William 'Bill' Straw, 70
William "Bill" Straw, age 70, of New Hampton, IA died Saturday, February 23, 2019, at his home.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 1, 2019, at Holy Family Parish, New Hampton with Rev. Brian Dellaert celebrating the Mass.
Friends may greet the family 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. Thursday, February 28, 2019, at Hugeback - Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory in New Hampton. Visitation continues an hour prior to the Mass at the church on Friday. Online condolences for Bill's family may be left at hugebackfuneralhome.com 641-394-4334
Bill was born March 29, 1948, in New Hampton, IA, the son of Orville and Wilma (Weidler) Straw. He was the second of three boys. He attended school in New Hampton and was a 1966 graduate of the New Hampton High School. While he was in school, he was very active in sports, including baseball, football, and wrestling. Following high school, Bill attended the State College of Iowa, today’s UNI, where he was a member of the wrestling team.
On May 3, 1969, he married the love of his life, Ruth Soukup at the UNI Chapel. To this union two daughters, Stephanie and Christine were born. The couple eventually returned to New Hampton and made it their life long family home. He began by working for Smith Construction before he went out on his own path. Bill first owned Straw’s Country Store and Pizza Kitchen which he and Ruth ran for close to eight years. Bill was a true entrepreneur operating a sign business, wild fur trading business, insurance agency and the New Hampton Golf and Country Club.
In 1998 he designed and built what would become the stamp on his legacy, Chaffs Restaurant and Spirits. He owned and operated Chaffs for many years. Ruth was a true partner in all ways and a very large part in the success of the business. Bill and Ruth loved the relationships they formed with their customers at Chaffs. They enjoyed their time spent with them and their patronage. On June 25, 2006, his beloved Ruth passed on from cancer and in 2011 Bill retired.
In his free time as a young man, Bill had a passion for the outdoors, especially fishing and hunting. Sports also played a large roll in Bill’s life. He was a devoted Iowa Hawkeyes and UNI Panthers fan and followed their wrestling teams religiously. Bill was a founding member of the UNI Athletic Club which helps fund many of their sports teams. Along with UNI and Iowa, he also followed his only grandson's sports career and was incredibly proud of all of his achievements. Bill was the self-proclaimed “Chairman” of the social hour. He loved meeting new people and striking up a conversation over a few drinks. He will be forever loved and missed by his many friends and family.
Bill is survived by two daughters, Stephanie (Gary) Maske of Waterloo, and Christine Straw of Waterloo; two brothers, Larry (Lois) Straw of New Hampton, and Tom (Connie) Straw of New Hampton; one grandson, Carter Maske; three nieces, Tammy Straw, Tracy Straw, Sybil Soukup; five nephews, Brian Straw, Mitch Straw, Tony Straw, Hans Soukup, Zach Soukup; and many close friends whom he considered his family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Orville and Wilma and his wife, Ruth on June 25, 2006.