Friends and family laid local WWII veteran David Appel, 102, to rest during a funeral service on Thursday.
Appel died Nov. 2 at The Heritage of Fox Run in Council Bluffs. Services were at Emanuel Lutheran Church.
Appel was born in Dannebrog, Nebraska, June 20, 1917 to Jens and Pauline (Nielsen) Appel, according to his obituary. He served during World War II and worked in transportation and area planning afterward.
“I have no regrets in my life,” Appel said in a June interview. “I think I’ve really been fortunate to live the life I’ve lived.”
Appel was drafted into World War II service on the first list of men called up to serve. He acted as a combat engineer in the U.S. Army on the west coast securing the area against attack from Japan from 1941 to 1945.
When Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945, Appel said he was in Florida and was discharged in time for Father’s Day.
He married Eileen Johnson on Christmas Day 1945, soon after the war ended. Together they had three children: daughter Dianne Bartek; and sons Rod and Steve Appel.
As a civilian, Appel worked for the Postal Transportation Service, Nettleton Business College in Omaha and the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency in Omaha. He plotted for Pottawattamie County, Douglas, Sarpy, Harrison and counties further south in Iowa.
Appel spent his final years at The Heritage at Fox Run retirement community, which hosted a 102nd birthday party for him.
“When you think about a lifetime of many years, there are so many things that he has done,” Chaplain Mike York with EveryStep Hospice services said at the celebration. “Since I’ve gotten to know him, I’ve really grown to respect him. He’s a good man.”
Appel was a member of Emanuel Lutheran Church; a lifetime member of the VFW; a member of Ancient Chariots Car Club and Ten Point Pitch Card Clubs. He was also the proud owner of a 1926 Model T and a 1929 Model A.
Appel was preceded in death by his parents, wife Eileen Appel; grandson, Nickolas Appel and three sisters, Veona and husband Milroy Harvey, Margaret Ann and husband George Kontos and Mayme Appel.
He is survived by his children Rodney (Patricia) Appel of Arvada, Colorado, Dianne (Richard Bartek of Bennington, Nebraska, and Steve (Cynthia) Appel of Clarinda; 6 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.