September 20, 2021

David Anctil


David Anctil, 90, of Altoona passed away July 27, 2021. A Celebration of Life will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, at Hamilton’s Funeral Home near Highland Memory Gardens, 121 N.W. 60th Ave., Des Moines. There will be a short program and time for sharing memories at 3:30 p.m.

Dave was born in Boston, Massachusetts, Oct. 8, 1930. He attended high school in Bridgeport, Connecticut. While in high school he played the trumpet with a dance band, The LampLighters, who performed in the Meriden, Connecticut area. Dave moved to Wahoo, Nebraska to attend Luther College. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Education at Midland College in Fremont, Nebraska. He received his Masters Degree at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and later obtained his Specialist in Education Degree at Drake University in Des Moines.

In 1951 he met Mary Lanik at a New Year’s Eve party in Wahoo. They played tic-tac-toe in the kitchen of their friend’s home. Dave and Mary were married Oct. 10, 1954, in Wahoo.

Dave worked various jobs while finishing college, and his first teaching position was in Wahoo. The family moved to Iowa in 1960, and as Dave advanced to principal and superintendent positions over the course of his career in education, the family moved to schools in Central and Southwest Iowa. David retired as Superintendent of Schools in Clearfield at the age of 67. Even after becoming superintendent, Dave would occasionally fill in in the classroom and loved every minute of it. He helped at track meets and wrestling matches and occasionally was called upon to drive a school bus. He attended 17 proms over the years.

“Mr. Anctil” loved the school setting and the kids. He was known for his wonderful sense of humor, his corny jokes, and his crazy tie collection. His duties as school administrator even included pulling teeth, giving hugs, flying kites and wiping away tears. In retirement he often ran into former students and teachers, who always had a story to share.

Dave sang bass with The Plainsmen, a men’s choral group in Southwest Iowa. He was a 50-year Mason and a member of the Lions Clubs in many communities.

Dave and Mary moved to Altoona in 1997, where he served on the 13th Avenue Estates Governing Board for many years. Dave loved to fish, do crossword puzzles and play cards. He especially loved to play cribbage and occasionally competed in cribbage tournaments. Dave was an avid Hawkeye, Cyclone and Husker fan. His greatest love, though, was his family and he was the true patriarch, guiding and encouraging everyone.

Dave is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Mary; daughter-in-law Tracy, son Jim (Robin) Anctil, daughter Diane (Stuart) Rauh, 12 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren (with three more on the way), sister Alice (Kent) Smith, step-brother Conrad (Mary) Boutin, and many extended relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his sons, Paul and Phill, and his mother, Aurore.

Condolences and memories may be shared at In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Altoona Fire Department, or a charity of your choice.