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  Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, September 14, 2017

OBITUARY ~ NORMA JEAN (RHOADES) FRENCH
February 04, 1928 ~ September 05, 2017

Norma French, 89, of Creston, passed away Tuesday, September 5, 2017, at the Greater Regional Hospice Home in Creston. Memorial services was 11:00 a.m. Friday, September 8, 2017 at the Powers Funeral Home near the junction of highway 25 and 34 in Creston. Pastor Dan Fields and Pastor Dave Tebbenkamp will officiate the service. Norma donated her body to Des Moines University and the burial will be at the Fairview Cemetery in Bedford at a later date. Open visitation will be from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m. Thursday with family receiving friends from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Thursday at Powers Funeral Home in Creston. Memorials may be made to the Greater Regional Hospice Home Foundation in Creston. Online condolences can be made under the obituary category at www.powersfh.com.

Norma Jeane Swartz was born February 4, 1928 in Kansas City, Missouri, to Winnie F. (Swartz) Rhoades. Norma graduated from Mount Ayr High School in 1945. She worked as a waitress and later as a welder for Solar Aircraft facility in Des Moines during the war years where she welded tailpipes on the B29 bombers. In 1946 she married Scott Duckworth in Creston and they later divorced and he has passed away. She later married Robert E. Lee in 1959 in Anoka, MN. and they later divorced and he has passed away. While Norma lived in Laurel, Maryland, she worked as a secretary for a bank president.

In 1971 Norma was united in marriage to Virgil French in Creston. They farmed together ten miles east of Bedford until his passing and she moved to Creston where she became the “Demo” lady at Wal-Mart, Hy-Vee and Fareway. She also worked as a receptionist and secretary for the Anderson and Werner Law Firm in Creston, as an office assistant at Ringgold Mutual Insurance in Mount Ayr and a typist for Boggs Wholesale in Creston.

Norma was a member of the First Baptist Church in Creston and past member of the Young at Heart Doll Club.

Left to cherish Norma’s memory are her children: Michael D. (wife Jo) Duckworth, Sr. of Creston, Tony Lee (significant other Crystal Heyveld) and Leesa “Lee” (husband Allen) Lester all of Creston; nine grandchildren, Scotty Duckworth, Jason Duckworth, Michael (wife Cassie) Duckworth, Jr., Dani Lisk (significant other Kenneth Witmer), Brian Holloway (wife April), Shawn Holloway (significant other Shyanne Macalpine-Switzer), Jared Wilmeth, Brianna Freeman, and Sherri Bishop: three great-granddaughters, Myla and Maci Duckworth and Atalynn Holloway: four great-grandsons, Colton Duckworth, Chase Stookey, Ivan Wilmeth and Isaiah Elkin. She was preceded in death by her stepfather Sam Rhoades, mother Winnie Rhoades, husband Virgil and stepdaughter Connie (French) Noyes.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, September of 2017

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