Bill Homrighausen: They Call Me Mr. DeWitt

Bill Homrighausen, known as “Mr. DeWitt” in his hometown, has always had a passion for sharing stories.

“I was at the end of the pioneer life on a farm with mud roads and milking cows by hand,” says Bill with a big smile. “The only convenience we had was a knife, fork and spoon.”

A graduate of DeWitt High School, Bill worked for Iowa Mutual for 42 years, going from “the kid on a bicycle to the oldest person there in tenure.” 

Hi wife Shirley, a journalist, inspired a love for writing in Bill. He shared memories of his beloved town in over 100 columns for the DeWitt Observer, which were published in a book titled They Call Me Mr. DeWitt – A Treasury of Recollections. 

Bill and Shirley started an endowment fund at the LincolnWay Community Foundation (LWCF) to support students pursuing careers journalism. The fund has provided scholarships and new equipment for the students in the journalism department at Central DeWitt High School. 

While updating their estate plan in 2016, the Homrighausens decided to include a legacy gift to LWCF through a Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA). Giving through a CGA allows donors to arrange generous gifts to their community, while providing themselves with a new income source they can count on for the rest of their lives. Upon passing, the remaining balance of the annuity will fund the William and Shirley Homrighausen fund for the DeWitt area, which will broadly fund causes the two love. 

“If you’re giving to someone to better their life and to learn a profession, it has to give you…” Bill pauses to hold his hand to his heart. “It’s like a father putting a child through college. It’s the best investment in the world. It’s perpetual and will live forever.”

To learn more about the Legacy Society of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, visit or call 563.588.2700.

To learn more about the LincolnWay Community Foundation and other affiliates of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, visit

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The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque envisions a vibrant and inclusive Dubuque region where everyone can thrive. Since 2002, we have inspired people to give back to their community, and we turn this generosity into lasting change across our region, increasing access to resources and opportunities that help all people succeed. 

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