Suzanne Marie Gebel
Gebel, 55, executive director of the Iowa Funeral Directors Association, died November 25, 2021, in Des Moines.
Born in 1966 in Charles City, Gebel received her bachelor’s degree in 1988 from Iowa State University, where she studied journalism and mass communication.
Shortly after graduating from ISU, Gebel began her career as an associate executive director for the Iowa Association of Community Providers.
In September 2004, she became executive director of the Iowa Funeral Directors Association (IFDA) and in 2013 received her credentials as a Certified Association Executive from the American Society of Association Executives.
For the last 17 years, Gebel dedicated her life to promoting and supporting funeral service excellence. She had a passion for educating and advocating for the funeral profession, which included lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C.
Gebel served on two IFDA boards: the Board of Governors and Funeral Services of Iowa. She was a member of NFDA and the Iowa State University Alumni Association. Gebel was also elected by her peers as chairman of the Council of Funeral Association Executives.
She was passionate about the impact of nonprofit organizations and led multiple other nonprofits in strategic planning and team building to help ensure their success.
Gebel is survived by brother Pat (Shira) Gebel of Charles City, and children Brandt, Elliott and Sadie; sister Beth (Scott) Hoppel of Osage, and children Nick and Katie; German exchange sister Uta Herbst; aunts and uncles Tom and Marian Gebel of New Hampton, Marcy Gebel of Mason City, Dan and Dorothy Gebel of Clear Lake, and Barb and Jerry O’Donnell of Cresco; cousins Danette Johnson, Denise Etzel, Diane Jones, Tim Gebel, Deb Winters, Terri Allen, Mike Gebel, Andy Gebel, John Gebel, Joe Gebel, LuAnn Scholbrock, Darren O’Donnell, Kelly O’Donnell, Nicole McGlynn and Ryan O’Donnell; along with many godchildren and numerous loving family members of the Welch and Ryan families.
Gebel was preceded in death by her parents, Jim and Colleen Gebel; brother in infancy, Joseph; maternal grandparents Ray and Rita (Ryan) Welch; paternal grandparents Louis and Marie (Kolbet) Gebel; and uncle Don Gebel.
In honor of and in keeping with Suzanne’s wishes, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the I.C. Youth Activities Fund (made payable to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 106 Chapel Ln., Charles City, Iowa 50616) and the IFDA Scholarship Fund (1454 30th St., Suite 204, West Des Moines, Iowa 50266).