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Lonn Randall Abeltins

Updated: Apr 22

Lonn Randall Abeltins, 65, passed away on Tuesday, April 16th, 2024, after a year-in-a-half fight battling cancer. He was an amazing man, husband, father, brother and one of the best fire investigators around!


Lonn was born on January 23rd, 1959, to John Abeltins and Marilyn ‘Jo’ Caddell in Audubon, Iowa. After graduating from Ankeny High School in 1977, he went on to attend DMACC, finishing at Iowa State. Lonn graduated with degrees in Fire Science and Criminal Justice.


In 1980, Lonn joined the Ankeny Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter, where he discovered his love for the fire service. Lonn stayed at the department until 1984 but started working with Hondered Corporation taking a deeper dive into becoming a private fire investigator.


In 1986, Lonn started at Leuwerke & Associates where he began working with and building an incredible team of experts. He was the Director of Investigation and lead fire investigator.


Lonn served as the DMACC Fire Science Program Chair from 1987 – 1997. Teaching the fire investigation and fire behavior classes for many years.


In 2006, Independent Forensic Investigations Corporation was established. Lonn was the president of the company and Senior Fire Investigator until the day he passed. He was beyond proud of IFIC and all that it had become. He considered everyone at IFIC as family and was entertaining the idea of new hires until the very end! He ended his career having investigated about 5,000 fires.


One of Lonn’s greatest accomplishments is marrying Robin Johnson. The two of them shared a love story many can only dream of. They met when they were 14 and 16 years old and were together until his last breath. Robin was the love of Lonn’s life and vice versa. One of the only things Lonn didn’t ever trade in, was her! Ha! He loved her so very much.


Lonn’s pride and joy was his daughter, Chelsea. He mentored her to evolve and grow with IFIC over many years. He was always so proud of everything she did and of the person she has become. Lonn loved his girls, and that included his ‘second’ daughter, Meredith.


When Lonn wasn’t working, he lived to golf. Being on the course made him happy. He enjoyed building clubs, playing, learning, and always strived to be a better player.


Lonn also loved the Yankees, Quentin Tarantino movies and listening to music on the nicest stereo he could get his hands on. Pink Floyd was always his favorite. In fact, ‘Pink Floyd’ were some of his daughter’s first words!


Lonn was preceded in death by his dad, John (Joan) Abeltins and his mom, Marilyn ‘Jo’ Caddell. He is survived by his wife, Robin, and daughter, Chelsea; sister Peg (Scott) Whitehurst and brother Mike (Holly) Abeltins; and nephew Ian Bergstrom. 

. He was the best husband, father, and brother to his family.


Lonn was an excellent role model, mentor and admired by many. He always stood by doing the right thing and helping all around him achieve their goals, to the best of his ability. Lonn was giving, compassionate and one of the coolest guys you’ll ever meet. He will be missed by all who knew him and will forever remain in our hearts.


Lonn’s Celebration of Life will be held at Hyperion Country Club in Johnston on May 24th, 2024, from 3 pm to 6 pm. Please plan to stop by, have a Diet Coke on the house and commemorate our beloved Lonn.

 Please direct any charitable donations to Mission Cancer, EveryStep Hospice, or your choice organization.



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