Michael Carter Modlin

10/28/1949 - 04/17/2023


Obituary For Michael Carter Modlin

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 7,2023 at Murdock Funeral Home, Perry, Iowa with a Masonic Service to follow by Acanthus Lodge #632, at the Hotel Pattee. Visitation will take place at the funeral home one hour prior to the services. Michael passed away Monday, April 17,2023 at EveryStep Kavanagh Hospice House in Des Moines, IA. Memorials can be made to Shriners Hospital for Children or St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Michael’s name. Online condolences may be left at

Michael Carter Modlin of Minburn, Iowa was born on October 28, 1949 to Bob and Jean (Carter) Modlin of Dawson, IA. He graduated from Perry High School in 1967. Michael met his wife, Dianne Powers in college and they were united in marriage on July 29, 1972. He was preceded in death by his father and mother. Michael is survived by his wife, Dianne; three sisters, Carol Kempkes, Nancy (Tom) Tierney and Ann Yanders, and many nieces and nephews from the Modlin side of the family. In addition, other family members include brother-in-law and sister -in-law Frank and Wendy Powers, Maddie Powers and Bri Powers and brother-in-law Steve Hill and Jess and Aaron Hatanpa and children. Michael was a teacher and coach for 41 years and a IHSAA official for 20 years. He started his career in Physical Education and returned to college to earn a degree in Industrial Tech. and a Master’s Degree in Education with Technology Emphasis. His career took him to Walnut High School, Denison High, Spencer High, Central Dallas, Johnston, and Waukee. During the summer, he taught courses for W. Iowa Tech, AEA 11, and DMACC Adjunct Inst. in Drafting and Construction. During his career, he taught both middle school and high school students in Industrial Tech. about Woods, Construction Tech, Power, Metals and Engines, Auto Tech., Drafting, and Carpentry. He was the first instructor at JCSD to have courses in Robotics, CADD, CNC, and Computer Graphics. He started and taught the MOC/CO-OP program at JHS. Michael developed one of the first modular labs in Iowa in 1988. He was part of an AEA 11 group developing Architecture curriculum in 2004. His last years at Waukee, he was teaching Stem and Engineering classes for the University of Iowa. Over his 41 years in teaching, his students took home 25 state champions in CADD and Graphics and 3 in Woods. He was elated when he received the 2012 Teacher Excellence Award for Iowa, one of the highest honors given to technology education classroom teachers. In his coaching career in Track and Field, the athletes brought home 21 conference champs and 1 State Champ. As an assistant high school coach in wrestling, he was able to see many conference champs, state place winners and champions in his career. His love of wrestling took him into being a IHSAA wrestling official for 20 years. Outdoors could have been his second middle name. Hunting elk, bear, deer and all types of fishing with his good buddies he looked forward to. Hiking, motor cycling and climbing the mountains in Colorado with friends and family were a summer event when he could make it around all the coaching. Hours were spent Kayaking on the Racoon, when enough water, picking up trash and looking for artifacts. He competed in the Iowa Games for 23 years. He attended ‘Floatzilla’ on the Mississippi in the Quad Cities three times. Maneuvering through the Locks on the Mississippi in a Kayak was an adventure he looked forward to. One of his goals was touching the nose of his kayak into the water of the six states surrounding Iowa in one summer. Thank goodness for good weather that year. He was a beautiful craftsman. He loved working with all kinds of woods and made beautiful furniture for their home and in the detailing of the homes they lived in. When he built anything from a small heart shaped box to a machine shed it was made to last and had to be done to a high standard. He was knowledgeable in so many areas from Indian artifacts, cars, aircraft, tractors, metals, pottery, antiques and architecture to name his favorites. Michael and Dianne often talked about how even with all the obstacles faced over their life together, they would change very little if they could do it all again. Michael’s love of his family, friends, career, his students, athletes, and the great outdoors was his true character. Most of all his marriage to Dianne, the love of his life, and the wonderful life they shared was his pride and joy. Their support and love for one another was so strong. When Michael believed in something or started something he finished strong, never giving up.

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  • 05/05/2023

    Sincere condolences to Dianne and family! Mike was my best friend as high school kids. He always pushed ahead to excel. I was blessed to have him as a friend as we negotiated those awkward teen years at PHS.

  • 05/03/2023

    Diane, thoughts, prayers and memories are with you, big Hug.

  • 04/30/2023

    Mike and I worked together at Prairieview in Waukee. He was an outstanding teacher and just a good human. Safe travels on your new adventure Mike. See you on the other side my friend.

  • 04/30/2023

    Dianne & Family ... I was so sad to hear of Mike's passing. We have only gotten together once since I moved to Oregon, but I have always considered you guys great friends even though we were miles apart. We were roommates, fraternity bothers, and wrestling teammates. Time and distance will not ever let me forget those times. I am known for being a big story teller, and I have told many stories involving Mike, Dianne, and Dave P. The Lord will be taking care of him now, but Dianne, you will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Tony & Jill Salts

  • 04/30/2023

    We send our sympathy to Dianne and all of Mike's family. He was special. He will be missed by many.

  • 04/28/2023

    Mike was like a brother and best friend to my husband, Mel. Mel and Mike enjoyed many of the same things - hunting, teaching, sports, collecting, and more. They enjoyed each other's company and had similar values, each being good husbands to their wives and valuing each day of life. Both faced their health challenges heroically. Sympathy to Dianne as well as to other family members and friends. - Jan Myers

  • 04/27/2023

    Sending hugs and condolences to Dianne and all of the family and friends of Michael. Michael was a wonderful husband, teacher, coach, mentor to many, and as a farmer served as a steward of the earth. He made his time on earth count. We feel blessed to have known him.

  • 04/26/2023

    Hugs and love and prayers Dianne. He is in a better place.

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