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Navarro Fosse

navarro fosse
Navarro (Nav) Tyndall Fosse age 90, passed away peacefully on February 23, 2016 at his home at the Covington in Aliso Viejo, California. Local Services: Memorial services for: Nav Fosse will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday May 28th at Oak Hill Cemetery in Nashua, Iowa with Pastor Bill Nielson officiating Military rites will be conducted by Nashua V.F.W. Post # 6792. A reception for family and friends will be held at the Hugeback - Johnson Funeral Home - Olson Chapel in Nashua following the services at the cemetery. A Celebration of Life was held on March 19, 2016 at the Covington in Aliso Viejo, CA. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Nashua VFW, the American Heart Association, or Honor Flight San Diego. Navarro (Nav) Tyndall Fosse was an only child, born on September 23, 1925 in Cresco, Iowa, to Tyndall and Bessie (Evans) Fosse. He grew up in Ridgeway, Iowa and graduated from Ridgeway High School in 1943. He attended Luther College in Decorah, IA in the fall of 1943 before being drafted into the United States Army where he served in Germany during and after World War II. In April 1946, he returned home from the war and married the love of his life, Lieschen (Snick) Dahlke of Sheffield, Iowa on September 8, 1946. Nav and Snick settled in Nashua, Iowa where they were the parents to four children, Chris (Susan) Fosse of Bellevue, WA; Karen (Bruce) Johnson of Laguna Hills, CA; Rebecca (David) Robinson of Janesville, WI and Gretchen Fosse of Marina Del Rey, CA. In 1948, Nav started the Nashua Tile Company with $600 he saved from the Army. After three years of making drain tile, he invented a machine to make larger tiles, which he soon sold to a company in Minnesota. He built a second machine, which immediately sold to another customer, and he soon realized there was more opportunity in the machinery business and discontinued making tiles and began making machinery. The Nashua Tile Company became Hydrotile Machinery Company which he grew to over 300 employees with facilities in Nashua, IA, Woodstock, Ontario and Crucuius, Netherlands. Nav received eight patents for inventions he made for the concrete pipe industry. He and his wife, Snick, traveled to over 45 countries attending trade shows and making sales calls for the company, building Hydrotile into a leader in the industry. During his tenure with Hydrotile he received many honors including the President’s E Award for excellence in exports, which was presented by the Governor of Iowa. He was a guest of the Russian government to tour their concrete pipe industry and helped improve pipe making all over the world, including in Egypt where they had a long term project. Nav sold the company to a New York firm in 1975 and continued to work for them another 15 years before retirement. After retirement, Nav started two more businesses, both of which began as a hobby. Cedar Rail Enterprises was the result of his lifelong love of trains. In 1985, he purchased a dilapidated domed railcar called the Silver Solarium and restored it to its glory days, then leased it to organizations for private railcar trips. He and Snick also enjoyed taking the entire family and grandchildren on rail trips across the country by connecting to Amtrak and going to various destinations by private car. Cayman Condos was started when he began renting out condos as favors for friends in the Cayman Islands where he and Snick spent more and more time at their home away from home. The business is still operated out of Nashua by family members and local employees. In 2004, he and Snick moved from their home in Nashua to a retirement community in California to be nearer two of their daughters. At the age of 89, he was elected to a 3-year term on the Board of the Episcopal Homes of California. He also was a 50-year member of the National Railway Historical Society and the American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners. Nav was truly a remarkable man who enjoyed life to the fullest and was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. All of his grandchildren adored him and could think of no greater vacation than to spend with Grandpa Nav and listening to his fascinating stories. Nav’s beloved wife, Snick, preceded him in death in 2014. In addition to his children, Nav is survived by 8 grandchildren – Kevin (Melissa) Fosse of Big Sky, MT, Brian Fosse of Portland, OR, Matthew (Blake) Johnson of Riverside, CA, Andrew (Jess) Johnson of Manchester, NH, Ashley Johnson of Denver, CO, Joseph (Sarah) Robinson of Waukesha, WI, Kristin Robinson of Stamford, CT, Paul Robinson of Memphis, TN, and 3 great-grandchildren – Brett Robinson, Haley Robinson and Gunnar Johnson.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Chris, Karen, Becky, and Gretta, Packing all of the Brooklyn Kids in the back seat of the brand new orange Mustang convertible, ice skating on the rink our dads made in the Hydrotile parking lot, trips up the river on the Cedar Queen, getting our dogs Taffy and Tuffy, picnics at the Boat Club, meeting the Silver Solarium at Union Station in Denver; so many memories of the Fosse Family and the Luhrings. Thanks for the memories, Nav and Snick! What wonderful neighbors and friends. Love to all of you, Gen

  2. Dear Bruce and Karen and all the members of the family, I’ll always remember how close this family is and how Nav kept the family together with the train rides and the adventures they provided. What memories he and Snick provided for everyone and for us! We’ll never forget the train rides! Even when Evan wears his train t-shirt that use to be Gavin’s we remember what an experience that was. We are blessed to have known him and Snick. I have a file folder marked ‘Nav’s Letters.’ I will miss the fun and informative writings like ‘Skippy;’ like ‘A Horse Named Bess;’ like ‘The Poultry Car;’ like ‘The Story About this Painting;’ like ‘From A to Z with Snick and Me.’ With much love, Tom and Laura H.

  3. We were sorry for your loss, you have our sympathy. Phyllis & I remember the great times we had with Nav and Snick at the Country Club and riding on the Cedar Queen. They were really a great asset to the Nashua Community. Bill & Phyllis Kunzman.

  4. We were so blessed to have known Nav along with his beloved Snick over the years. Now they are, once again, back into each other’s arms embracing their love. May God who is holding Nav, also hold all of you in the days ahead, giving you comfort, strength and peace as you mourn this loss. Our prayers are with all of you. Bill & Donna Sprague May Your unfailing love be my comfort. ~PSALM 119:76

  5. Nav was a Great mentor to me early in my career in the business in Nashua. Most importantly he taught me not to take any issues too seriously! Nav will be missed! – Dean Olson (Hydrotile 1973-1991)

  6. Karen & Bruce – We are sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Jamie & Trish Wegner

  7. For the past few years, Nav used to email my father frequently and I joined in and actually shared a lot of emails with him directly. The last email I got from him was him replying to the note that my father had passed away on January 11th, 2016. He had stopped to visit my dad when he and his family were in Nashua last fall. They remained great friends for over 65 years! Snick and Nav did a lot for the people of Nashua. I remember some of the cars he owned and the Cedar Queen that he made from scratch! I also remember the skating rink he used to put up in the parking lot of Hydrotile. I always admired him for his accomplishments! May he rest in peace!

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