obituary header
Welcome to the memorial page for

Karl Georg Wilhelm Maass

October 26, 1930 ~ December 31, 2017 (age 87)

Share using:         


January 5, 2018

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Schultz Funeral Homes
722 8th Street
DeWitt, IA 52742

Funeral Service
January 6, 2018

10:30 AM
Grace Lutheran Church, DeWitt
415 10th St
DeWitt, Iowa 52742

Karl “Opa” Maass, 87, of DeWitt, Iowa, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, December 31, 2017, at Grand Haven Retirement Community in Eldridge, surrounded by his loving family.

Karl Georg Wilhelm Maass was born October 26, 1930, in Kiel, Germany, the only child of Georg and Kathe (Hauschild) Maass. He attended school in his home town until wartime threats forced the children of the area to relocate to youth camps in the countryside. The family later moved to Schmalstede where he became friends with Freddy Freese (Grete’s brother) and became like a member of their family. They played soccer together for many years. Upon finishing school, he served a masonry apprenticeship in Kiel and then followed Freddy to the United States in 1953, with hopes of job opportunities. He first worked for Pappy and Mel Larsen, masons in DeWitt. In 1955, when Grete came to visit her family, Karl picked her up at the harbor in New York and the rest is history. Karl and Grete were united in marriage on April 20, 1956, at Grace Lutheran Church, DeWitt in a German ceremony officiated by the Rev. Theodore Hinck. In 1962 he established Maass Masonry. The couple resided in DeWitt all of their lives together where they raised their three children. She preceded him in death on January 20, 2016, after 59 years of marriage.

Opa was very passionate about the things that mattered most to him: his German heritage, soccer, puzzles, his grandchildren and great-grandsons, and masonry. He had many strengths, and his weakness he turned into a strength by embracing sobriety “one day at a time” and helping countless others do the same. He was especially proud to have been involved in founding the DeWitt Alcoholics Anonymous group in 1975. Karl celebrated 42 years of sobriety this year. For 36 years he supported inmates in recovery at Ft. Madison Penitentiary on a monthly basis, for which he received the Governor’s Volunteer Award.

Karl proudly taught his masonry skills to his son and grandson, Claus and Andy, who later took over the business. Their masonry legacy can be seen throughout the DeWitt area, from the cross at Grace Camp to the Hausbarn in Lincoln Park. He was blessed with 25 years of retirement in good health, enjoying endless cups of coffee, watching German soccer, papercutting, his wife’s home cooking, and countless trips to Germany with his children and grandchildren.

Celebrating his life are his children, Anke (Denny Reichenbacher) Maass of Davenport, Birgit Maass of Davenport, and Claus (Jennifer) Maass of DeWitt; grandchildren, Brooke (Alan) Barnes, Quinn (Paul) Leathers, Britta Adams, Andy (Justine) Maass, Alex (Brooke) Maass, Will (Caitlin) Maass and Weston Maass; a step-granddaughter, Alicia (Jeff) Duyvejonck; great-grandchildren, Cooper and Finn Barnes, Leo Maass, and Drake Maass; step-great-grandchildren, Hanna Shreffler, Chandra and Kylie Duyvejonck; and extended family in Chicago and Germany.

The family will receive friends at Schultz Funeral Home, DeWitt from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. Friday, January 5, 2018. A Service of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, January 6, 2018, at Grace Lutheran Church, DeWitt with the Rev. David Anderson officiating. Burial will be at Elmwood Cemetery, DeWitt. Memorials are suggested to Grace Lutheran Church and Grand Haven’s activity fund.

Pallbearers will be Opa’s grandsons.

© 2018 Schultz Funeral Homes. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS