Two incredible people left this earthly place to be amongst the stars this past Christmas: Alta and Richard Gajdan.
We are deeply saddened to lose these two, but it gives us great comfort to know that they are together during the greatest journey there is. If you knew Richard and Alta, you would know that they could not, and would not, live without one another.
Alta was born on November 20th, 1954, in Rock Valley, IA, to Agnes and Merle Suter. She enjoyed reading, camping, traveling, bowling, and crafting. Richard was born on June 23rd, 1954, in Sioux Falls, SD, to Helen and Louis Gajdan. He enjoyed socializing, traveling, camping, bowling, and shooting. They met in Sioux Falls, SD. Alta was a cosmetologist, who graduated from Stuarts School of Hair. Richard was working odd jobs. They married February 14th, 1976. Richard joined the army and was honorably discharged in 1980. Eventually, they settled in Newton, IA with their two daughters, Justine, and Erica. Richard worked as a correctional officer until his retirement. Alta worked many different jobs, until Richards retirement. Despite previous years of health challenges, they were determined to live their lives the way they wanted.
They were volunteers of the Army corp of engineers, before moving on and becoming "work campers". They spent the last 10 years traveling, and meeting new people, wherever they went. As a couple, Rich and Alta were funny, quirky, loving, and adventurous, and their story is truly a love story. They spent the last few years in Texas, at a place they really enjoyed, with people, they really connected with. Alta is survived by her brothers Fred and David Suter, and sisters Mary Melhaff and Minetta Seaberg. Richard is survived by his step mother Miriam Gajdan and step sister Elizabeth Troemel Thoelke. They are survived by their daughter Erica Koontz, son in law, Logan Koontz, and grandchildren Calvin Hanza, Jeslyn Hanza, Corbin Hanza, and Michael Piatt. Alta is preceded in death by her father Merle Suter, mother Agnes Suter, Sister Aurelia DeYoung, Brother Steven Suter, Brother John "Butch" Suter. Richard is preceded in death by his mother Helen Gajdan, father Louis Gajdan, and step sister Cathy Troemel. A memorial and celebration of life, will be held in the months ahead. These two beautiful souls will be forever loved and remembered.
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