In this tribute you will see many aspects of Dr. Felker's involvement in the Manning Community. Some of the information came from the 1981 Manning Centennial book and other sources I gathered over the decades that I now have in my Manning Historical Database.
Dr. Felker, along with so many of Manning's past businessmen and women, are an amazing example of love of community and following in the footsteps of our Pioneer ancestors here in Manning. They are tremendous examples for the younger generations to emulate and work just as hard to keep the Manning community going strong - long into the future.

I had a wonderful visit with Dr. Felker several months ago at Level B in Manning and we discussed that sometime this winter we'd get together so I could digitally record an interview but sadly that won't happen now.
As a farmer at the time, I remember how impactful his work was on pseudorabies in hogs...a tremendous break-through for farmers and Iowa!

My mother, Dorothy Kusel, became good friends with Dr. Felker, through the Low Rent Housing agency and Terrace Apartments in Manning starting in 1970.
Dave Kusel

Walter Donald Felker

July 11, 1927 - February 25, 2024

Dr. Walter Donald Felker passed away on February 25, 2024, at Wesley on Grand in Des Moines, Iowa. Walter Donald Felker was born July 11, 1927, to Walter Alvin and Bertha Bernice (Morrow) Felker, at their farm home in Lewis County, Missouri.

He attended Liberty Township School and then Williamstown High school for one year. Sophomore year of high school was at Central Catholic High School in East St. Louis. His family moved to Ottumwa, Iowa, and Don graduated from Catholic Central Boys High School in 1945. Immediately after graduating he enlisted in the Navy and was sent to boot Camp at the Naval Training Center Great Lakes in Illinois on July 4, 1945. He was Seaman 1st Class in the USNRs and served at the small craft facility in San Francisco Bay. He was honorably discharged on August 19, 1946. Upon returning home he discovered his mother had enrolled him in St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa, so off he went to further his education during the fall semester of 1946. In 1949, he was accepted into the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa after completing six semesters at St. Ambrose and one summer session at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

Don and Donna (Jean Cavanaugh) were married on December 27, 1950, in Ottumwa. Campus housing for married students in Pammel Court was their home in Ames until Don graduated in 1953.

Doc set up a practice in Carroll, Iowa, but in a few months accepted an offer to join a veterinary practice in Manning, Iowa. Doc Felker was a highly respected veterinarian in the Manning area until 1987 when he accepted an appointment as State Veterinarian of Iowa. He served in this role until 1999. In 1987, Don and Donna moved to Ankeny where he resided until now.

His proudest accomplishment as state vet was devising and implementing the program that eradicated the swine disease pseudorabies from the State of Iowa.

Don was also an active member of his church and community. At Sacred Heart Parish in Manning he was a lector and church trustee, in Ankeny he was also a lector and achieved the level of Fourth Degree in the Knights of Columbus. The Holstein Museum in Manning was one of his special interests. Also, in Manning he was a member of the Manning Development Association and was especially proud of his role in establishing the Municipal Housing Agency of Manning. He and Donna belonged to the Iowa State University Gentle Doctor Society.

Doc had developed close friends over the years with those who shared his professional and hobby life. He told many endearing stories about being a veterinarian and living in Manning, fishing in Canada, pheasant hunting, playing bridge, volunteering at church, golfing, the Knights of Columbus and traveling as State Veterinarian. Don was respected for his problem-solving mechanical abilities, seemingly able to fix anything with paper clips and rubber bands. He told his daughters he could fix anything but a broken heart.

Don was preceded in death by his wife Donna of 59 years, his parents, his sister Norma Frances (Felker) Mottet, a brother Paul Edward who died in infancy and his brother-in-law George Cavanaugh and his wife Rose.

Don is survived by his four daughters and their families, Kathryn Therese Warneke of Elk River, Minnesota, and her family Julie Kallemeyn (John) and their children Odin, Elliotte and Rosaline, Hallie Warneke (Kazem Sodoughi) and their daughter Leila, and Donald and Rachel Polecke; Anne Patrice Felker (Norm Hockett) of Ames, Iowa, and her family Jennifer and Mark diOrio, their daughter Gwendolyn and Thomas Hockett; Mary Cecile Sibbing (Larry) of Hamilton, Illinois, and her family Elizabeth Gudgel (Andrew) and their children Joseph, Anna and Lucy, Emily Watson (Bill) and their children Theo and Mara. Kendall and Cherish Sibbing and their son Eli, plus a babe due in August; Norine Lucille Moulsoff (James) of St. Paul, Minnesota. His sister’s daughters Delores Wellman (John), their daughter Anne Schwemm (Michael) and their children Will and Amelia and their son John, and Dianne O’Connell (Dan). George’s children Chris Cavanaugh, Craig and Karen Cavanaugh, Curt Cavanaugh, Cary Cavanaugh, Cecile (Cavanaugh) Gustafson, and Charles and Tammy Cavanaugh.

The family is deeply grateful for all the caregivers from Care by April, Wesley on Grand and especially, Barbara Walters.

A funeral Mass will be offered on Friday, May 31, 10:30 am at St. Luke’s Church in Ankeny, Iowa. At 9:00 am a visitation will precede the Mass. A graveside service will be celebrated on Saturday, June 1 at 10:30 am at St. Patrick Cemetery in St. Patrick, Missouri.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to one of the organizations below:
Congregation of The Humility of Mary Dad credited these Nuns with giving him a superior high school education or the Shrine of Saint Patrick Saint Patrick, Missouri This is for cemetery upkeep and restoration of old headstones, plus this is the home of our Felker family plot. After going to the web site, go to Menu, scroll down to the Red Donate Online button, scroll down to Blue button, select either Cemetery Fund or Gravestone Restoration.

Ann (Voge) Trullinger found this composite image of Dr. Felker's class on the Iowa State University website. Finally more people are making relatively higher resolution scans. I cropped out Walter's picture and downsized the composite from their original scan.