December 4, 2023

Faces of Fraternalism: David Etter, St. Mary 996, Remsen, Iowa

It was a simple act of benevolence. When news spread in the small town of Remsen, Iowa, that a child’s dresser was stolen from his home, St. Mary 996 member David Etter, determined to help, delivered a new dresser to the child. James Gengler, a COF Agent who wrote David’s policy, heard about this and nominated him for this edition of Faces of Fraternalism. After the dresser was stolen, the child’s mother had kept his clothes in plastic milk crates and cardboard boxes.

“Sometimes, it only takes an hour to make a big impact on somebody else’s life,” said James, adding that the Remsen community is driven by a tradition of selflessness. “These Remsen people find a way to share what they have. Examples have been handed down through generations, and it’s been a pattern of behavior for Remsen families for a long time.”

Remsen, a town of 1,600 people, is home to St. Mary 996.

“A lot of Remsen’s character stems from the values of COF: faith, hope, and charity,” said James. “There’s a sense of community fellowship through reaching out to people who’ve had some unfortunate circumstances. I pondered recently that one thing I still have is the value of the insurance products and the uncountable benefits of membership, especially through all of the relationships I have acquired through my almost 30 years of membership.”

Article by Connor McEleney