Perry, Iowa – The tight-knit community of Perry, Iowa, bid a heartfelt farewell to beloved principal Dan Marburger during his funeral on Saturday. Friends and family gathered at the Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines to remember Marburger as a devoted family man and selfless servant.
Marburger, the principal of Perry High School, tragically lost his life after being critically injured in a school shooting on January 4th. The incident occurred when a student opened fire in a cafeteria shared by middle and high school students. An 11-year-old sixth grader lost their life in the shooting, and six others were injured. The 17-year-old shooter also died from a self-inflicted gunshot.
Since Marburger’s passing, thousands of people have shown up to pay their respects. A solemn procession accompanied his body back to Perry, followed by a visitation in the town. Marburger had been a dedicated member of the school district since 1995, serving as the high school principal since 1997.
During Saturday’s funeral, approximately 600 individuals gathered to say their final goodbyes. Marburger leaves behind his loving wife, Elizabeth, five children, and four grandchildren. The couple had been together for over 40 years, having fallen in love in eighth grade.
Marburger’s daughter, Claire, spoke fondly of her father’s unwavering support and emphasized the importance of showing up for loved ones. She expressed her longing for one more embrace and cherished moments of affirmation from her dad.
Elizabeth Marburger urged those in attendance to seek the good in the world, even amidst the tragedy they had experienced. The Perry community has demonstrated this resilience by rallying together to support the victims and their families. In a remarkable act of compassion, residents even cooked meals for the shooter’s grieving family.
As the investigation into the motive behind the shooting continues, the Perry school district is working to gradually bring students back to class. The district plans to enhance security measures but has chosen not to implement metal detectors or require clear plastic bags. However, many parents, especially those with wounded children, remain apprehensive about sending their kids back to school.
The town of Perry, with its population of approximately 8,000, continues to heal and support one another during these challenging times.