prior. Family will greet friends following the service.