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Barbara Janice Everson (1918-2008)


Posted By: Ames Tribune
Date: 6/6/2008 at 09:58:19

THE AMES TRIBUNE, Ames, Story County, Iowa, Thursday, June 5, 2008.

June 2, 1918-May 24, 2008

Barbara Janice Everson, 89, a longtime resident of Ames and recently of Sequim, Wash., passed away Saturday, May 24, of age-related causes at her residence, surrounded by her four children and many friends. A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 11, at Trinity United Methodist Church in Sequim, Wash. Barbara and husband Leroy's ashes will be buried in the Mount Olive Cemetery in Westboro, Wis. A family reunion will be in August to celebrate their lives.

Born June 2, 1918, into a farming family in Port Wing, Bayfield County, Wis., Barbara was a second-generation Swedish-American. Her parents were Frances Carlson Nelson and Carl Oscar Nelson, both graduates of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. She attended school in Dassel, Minn., and Orienta District 5 Wisconsin, graduating in 1939 from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor's degree. in home economics education. During these years, she took an active interest in Home Economics Club, Gopher 4-H, Clovia Sorority and Lutheran student group, and she worked at a variety of jobs - meal planning and preparation, babysitting, housekeeping and waitressing. After university graduation, she taught high school home economics and science.

In August 1941, she married Leroy Everett Everson (1914 to 2005). He was a graduate of the University of Minnesota and Naval Officer Candidate School. During World War II, he deployed to the North Atlantic and the Pacific theaters. Shortly before the birth of their first child in 1944, she returned to teach in Wisconsin. At the end of World War II, Barbara and Leroy moved to St. Paul, Minn. There they built a home, had a second child and he completed a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota

In 1948, they moved to Ames, where Dr. Everson became a tenured professor of botany and director of the Seed Testing Laboratory at Iowa State University. In 1950 and 1953, they added two more children to the family. In these and subsequent years, she focused on being a nurturing parent and active member of the Ames community. She maintained a creative and educational environment at home for her four children: volunteering at Cub Scouts, Brownies and Camp Fire Girls; working as a PTA committee member and chairman; serving as an Ames Camp Fire board member and chairman.

She was a prolific writer, sewed clothes for her family, was an avid gardener, refinished furniture and developed skill as a Rosemaling painter. She was an archivist and began a lifelong study of family genealogy. She volunteered for Red Cross Nutrition, Friendship International, Clovia alumna, PEO and Ames Home Economists in Homemaking. She worked actively with Iowa State University Friends of Foreign Wives, ISU Faculty Women's Club and Tri-T, a charitable, educational and philanthropic organization.

She enjoyed traveling to many international destinations. She especially loved living in Cali, Colombia, where Leroy worked at the CIAT Agricultural Station. A member of Collegiate Methodist Church in Ames, she served as a church school leader and member of the United Methodist Women's group.

They moved to Sequim, Wash., in 1990. There they developed a large flower, fruit and vegetable garden and belonged to Master Gardeners. She took a vigorous interest in the History Committee at Trinity United Methodist Church, where they were members. She continued with PEO, an organization she had worked with since 1980. Toward the end of Leroy's life, she actively provided support for victims of Alzheimer's disease. She established an endowment fund at Iowa State University for graduate fellowships in seed science. In 2007, she dedicated the Nelson Outdoor Laboratory along the south shore of Lake Superior to the University of Wisconsin. She took great pride in preserving this pristine land for educational and ecological research.

She spent her last years enjoying the community and support of friends living in The Lodge at Sherwood Village, a retirement complex. She was a member of Kiwanis and National Wildlife Federation. She maintained an active correspondence with friends and family all over the world.

She is survived by one son, John E. Everson, and daughter-in-law, Elaine; daughter, Dr. Karin D. E. Everett; daughter, Grace K. E. Day; and daughter, Mary M. Everson, and son-in-law, Jim; grandchildren, Karl, Glen and Jillian Dyszynski, and Charley, Bill, Erik and Jacob Everson; and nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Leroy in 2005; one brother, Carl Franklin Nelson, of Port Wing, Wis.; and one sister-in-law, Irene.

In lieu of flowers, family members are asking that memorials be made in memory of Barbara Everson, payable to: Gustavus Adolphus College, Andrew Nelson International Scholarship Fund, Office of Advancement, 800 W. College Ave, St. Peter, MN, 56082, or to Kiwanis Special Needs Camp, P.O. Box 518, Sequim, WA, 98382.


Story Obituaries maintained by Mark Christian.
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