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PERSINGER, Celestine 1915-2012


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 3/25/2015 at 12:08:18

Celestine Persinger, 97, of Grundy Center, Iowa, passed away Thursday, April 5, 2012, at Villa Del Sol in Marshalltown, Iowa while under the care of Iowa River Hospice. Funeral Services will be 10:30 am Monday, April 9, 2012, at the United Methodist Church in Grundy Center, Iowa, with Pastor Phil Dicks officiating. Burial will follow in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Grundy Center. Visitation will be on Sunday, April 8, 2012, from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm at the Engelkes-Abels Funeral Home in Grundy Center. Memorials may be made directed to the United Methodist Church or the Iowa 4-H Foundation in Ames, Iowa.

Celestine Elizabeth Miller was born at home on a farm west of Grundy Center in Colfax Township on January 27, 1915, the daughter of William D. and Carrie Ethel (Plager) Miller. She attended rural school at Palermo No. 3 and graduated from the Grundy Center High School in 1933. Following graduation she worked as a telephone operator at the Grundy Center office for five years and attended Iowa State College in Ames for three years. On April 30, 1943, she was married at her parents' home to Francis E. Persinger, Grundy Center. They resided briefly in Clearwater, Florida where Lt. Persinger was stationed with the Army before being sent to England. Celestine returned to Iowa to live with her parents while he was overseas.

In 1946, after Francis returned from serving in WWII, the couple moved to the family farm three miles southwest of Grundy Center in Palermo Township. Together they developed a purebred dairy herd, Fran-Cel Registered Holsteins, and the family exhibited cattle at various local, regional, and state shows. Celestine served as president of the Iowa Holstein Breeders' Auxiliary. In 1969 they dispersed the dairy herd and later raised Fran-Cel Registered Suffolk sheep. In 1979 Celestine was honored as a Master Farm Homemaker by Wallace's Farmer magazine. Francis passed away on June 14, 1990, and Celestine continued to reside on the home farm where she cultivated a large fruit and vegetable garden. She moved to Glenwood Place Assisted Living in Marshalltown in October, 2005, and to Villa del Sol in Marshalltown in December, 2011.

Celestine was a 4-H member for eight years and a 4-H club leader for 25 years. She and her family established the Persinger-Asmus state 4-H scholarship in 1997. In 2002, Celestine was the first inductee from Grundy County into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame at the Iowa State Fair. She was a member of the Grundy County Farm Bureau for over 50 years and was active in its women's groups. She also belonged to the Federated Women's Club of Grundy Center and to SK Club, a neighborhood social club, for over 60 years.

Celestine served as president of the Foreign Student Exchange Committee at Grundy Center Community Schools in the 1960's. The Persinger family hosted AFS, IFYE, and other exchange students from Italy, Turkey, England, India, France, and Norway. Celestine was a member of the United Methodist Church of Grundy Center for 88 years, served as president of the Women's Society and on the official board, and was a Sunday School teacher.

Over the years Celestine acquired a large collection of advertising dolls and gave many programs about them. She also had collections of Easter eggs which she had decorated, apples, snowmen, sheep, and rocking horses. Celestine enjoyed reading the daily newspaper and clipping the political cartoons to assemble in scrapbooks. For over 80 years she kept a daily diary. She also spent many hours working on genealogy. Family was paramount in Celestine's life. Her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren brought her much happiness.

Celestine is survived by three children, Harlen Persinger, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Sheryl (Everett) Asmus, Webster City, and Colene Ferrin, Marshalltown; three grandchildren, Brian (Carla) Asmus, Omaha, Nebraska, Jill (Michael) Schumacher, Omaha, Nebraska, and Todd (Therese) Asmus, Chisago City, Minnesota; six great-grandchildren, Dylan and Ethan Asmus, Luke and James Schumacher, and Noah and Isabella Asmus; two sisters-in-law, Marge E. (Leslie) Green, Conrad; and Mildred Miller, Urbandale; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Francis; two sisters, Dorothy Winslow and Alice Miller; one brother, John Miller; a sister-in-law, Marian Ressler; and two brothers-in-law, Carl Ressler and Francis Winslow.

--Abels Funeral Homes (www.abelsfuneralhomes.com)


Grundy Obituaries maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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