Umthun Specialized Carriers, Inc.
Virgil Louis Umthun
August 19, 1930 - January 18, 2011

Virgil Louis Umthun
    - August 19, 1930 - January 18, 2011

Father of 4 sons and 2 daughters, husband to Rachel since 1955. Children: Steve, Jerry, Cathy, Greg, Angela, Ken. All born and raised in Eagle Grove, Iowa.

In addition to being a father and business person/trucker at Umthun Trucking from age 11 Dad was also involved in many community and industry organizations:
  • Knights of Columbus, lifetime. Grand Knight Eagle Grove, Iowa
  • Water board member and president, Eagle Grove, Iowa - lifetime.
  • Iowa Motor Truck Association, Des Moines. President 1975-1977. Prior to this he served over 10 years in various volunteer positions at IMTA.
  • State of Iowa, Infrastructure Funding Formula Committee, 1988.
  • Truckload Carrier Conference, Washington, DC., president 1991-1992. Prior to this he served over 20 years in various voluntary positions for ICC-Irregular Route.
  • Rotarian, Rotary of Eagle Grove, Iowa. President 1995-1996. Prior to this from about 1970 served in various membership positions.
  • Eagle Grove Chamber of Commerce-President 1960's and 1980's, Wright County Museum Clarion, Iowa - contributor and supporter/developer, Eagle Grove golf and country club board, Wright Winnebago Boy Scouts Council, deliverer of meals on Wheels, and many other civic community activities.
    • Tribute from IMTA:

      Virgil Umthun was elected as the IMTA Chairman of the Board in 1976 and prior to that had served as an officer, a member of the executive committee and member of the Board of Directors. As Chairman for the association, he actively was involved in legislative activities that year and became very vocal on a campaign to “liberalize truck size and weight in Iowa”. He also made membership growth a priority and helped establish several services that are still in existence today. He and fellow board members established the “Fifth Wheel Club” which was a speakers bureau made up of board members. He also was big proponent of working with the American Trucking Association and always urged for “UNITY Among Associations”. It was a campaign that successfully recruited a number of Iowa based companies to join the national association.

      His leadership with the Iowa Motor Truck Association spanned three decades and he proudly waved the flag for Umthun trucking and the industry as a whole throughout that entire time. Virgil was often called the “token Democrat” on the then primarily Republican IMTA Board of Directors and was a key member in all of our legislative efforts both in Iowa and Washington DC throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Virgil also served on the Industry Relations committee which was formed in 1986 and was one of the architects’ of a program that was called Project IMTA (Investing in Tomorrow’s Adults) which provided funding to over 200 high schools to create safe and alternative events for post prom activities.


      Virgil was always a proponent for IMTA to raise the awareness about the value of trucking and give back to the State of Iowa as much as possible. Project IMTA went on to receive an award from President Ronald Reagan in 1988. Virgil could always be counted on to provide support whether it was his time or money to any effort or cause that IMTA was involved in. He was a regular contributor to TRUCK PAC as well as to the Iowa Truck Driving Championships. Umthun Trucking was always a fierce competitor at the annual Truck Driving Championships and took home more than its fair share of team trophies and individual honors. Umthun Trucking also took home numerous awards for the outstanding safety achievements and worked diligently to make safety a top priority.


      While Virgil’s contributions were numerous and his support and dedication to IMTA and its efforts were always at the highest level, our fondest memories of Virgil would have to be the positive and engaging personality and love that he extended to everyone….especially those in trucking. More than one IMTA member can remember attending their first IMTA meeting or event and Virgil would be the first one to welcome them and make them feel comfortable and accepted. His love of live, his love family, his love of trucking and his love of IMTA made him a truly special and loved individual that will never be forgotten throughout Iowa’s trucking industry.

Since 1998 he enjoyed retirement in Eagle Grove.

Dad was a leader in the industry. He waseven greater in the family and often referred to as the patriarch of the Umthun family.
Das is survived by 44 children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He is also survived by brothers and sisters and over 50 nephews and nieces and their decendants.


This photo is circa 25 year anniversary of Umthun Trucking. Standing left is Joe Umthun and right is Virgil Umthun.

Our Dad was an avid golfer. He loved the challenge of different courses in Iowa and popular championship courses in the United States.
This was Fall, 2005 at Tournament Club of Iowa, hole number 5.            He made par.

Virgil and Rachel sure loved to golf. This is one of Dad's final rounds of golf with the boys in the fall of 2010 at Tournament Club of Iowa.
 From left to right is Steve Umthun, Ken Umthun, Virgil Umthun, Rachel Umthun, Jerry Umthun and Greg Umthun.  At the Lake Cornelia home we used to list all the sons and nephews scores from Clairmond Golf Club in order to have contests with Dad. Until the last couple years there were few occasions that any of the boys or nephews had a golf score lower than Dad!

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