The body of Rich Gander, 45, of Creston was recovered by divers about 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, July 29, 2014, on the southwest side of Twelve Mile Lake near Afton, 30 feet from the shore. Gander was reported missing at 6:15 p.m. July 28 when a fellow fisherman found an empty boat on the lake. Authorities searched the water for Gander until sundown Monday. The search continued at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning with assistance from Department of Natural Resources and Midwest Regional Dive Team.
A funeral service was held at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 2, at the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory in Newton. Memorials to the Creston Fire and Rescue may be left at the funeral home.
Richard, the son of Delbert and Carolyn (Mundell) Gander, was born on Feb. 14, 1969, in Des Moines. He grew up north of Killduff. Rich was a 1987 graduate of Lynnville-Sully High School and then received his degree in education from Central College. Rich was a mathematics teacher last school year and coached the freshman softball team this summer at Creston High School. He also ran the game clock for all home basketball games last winter. Prior to that, he taught and coached at both Centerville and Twin Cedars. Rich was a dedicated and beloved teacher who was passionate and had a great influence on kids. He had a special gift of making all kids feel worthwhile. Rich loved to fish, take photography of sporting events, and volunteer his time at the schools.
Those left to honor Rich’s memory are his dad, Delbert Gander of Newton; siblings, Steve Gander of Polk City and Carla Gander of Newton; and his nieces, Brittany Gander and Jami Gander of Newton.
He was preceded in death by his mom, Carolyn Gander.