Ankeny Funeral Home & Crematory

1510 West First Street, Ankeny, IA


Gale Chatterton

June 16, 1944January 12, 2019
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Gale Harmon Chatterton, 74, of Ankeny, Iowa, passed away on Saturday, January 12th, 2019 at Mercy Hospice in Johnston due to complications of advanced cancer.

Gale was born on June 16, 1944 in Cherokee, Iowa to Harley Herschel Chatterton and Laura Helen (Park) Chatterton. He was raised in Peterson, Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University in 1967. While at ISU, Gale was active in the ISU Marching Band and he began a life-long engineering career at John Deere as a co-op student. Upon graduation, Gale entered the US Army.

Gale married Sue Isenberger, his college sweetheart, on June 1, 1968. Their honeymoon was spent driving from Iowa to the Panama Canal Zone, where Gale was stationed in the US Army as a 01C20 Mechanical Engineering Assistant. They resided there for one year, later living in Johnston and Ankeny, Iowa.

After returning from Panama, Gale resumed his career at John Deere and simultaneously earned his Master’s degree from Drake University in 1974. After his formal retirement from John Deere, he returned to work two more times as a contractor and retired for the third and final time in December of 2018.

Gale was a member of the ISU Alumni Band for the past 38 years where he served a period of time as the President. He was also extremely active in the ISU Alumni Pep Band. In September of 2018, Gale was honored as the “band’s biggest fan” and had the privilege of being a guest conductor of the ISUCF’V’MB ahead of a home football game. Gale was also active in the Ankeny Community Chorus, Ankeny Community Band, Greater Des Moines Community Band and Iowa Military Veteran’s Band. Gale enjoyed driving his Corvettes for fun and in parades, and was a member of the Cyclone Corvette Club.

In recent years, Gale became quite the world traveler. He visited France, Italy, China, Switzerland and Peru, made repeated theater trips to New York and enjoyed several cruises. One of Gale’s more recent hobbies involved making beautiful stained glass snowflakes for family and friends.

Gale is survived by daughter Corrie (Hale) Strasser of Johnston, sister Julia Knutson of Texas, brother Mark Chatterton of Maryland, brother-in-law Kenny Isenberger of Colorado, brother-in-law Lynn Isenberger of Johnston, brother-in-law Brent Isenberger (Julie West) of Altoona and grandchildren Harrison and Erich Strasser of Ames. Gale was preceded in death by his sister Lorna, parents and wife.

Visitation will be held Wednesday, January 16th from 5-7pm with family present and the visitation will be followed by a prayer vigil at Ankeny Funeral Home. A memorial mass will be held on Thursday, January 17th at 10:30am at Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart Catholic Church (510 East 1st St. Ankeny, IA). Inurnment will take place at a future date at the Clarion Catholic Cemetery in Clarion, Iowa.

Memorial contributions may be made to the ISU Marching Band (c/o the ISU Foundation at 2505 University Boulevard, PO Box 2230, Ames, Iowa 50010). Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.AnkenyFuneralHome.com for the Chatterton family.


  • Visitation

    Wednesday, January 16, 2019

  • Funeral Mass

    Thursday, January 17, 2019


Gale Chatterton

have a memory or condolence to add?

Ann DeVany

January 24, 2019

It was always great seeing Gale (and Sue) every fall at homecoming. I'm glad to have gotten to know them through Alumni Band. Sue has been missed these past years, but it was so good that Gale kept coming. They will always hold a special place in Alumni Band history. And, now they're back together making music in heaven (...maybe playing Fights!...or, at least, Bells). My condolences and prayers to you and your family, Corrie. (Ann DeVany, '90, trumpet)

Becki Raffay

January 17, 2019

I played in the Alumni Pep band with Gale for the past 2 or 3 years. We were the two "full time" 2nd trombones. I always looked forward to seeing Gale. I was truely a joy and honor to make music with Gale and he will definitely be missed going forward.

Marvis Landon

January 16, 2019

We admired the way Gale lived life to the fullest. Marvis worked with Gale at JD for 30 years and then he kept on working. He was a neighbor to us and stopped by this summer to say that Deere was going to let him cut back and work half days. We shared his corvette enthusiasm and always enjoyed seeing him in the summerfest parade. He went on the Chamber trip to China the same time we did in fall 2013. Marvis ran into Gale at the ISU FB game in September after he conducted the ISU Alumni Band and he was SO EXCITED...grinning ear to ear. He will be sorely missed!! John and Marvis Landon

Niela Pomernacki

January 14, 2019

Dear Corrie and Family,
I'm so sorry to hear of Gale's passing. I'm so thankful that we were able to meet up and chat at Iowa State last July. We've known each other since our Iowa State days and have kept in touch long-distance over these many intervening years even after your mom's death. He was a wonderful man with a good heart and love of life. I know you and your family will miss him but I know, too, that you have many fond memories to carry you through this difficult time. My sincerest condolences.

Deb Shaw

January 14, 2019

Gale was always a bright light on Mondays. He would share pictures of his weekend and tell tales of his adventures. Friendly, positive, and forever a cheerleader, Gale will be missed by his Facilities family. No one was more knowledgeable about the history and stories behind this factory.

Ed Nimtz

January 14, 2019

so sorry for your loss. You are in my prayers.
Ed Nimtz

Carl Johnson

January 13, 2019

It has been my distinct pleasure to have played in the trombone section of the Greater Des Moines Community Band with Gale. He never failed to join us for our occasional trombone outings after a rehearsal or a concert. He was also our official photographer, always making certain we had a good photograph of the section to share with the band. His gentle good humor will be sorely missed.

Linda and Mark Podhajsky

January 13, 2019

Corrie and family,
Our deepest sympathy.
We have such wonderful memories of our Ankeny neighbors, Gale, Sue, and Corrie. We are so glad we could keep in touch through football games.
Our prayers for you.

Mark and Linda

Penny Adams

January 12, 2019

Corrie and Hale....our prayers and thoughts are with you. What a gentleman and fun person. I remember sitting on the screened in patio at Herb and Marg's and having a wonderful visit about ISU and band memories. Cherish the memories. Love you!


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