The state-owned pier on the Iowa Great Lakes at Arnolds Park will be renamed to honor the memory of former Iowa Congressman Berkley Bedell. Bedell, who died in December at the age of 98, founded a successful fishing tackle company in Spirit Lake.

“There was hardly a day when dad was here in the Iowa Great Lakes that he didn’t go fishing every morning,” said Tom Bedell. “The lake was his soul, if you can that, so yes, this seems very, very fitting.”

Jill Harms of Imagine Iowa Great Lakes said her group and Historic Arnolds Park Inc. discussed getting a statue of Bedell to place near the pier.

“Low and behold, we were talking with Tom Bedell and he said he had a statue of Berk at his…former ranch (in Aspen), because it has since sold, but he left it the bronze statue there because it was kind of iconic out there as well,” she said.

The statue Tom Bedell commissioned depicts his dad fishing. The statute will be moved to Iowa and last week the Arnolds Park City Council approved its placement on city-owned property near the pier, which has been renovated. A ribbon-cutting for the Berkley Bedell Pier is scheduled for September 5.

Berkley Bedell served a dozen years in the U.S. House of Representatives.

(By Corey Harguth, KICD, Spencer)