On March 23, 2020, Du Khac Nguyen left this earth to be with his parents & our heavenly Father.
He was born in Hanoi, Vietnam on June 10, 1927 & has lived an incredible life. From running away at the age of 15 due to the Communist movement, to ending up halfway around the world to an unknown land, Du has sacrificed everything to provide a better opportunity for his family. He spent eleven years working with the US Military during the Vietnam War & evacuated the country during the fall of Saigon in 1975, unfortunately leaving behind his eldest son, Thanh Hai. After spending a brief time at the American Red Cross refugee camp in Fort Chafee, AR, the family was sponsored by Bethany Alliance Church in Charles City, IA. He relocated the family to Santa Ana, CA after a couple of years in Iowa. Du wanted to find his son & to get him to the United States. After three years & failed attempts, he felt God’s calling to move back to Iowa. It’s amazing how God always has a plan. Seven years later and with the help of Bethany Alliance Church, Du and his family were reunited with his son!
Du worked at Becker Home Improvement in Charles City as a carpenter/handyman. He did everything from roofing, siding, to plumbing and even fixing cars. He was the Asian version of MacGyver & could fix about anything that needed fixing! And he loved being outdoors tending to his garden & flowers. He had a way of trimming his trees in shapes of animals, and it was almost a game to try to figure out which animal it was. Du loved his daily walks. There wasn’t a car that drove by that didn’t get a wave & a smile from him and on occasions, he would even get a honk which would just make his day! He appreciated the simple things in life.
Du never earned a high school degree & even though his middle school education was all he had, he knew the importance of education & engrained that in all of his kids. He instilled the work ethic needed to succeed and to never give up when things weren’t going as planned. He sacrificed most of his life, so his children could achieve more than he did. They ended up being a mechanic, doctor, engineer, dentist, teacher, software specialist, volleyball coach & musician. It was his way to give back to this country, full of gratitude. Du was the pillar of the Nguyen family & even though he didn’t leave his children with any inheritance or material things, he did leave them with a legacy of love, honesty, resilience, respect and kindness to others. But the greatest of these gifts was introducing them to the Heavenly Father, so they too could receive God’s gift of Salvation.
Du has fought through communism, seen the ugliness of war, and experienced the many levels of racism in his lifetime. He rose above that with love & kindness. He is a man of great faith & that faith has carried him through all of his adversities. And after almost 93yrs, that faith & love will take him home to be with his parents and the Lord Almighty.
Du is survived by his angel on earth & wife of 62 years, Hoa Thi Nguyen of Coralville, IA. His kids are from oldest to youngest: Thanh Hai (Ut) of Mason City, IA; Thanh Huong (Joel Hockman) of Placentia, CA; Don (Melody) of Geneseo, IL; Thu Ha (Tom Dixon) of Adel, IA; Huy (Cheryl) of Maple Grove, MN; Hoang (Lisa) of Davenport, IA; Chin of Coralville; and Lee of Cedar Rapids, IA. His 13 grandkids: Hoa, Joshua, Kris (Phia), Kristen (Nick Kleppe), Keely, Amelia, Andrew, Zachary, Lily, Joshua, Jordan, Ethan & Maya. And one great grandchild, Phoenix. Du is also survived by a younger brother and numerous nieces and nephews in Vietnam.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Minh & Be Nguyen, daughters, Mai & Hanh Nguyen, and granddaughter Kylee Nguyen.
Due to the current pandemic, funeral services will be a private family memorial at the Henderson-Barker Funeral Home in West Branch at 10am on Saturday, March 28th, with burial services at the Sunnyside Memory Gardens in Charles City, IA. Pastor Royce Phillips of the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Coralville will be officiating. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been set up at Hills Bank in the name of Du Nguyen.