Elected: April 9, 1994
Inducted: June 24, 1994
Family: Virgil E. Coonrod was born on February 21, 1910 in Martelle, Iowa. Virgil and Lillian Rawson were married on February 25, 1932 at Center Point, Iowa. Together they raised four children, Duane, Donald, Diane and Dorene of which all four have been in the family business. Virgil and Lillian have eleven grandchildren, seven who have been involved in the business, three who are presently employed on a full-time basis. Virgil and Lillian have two great grandchildren.
History: Virgil and Lillian began their marriage as farmers near Cedar Point, a small town north of Cedar Rapids. After a couple of brief farming attempts during the depression the family moved to Covington where Virgil purchased a 1928 Chevy truck and started a general repair shop. They eventually moved to the northwest corner of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In 1957, Virgil and Lillian purchased their first truck-mounted hydraulic crane. This was a risky purchase since hydraulics were relatively unknown. This unit was the beginning of a new era for Coonrod Wrecker and Crane Service. Virgil and his two sons Duane and Donald, took the leadership in utilizing mobile hydraulic truck cranes for recovery work. Their reputation spread quickly and recovery work sent them hundreds of miles for customers throughout the country. Virgil has always been an entrepreneur. He has assembled a skilled and talented work force. At 84 years of age, he continues to make major business decisions. Virgil and Lillian’s business philosophy continues to be service-oriented. Virgil is being commended for his contribution to the integrity of the towing and recovery industry as he, his family, and employees have always been community minded, offering their equipment and labors for activities that enhance community spirit and development. Virgil recently ended 15 years of service as a board member of the Midwest Central Railroad, associated with the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Coonrod Wrecker and Crane Service has received commendations in appreciation for their commitment by providing volunteer support, manpower and equipment which has further enhanced the success of various projects and special events in the Cedar Rapids area. They recently received the All American Award for their unselfish and dedicated service to all veterans and families of Desert Storm and for the donated time and preparation in making the dream of “All Veterans Memorial” become a reality. Virgil Coonrod’s stature rose to that of “Patriarch” in the industry and in the community many years ago. Virgil’s leadership in the towing and recovery industry, coupled with the standards of quality service he has been committed to, truly epitomizes the real meaning of towing and recovery professionalism worthy of induction into The International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame.
DECEASED – December 9, 1995