Taylor County, Iowa obituaries
Pat O'Dell - genpat@netins.net
Adams, John Franklin -

John Franklin Adams, the son of Charles Leonard and Margaret Violet Serena (McPherren) Adams was born on November 9, 1943, in Corning, Iowa. He lived and worked on the family farm southeast of Corning until he graduated from high school in 1961.

After graduation, John took a job as a surveyor for the Iowa Department of Transportation and joined the National Guard. John became a Party Chief Surveyor and worked for the DOT for 45 years. He traveled all over Iowa and while working in Sigourney, Iowa, he met Sandra. They were united in marriage on January 21, 1967, in DeWitt, Iowa. Soon after a daughter, Rene, was born and they all traveled with John while working. Right before a second daughter, Nicole, was born the family moved to Roland, Iowa. They lived in Roland for 38 years until moving back to Corning in 2009.

John enjoyed many years of hunting, fishing, and golfing. He went on many ice fishing trips to Devil’s Lake, North Dakota. During the summer months, there were many fishing trips on the Mississippi River. Family outings of golfing were enjoyed for many years. He was involved in the planning and organizing of many DOT surveyor golf tournaments.

After retirement, John enjoyed watching the grandchildren play volleyball, basketball, baseball, football, and t-ball. He also still enjoyed fishing. John was a member of the American Legion.

Left to cherish John’s memory is his wife Sandy of Corning; daughters: Rene (James) Rogers of Bedford; Nicole (Steve) Shead, Smithville, Missouri; three grandchildren: Danielle, Timothy, Daniel; sister-in-law: Barb Adams; other relatives and friends.

Preceding John in death were his parents: brother: Michael Adams; nephew: Mick Adams

Pearson Funeral Home, Corning, Iowa. Burial in Washington Cemetery, Gravity, Iowa


Anderson, June Nevera Grimm - 25 Jan 1928 - 13 May 2020 Memorial services for June Anderson, 92, will be held at a later date at the Sharpsburg Presbyterian Church. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.cummingsfamilyfuneralhome.com under Obituaries.

June Nevera (Grimm) Anderson, daughter of Leonard Grimm and Mabel (Clark) was born in Sharpsburg, Iowa, January 25, 1928. She grew to maturity on a farm west of Sharpsburg where she attended both grade and high school.

On July 18, 1945 she was united in marriage to Wilbert (Andy) Anderson at Olathe, Kansas. To this union one daughter, Linda Gayle was born in 1947. The family moved from Kansas City in 1953 to El Paso, Texas, where they lived until Andy retired from the United States Army in 1964. The family then moved to Sharpsburg, Iowa.

June worked as a dispatcher for the Taylor County Sheriffs Office as well as maintaining her household. June enjoyed her flower gardens, watching birds, shopping at Wiseman's furniture, watching old westerns and a love for reading she passed onto her daughter and grandchildren. There was always an endless pot of coffee at June's house and bananas for the grandkids. June was a longtime member and deacon of the Sharpsburg Presbyterian Church.

June is preceded in death by her husband; Andy Anderson, parents; Leonard and Mabel Grimm, granddaughter; Sharron Collier, brother; Leland Grimm and sister; Jean Tillman.

Left to cherish her memory are her daughter, Linda Currier; grandchildren; Kristine Haynes, Phillip Callahan, Debbie Blevens, great-grandchildren; Rob, Stephanie, Earon, Jessica, Andy, Makayla, Justin, Kjersten, great-great-grandchildren; Corbin, Oaklynn, Carmen, Lilly; great coffee friend; Janice Blanchard along with many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends


Asher, Connie Kay Deardorff -

Connie Kay Asher, daughter of Pearl (Bower) & Virgil Deardorff, Sr, was born June 29, 1939 at home south of Clearfield, Iowa. She arrived 5 minutes after her twin sister, Bonnie.

Connie graduated from Redding High School with the class of 1957. Connie married Billy Mac Asher and to this marriage one son was born, Billy Gene Asher. They later divorced.

Connie lived most of her life in Worth, Missouri. She worked over 20 years at Energizer Plant in Maryville, MO. Connie enjoyed country music and dances.

After she retired in the late 1990’s, she moved to Clearfield, Iowa where she lived the remainder of her life. Connie loved taking care of Jimmy.

Connie passed away on April 12, 2020 at Clearview Home in Mount Ayr where she had resided for the past month. She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers Keith, Virgil, Jr, and Phillip; sisters Verna Fletchall and Barbara Deardorff; twins Bennie Lou and Betty Sue and an infant brother Charles Myles.

Survivors include her sister Bonnie Fletchall of Clearfield, IA; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends


Barker, Kevin Wallace -

Kevin Wallace Barker, 86, of Lenox, passed away peacefully Monday, May 4, 2020, at the Greater Regional Hospice Home in Creston.  

Kevin Wallace Barker was born Oct. 30, 1933, in rural Prescott, to Kenneth F. and Doris M. (Crowell) Barker. He had four siblings: Elene, Justine, Lonnie, and Bill. He was an adventurous young lad jumping out of a tree while sporting a Superman cape, falling upside down in a stock watering tank, and coming home from an afternoon’s muddy river escapade minus his new shoes. He attended Lenox Community Schools where he participated in sport activities — football being his favorite. He also sang in the choir. It was once noted by a classmate “this can be said when Kev was in school, it was never dead.”

After high school, Kevin began his higher education at Iowa State University majoring in agriculture education. After sustaining a serious farm injury, he finished his education closer to home at Northwest Missouri State University. Kevin’s passion was biology and zoology science courses.

On Dec. 26, 1954, he married his sweetheart Mildred E. Melvin (“Millie”). To this union, two children were born: Steven W. and Lynn L. During this time, he taught high school science in Bedford. Later he taught high school sciences in Carson, Iowa, while attending night school to obtain his master’s degree in biology at University of Nebraska at Omaha.  

An opportunity arose for him to instruct at a teacher training college in Marangu, Tanzania. He accepted this opportunity as an adventure for himself and his family to experience. In the two years he worked there, they traveled throughout East Africa and Europe. A peak experience was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro not once, not twice, but three times. After teaching in Africa, Kevin accepted a rare mid-contract high school science teaching position at Batavia, New York, and later moved to Attica, New York, as a middle school biology teacher. Kevin and his family lived in rural western New York for twenty years, enjoying living in the woods between two bubbling streams which provided year-round beauty, adventure and never ending wood cutting to teach self-sufficiency and the importance of work and play balance to his kids.

He continued his passion for sports, attending all of Steve and Lynn’s sporting events. Kevin was locally famous for his “Score One More!” rally cry for all his team’s athletes as he paced the sports venue, always positive and uplifting. You could hear this same chant at his grandchildren’s sporting events and extracurricular activities, which he never missed. Later, he and Millie were awarded the Creston Panther Booster Award.   

After 20 years of teaching, Kevin and Millie returned to Lenox to work in his family’s business — Barker Farms/Barker Implement. He thoroughly enjoyed farming, implementing soil conservation practices and working with the land and animals. Another passion of his involved rounding up his grandchildren to make his landmark homemade ice cream with the old John Deere Model H tractor, either for a birthday, special event or fundraiser in the community. He retired at the age of 80 years old. However, he continued to work the land. Throughout his many years of living in Lenox, he served on various committees and boards:  

Lenox City Council – several terms, Lenox Depot Restoration Committee, Rotary Committee, planting trees along the walking trail and on the east/south side of the school property, ice cream for the Lenox Rodeo as well as many other community events, Taylor County Extension Council – several terms, represented Taylor County as a director of the Wallace Foundation — one year as president, raised money to buy a 400 acre farm which ISU used as a research farm (Armstrong Farm), raised money to build a million dollar education center on the Armstrong Farm in Lewis, he received a 160 acre farm as a gift. This farm was turned over to ISU to use as an additional research farm —Nealy-Kinyon Farm at Greenfield, he was also a director representing Taylor County on a state board which established the first ever research farm in CRP Land (Corning), Taylor County Historical Society with a keen interest preserving historic landmarks.

Kevin also volunteered many countless hours, supplies, and knowledge for 11 years at the Lenox Community School, K-12, with much focus on appreciating science, nature and its beauty and “gifts,” free to all who will mindfully receive them. His favorite lesson seemed to be encouraging kids to take time to listen to the wind in the trees and its calming and grounding effects. In 1996, Kevin and Millie received the “Friend of Extension Award” for their many hours of generosity and service.     

Kevin was a beloved member in his community with a humble servant’s heart and was a powerful cornerstone of strength and mentoring for his family and extended family. He created a legacy of friendship, leadership, family, community, and acceptance that transcended through generations to come. Kevin was a modern-day Johnny Appleseed, an arborist who enjoyed hearing the sway of the leaves and the brush of the wind against his face as he rode his Gator through town to get ice cream on hot days. He also was a master gardener who loved to share his garden bounty with his community. To the end he supported learning, conservation, self-sufficiency, family, togetherness, community and pioneered the spirit of fellowship.

Kevin is survived by his wife Millie Barker of Lenox; children Steven Barker of Lake City, Florida and Lynn (Bob) Irr of Creston; brothers Lonnie Barker of Lenox and Bill Barker of Creston; sisters Justine Mendenhall of Prescott, Arizona and Elene (Duane) Heeren of Huxley; grandchildren: Anne (Nate) Kavars of Iowa City, Steven (Jessie) Irr of Winterset, Greg (Emily) Irr of Blue Springs, Missouri, Kevin (Emily) Irr of Corning and Ben (special friend Olivia Nielsen) Irr of Creston; great-grandchildren: Violet Kavars, Landyn, Karleigh and Kelsie Irr, Perry and Sawyer Irr; as well as many beloved nieces, nephews, other family members, and friends.

Kevin was preceded in death by his parents Kenneth and Doris Barker, mother-in-law Wilma Melvin, brother-in-law Stuart Melvin, sister-in-law Billie Jean Barker and brother-in-law Elvis Mendenhall.

Due to current restrictions, a celebration of life will be announced later for friends and family. Condolences and memorials in Kevin’s name can be sent to his wife Millie Barker at 118 E. Kansas St., Lenox, IA 50851. Memorials will be gifted to the following organizations: Lenox Presbyterian Church, Lenox Depot Fund, and The Wallace Foundation for Rural Research and Development. Kevin’s family will be personally gifting to GRMC/Hospice House for their loving and excellent care for this beloved man as he journeyed toward his eternal adventure with the Lord


Batten, Bernard Lynn - Bernard Batten, 82 of Grand Island, Nebraska died Feb 14 [2016]. Services were held at 10:30 am Monday, Feb 22 at Third City Christian Church with Pastor Scott Jones officiating. Burial will be in Grand Island City Cemetery. Visitation was held on Sunday, Feb 21 from 5-7 pm at Apfel Funeral Home in Grand Island. Memorials are suggested to Third City Christian Church. Apfel Funeral Home is serving the family.

Bernard Lynn Batten was born Dec 2, 1933 to Cleo and Ofie Batten in Fleming, Colorado. At 6 weeks of age his parents moved to southwest Iowa, near Gravity. Bernard received his education in rural schools in the Gravity and New Market area. He graduated from New Market High School in 1952. On June 22, 1956 he married his grade school sweetheart, Verna Jean Sanders. On Sept 1, he joined the Brown Shoe Fit Company and started his training in Red Oak. After two years he went to Nebraska City, and then was appointed Manager and Co-owner of the store in Maryville, Missouri. In July of 1968, he was asked by the company to move to Grand Island to pioneer new growth in central Nebraska. He served as coordinator for Brown's Shoe Fit until his retirement in 1995. He served on the board of directors and was voted store of the year twice in his career.

He was a member of Third City Christian Church, always willing to help when possible. He loved traveling with Verna, especially to Estes Park, Colorado during the summer and south during the winter. He was a dedicated fan of Nebraska Football.

Survivors include his wife, Verna Batten of Grand Island, Nebraska; sons, Curtis (Patricia) Batten of Fremont, Nebrasa and Craig (Mary) Batten of Cedar Park, Texas; grandchildren, Andrew, Abigail and Alexander Batten of Texas and Davis and Meredith Batten of Fremont, Nebraska; brothers, Clark (Marilyn) Batten and Steve (Carol) Batten both of Clarinda and sister-in-law, Barbara Batten of New Market. He was welcomed into heaven by his parents; grandparents and his brother, Bob Batten.



Batten, Verna Jean Sanders - Verna Jean Batten, 84, of Grand Island [Nebraska] passed away Tuesday, May 5th, 2020, at Tiffany Square Care Center in Grand Island.

Burial will be at Grand Island City Cemetery. Apfel Funeral Home is serving the family.

Due to the restrictions of the pandemic a private family service is planned. Memorials are suggested to Third City Christian Church of Grand Island.

Verna was born on October 31, 1935, in Taylor County, Iowa to Robert and Maude (Long) Sanders. Verna, the second oldest of four children, received her education in the rural schools of Taylor County, Iowa and graduated from New Market High School in May 1954. She married her grade school sweetheart, Bernard Batten on June 22, 1956 in the Christian Church of New Market, Iowa. Verna planned on becoming a teacher. Her first job was with Fitch’s Dime Store in Clarinda, Iowa and later as a bookkeeper at Opitz Motor Company, also in Clarinda. Verna and Bernard moved to Red Oak, Iowa as Bernard had accepted a position with Brown’s Shoe Fit Company. While in Red Oak, Verna worked for Don Fill Motor Company.

The couple resided in Red Oak, IA, Nebraska City, NE and Maryville, MO before transferring to Grand Island in 1969.

Verna was a stay-at-home mom for her two boys in the early years and also worked as a seamstress out of the home. She loved working with her hands, knitting, crocheting and various crafts. Later, she worked part time at the shoe store.

They enjoyed many summer trips to Estes Park Colorado with special friends Steve and Marsha Webb. They also enjoyed wintering in south Texas. She loved the many new friendships made with fellow “snowbirds” and continued to correspond with them through the years. She enjoyed researching and documenting the Sanders and Batten family histories.

Verna was a member of the Third City Christian Church, and enjoyed helping with different functions and especially being a greeter.

The couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in June of 2006. They were married for 59 years until the passing of Bernard February 14, 2016.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband and siblings Trula Carmichael, Nora Gilbert and Jim Sanders.

Survivors of the immediate family include sons Curtis (Patricia) Batten of Fremont, NE and Craig (Mary) Batten of Cedar Park, TX; grandchildren Andrew (Samantha) Batten of Kyle TX, Abigail (Clay) Cotton of Bertram, TX and Alexander Batten of Austin, TX, Davis Batten of Omaha, NE and Meredith Batten of Lincoln, NE and great grandson Kole Batten of Kyle, TX.

Additional survivors include: brother-in-law Clark (Marilyn) Batten of Clarinda, IA, brother-in-law Steve (Carol) Batten of Clarinda, IA and sister-in-law Barbara Batten of Mulberry, Florida as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the staff at Tiffany Square Nursing Home in Grand Island where Verna was a resident for nearly 7 years. So many people at Tiffany loved her, cared for her and treated her and her family like a member of their family


Boone, Paul Wilford - Paul Wilford Boone, 84, Lenox Iowa, passed away peacefully at the Greater Regional Hospice Home in Creston, Iowa on April 10, 2020 after a battle with cancer.

Paul was born August 10,1935 in Creston, Iowa to Maury and Edith (Proud) Boone. He was the youngest of four children.

On September 12, 1958 Paul married Margaret Ann Trost at the Glass Church in Portuguese Bend, California. The Boone and Trost families had always been good friends because of a close relationship between their mothers; Ruth Trost and Edith Boone.
As a young man and husband to Margaret, Paul was employed as a machinist by Selko Grinding of Torrance, California. After moving to Cody, Wyoming in 1971 he was employed by Husky Oil (10 years) and later became founder and owner of Boone’s Machine of Cody, Wyoming (1983-2003).

Paul was an avid outdoors-man; his passions were fishing and golf. This love was instilled in his children and grandchildren. He was always his happiest when sharing stories of memorable fishing trips or giving his favorite golf tips.

Paul is survived by daughter Eileen (Charlie) Pattison of Sheridan, WY; sons Jeff (Julie) Boone and Gary Boone of Grand Junction, CO; Mike (Jacque) Boone of Cody, WY; Loving wife, Maureen Murphy of Lenox, IA; 8 grandchildren; Tammy and Andy Boone; Madeleine, Travis and Kelby Boone; Chance and Carter Pattison; Sterling Boone; 1 great-grandchild Kendrix Boone and numerous nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Margaret; parents Maurey and Edith; brothers Donald and Marvin Boone; sister Margretta Kirkpartick; nephew Daniel Boone; and grandson; Spencer Michael Boone.

Honorary Pallbearers: Bob Damron, Don Parker, Bob Wilson, Randy Trost, Bob Ryan, Dave Mondragon, John Cannon, Steve Harriger


Brown, David A. - David A. Brown, 64, went to be with the Lord on March 16, 2020, with his family by his side in Washington, Iowa.

Born in Corning, Iowa, on February 13, 1956, he was the son of Harlan and Zelma Brown. He graduated from Lenox High School with the Class of 1974. He was married to Lora Dukes in 1976. They bought an acreage just outside of town, where he enjoyed raising his children, farming, auctioneering, and he spent the majority of his career in sales positions throughout Taylor County, but ultimately settled in real-estate sales where he could still be involved in the farming he loved.

He was a member of the United Presbyterian Church in Lenox for many years where he loved worshiping and serving through singing. Dave will be remembered for his fun sense of humor, his constant singing, and how he never knew a stranger. Dave was full of stories and loved to share it with anyone that wanted to listen, and sometimes even those that didn’t. He was a proud Papa and loved pulling pranks, playing games, collecting pictures and hearing new stories from his grandkids.

Due to changes in his health, Dave moved to Washington, Iowa in 2015. He became very active in the United Presbyterian Retirement home and would write songs and provide entertainment for residents. He met his current wife Connie at the retirement home.

He is survived by is wife Connie Brown of Mount. Pleasant, Iowa; three children Lucas (Kelli) Brown of Washington, IA and their children Carson, Boden, Kipton, and Grayden; Tosha (Travis) Hart of Carroll, Iowa and their children Trinity, Trey, Taelyn, Nolan, and Holden; Brock Brown of Bondurant, Iowa and his children Brock and Lexi; a step-daughter, Lex (Bryce) Brinning of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; three brothers, Larry (Maryanne) Brown of Culpepper, Virginia; Denny (Carol) Brown of Sharpsburg , Iowa; and Tom (Jenny) Brown of Dearborn, Missouri.

Dave is preceded in death by both of his parents, his sister Barb Day, all of his grandparents and many other loved ones


Brown, Lois Maxine Brokaw - Lois Maxine (Brokaw) Brown was born September 2, 1924, at the family farm north of Mercer Center. She was the 3rd of 10 children born to Chas W. and Annetta Mae (Jones) Brokaw. As the family was celebrating Our Risen Jesus on Easter Sunday, Lois suffered a devastating stroke. She passed away on April 21,2020 at Every Step Hospice House in Creston, Iowa surrounded by her children. She grew up attending country school until 6th grade and then attended Lenox School graduating with the class of 1942. While in High School she was active in chorus, band and basketball. She played on the 1939 and 1941 State Basketball Tournament team and was among those honored in 2019 at the Girls Basketball Tournament 100th Anniversary Celebration. She admired her coach and mentor Coach K.U. Parker. She learned her work ethic at a young age having a variety of jobs starting at the age of 12. Two weeks after her High School Graduation she started a job at the First National Bank and worked there for 33 1/2 years. After retiring from the bank she worked at the Hy-Vee grocery in Creston as a demo lady where she got to enjoy the people.
She joined the Methodist Church in 1936 making her one of the longest active members for 84 years. She held many different offices and was very involved with Church activities including the ladies groups and being the Church treasurer for 40 years.

She married her High School sweetheart, Alvin “Shorty” Brown, on November 19, 1944 at the Brokaw family home. They moved to their farm north of town and built their life together “Living the American Dream”. Here they raised their 5 children, Diana, Jolene, Cindy, Kurt and Tacy. With all the farm and home chores her favorite saying became “It's more fun when we do it together”. A saying that even the Grandchildren were raised with and learned to love. Lois spent many hours in her garden raising vegetables but her real joy was her beautiful flowers and many people passing by saw her “best view”. Besides her flowers, she was well known for delivering eggs, dressing chickens, love of Christmas lights, and running out of gas on her many trips to town.

Things she enjoyed were square dancing, their pot luck group with lots of memorable 4th of July Celebrations, sending greeting cards and letters of encouragement, sewing, family Easter egg hunts, wiener roast & bonfires, playing cards, neighborhood club, and playing games with the grandkids. Another love was quilting and she made several for gifts.
She was a life time supporter of Lenox High School Activities and enjoyed all sports, always cheering them on. GO TIGERS!! Of course, the Iowa Hawkeye were a big part of her life too. GO HAWKS!! And now UNI has become her favorite. GO PANTHERS! Lois helped start and always look forward to the Alumni Banquet….visiting was one of her strong qualities.
Lois helped organize the Lenox Community Trust, was a member of Eastern Star, PEO, and Ambulance board

Lois’s family was always most important to her. She was very proud of all her grandchildren and was their biggest supporter.

Left to cherish her memory are children Diana (Kirk) Maharry, Jolene (Stan) Brown, Cindy Heuett, Kurt Brown, and Tacy (Randy) Samo, 15 grandchildren, and 29 great-grandchildren. Brother Paul (Marilyn) Brokaw and sister Cathy Gavend, Sisters-in-law Suzy Brokaw, Kate Buroker and Liz Brokaw and many nieces, nephews and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband Shorty in 2011, Grandson Jeremy Maharry, Granddaughter-in-law Marty Brown, her parents, Chas. W. and Mae Brokaw, parents-in-law Joe and Bess Brown, an infant brother, and brothers Ollie, Glenn, Harold, Frank, Chub and sister Lucille Roe, sisters-in-law Arda Brown, Lola Brokaw, Helen Brokaw and brother-in-laws Lavern Brown and Dean “Judge” Roe, her nephew Tim Brokaw


Culver, Norma Mae Breach - 18 Jul 1931 - 20 Apr 2020

Norma Culver, age 88, of Clarinda, Iowa entered into peace Monday, April 20, 2020 at Goldenrod Manor Clarinda, Iowa. Memorial Graveside Services will be held 1:00 p.m., Saturday, May 9, 2020 at the Conway Cemetery, Conway, Iowa. Interment will be held at the Conway Cemetery, Conway, Iowa.

Norma Mae (Breach) Culver was born July 18, 1931, in rural Henderson, Iowa to Ray Breach and Anna Matilda (Alff) Breach and she passed away Monday, April 20, 2020 at Goldenrod Manor, Clarinda, Iowa.

Norma grew up in the Sharpsburg, Iowa area and graduated from Conway High School, Conway, Iowa. Following her graduation she became employed in Clarinda, Iowa. Norma was united in marriage June 24, 1953 to William “Bill” Culver at the First United Methodist Church in Clarinda. They were blessed with a son, Wesley.

Bill and Norma resided in Clarinda for twelve years. They resided in Bellevue, Nebraska and Sutherland, Nebraska for Bill’s employment with the Nebraska Public Power District. Following his retirement they returned to Clarinda.

Norma was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Clarinda and she also enjoyed going to Cowboy Church. Norma was a quiet person and her family was important to her and she especially enjoyed her grandson, Thomas.

Preceding Norma in death were her parents, Ray and Anna Breach; husband, Bill Culver (09/24/2007); brothers, Delmar Breach, Kenneth Breach and Dean Breach.

Norma is survived by her son, Wesley Culver and wife April of Bellevue, Nebraska; grandchildren, Thomas Culver (Madi Castor) of Lincoln, Nebraska; step grandchildren, Jessica Reay and husband James of Lincoln, Nebraska, David Citta, Jr. and wife Lisa of North Platt, Nebraska; step great grandchildren, Owen Reay and Ella Reay; sister, Eleanor Witt and husband Bill of Council Bluffs, Iowa; nieces; nephews and friends


Davis, Jean Mulkey - Jean Davis, 81, 0f Villisca, Iowa entered into peace Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at her residence in Villisca. Graveside funeral services will be held 11:00 AM Saturday, May 16, 2020, at the Athelstan Cemetery, Athelstan, Iowa with Reverend Tim Maxa officiating. Open visitation will be 3:00 -5:00 p.m. Friday, May 16, 2020 at Ritchie Funeral Home, Clarinda, Iowa. Interment will be held at the Athelstan Cemetery, Athelstan, Iowa.

Talma Jean Davis
Jean was born on September 27th, 1938 to Velma (Smith) Mulkey and Walter Mulkey in Edinburgh Texas. Growing up she was a good friend to many people. In 1958 Talma met Emory Eugene Davis and they fell in love. They were united in marriage in Edwardsville, Kansas on June 20th, 1959. They were later blessed with their only son Harold Eugene Davis on January 18th, 1960.

Jean enjoyed many aspects of her life, but she especially enjoyed time with her son and their several dogs that she had taken care of throughout her life. Other cherished moments of her life were spent with her grandkids Gloria Crosgrove and Dallas Davis and her great grandkids. She enjoyed gardening and was always seen reading romance books. She was a dedicated follower of Jesus Christ as well. She lived a very full life of love and laughter.

Left to cherish in her memory are her brother Marvin Nobles, her grandkids Gloria Crosgrove and Dallas Davis, their significant others, and their kids.

Jean is preceded in death by her husband of nearly 47 years, Emory Gene Davis;, her son, Harold Eugene Davis; parents, Velma Nobles, Walter Mulkey; her sisters, Margie Lee Mulkey, Janice Mae Mulkey, Lavenia Gail Noble; her brothers, Harold Edwin Mulkey, and Calvin Ray Nobles


Dukes, Mary Lou Snyder - Private family funeral services for Mary Lou Dukes will be held at a later date. Open visitation for the public to pay their final respects will be held Thursday, March 19, 2020 from 3-7 PM.
The family will not be present at this time. Interment will be held at Fairview Cemetery in Bedford.

Mary Lou (Snyder) Dukes passed away in Corning hospital on March 15, 2020, a long time resident of Bedford, Iowa. She was married to Donald L. Goudie from 1947-1957. To this union 3 children were born, Donna, Ann & Michael. Mary Lou married Rex Dukes in 1964. To this union 3 children were born. Brenda, David & Amy.

Mary Lou graduated from Bedford High School in 1946. She held many different jobs during her long life. After graduating she worked as a secretary for the Bedford Community high school for several years. Later on in life she worked in the Taylor county treasure office and was at one time a dental assistant for a local dentist.

When she married Rex in 1964, she became a farm wife and she held that title for 25 years during which time she also had held many part time jobs. After retiring from farming and moving to town she worked as a seamstress at a local sewing factory and retired from Boyt in 1999.

After retirement Mary Lou enjoyed volunteering at the local Taylor county museum. She loved spending time there and it gave her a chance to socialize with her close friends. When asked, “Where’s Mom today?” Rex would often jokingly reply, “She’s on display at the museum.”

Mary Lou’s most prized job title was Mom, Grandma and Great Grandma. She dearly loved each and everyone of her family. She cheered for them and beamed with pride over their greatest accomplishments and was also a great listener, shoulder to cry on and advice giver in times that were hard. She loved having everyone home for a visit. She also loved to travel and was always ready to go whenever asked. Her favorite vacations were going to the ocean. She loved the sound of the waves. Mary Lou was also a life time member of the First Baptist Church. She most recently resided at Eiler place assisted living in Clarinda, Iowa.

Mary Lou was preceded in death by her parents Merle and Ruby Snyder, husband Rex D. Dukes, a sister Lois Haidsiak, infant brother Robert and infant sister Helen, her grandson Michael Paul Goudie & great grandson Josiah Conner.

She is survived by her children Donna( Matt) Johnson of Omaha NE, Ann (Stan) Miller of Albion, IA, Michael (Marlys) Goudie of Bennington, NE, Brenda Dukes of Bedford, IA, David (Julie) Dukes of Glenwood, IA, Amy (Jeff) Scott of Bedford, IA, 19 grandchildren, 30 Great grandchildren,1 soon to be great great grandson, her brother Richard “ Dick”(Phyllis) Snyder of Arvada, CO, many nieces, nephews and beloved best friend and companion, her dog, Buddy

Cummings Funeral Home, Bedford, Iowa


French, James Edward "Ed" - 29 Jan 1936 - 04 Jul 2020

A family memorial service for Ed French, age 84, who passed away July 4, 2020, will be held at a later date. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.cummingsfamilyfuneralhome.com under Obituaries.

James "Ed" Edward French was born January 29, 1936 in Bedford, Iowa, the third child of seven, to Harvey and Louise (Shaffer) French. He loved and enjoyed his family and many friends through the years. Ed attended country schools through the 8th grade and then attended Bedford High School, graduating with the class of 1954. Ed grew up on farms around the area. He enjoyed the farm life with his six siblings. Ed enjoyed helping his mother with the large garden that helped feed the family.

Ed farmed, worked at nurseries in Shenandoah, drove delivery trucks, worked at grocery stores and became a handyman. Upon his retirement Ed enjoyed his hobby of building and selling birdhouses. He blessed many people with them. Ed took pride in building each bird house. "No two were the same!"

Ed was preceded in death by his parents, Harvey and Louise; sisters, Lavonne Weller and Joanne Perdew; brothers, J.B., Bill, Roy, and Paul; son, Gene; son-in-law Mike Snyder; great-grandson, Cade Riley and great-granddaughter Cora.

He is survived by his wife, Bethel (Thorton) French; daughters, Judy Snyder and Janice Fritz; son, Jerry (Kay) French; daughter-in-law, Julie French; thirteen grandchildren, many great-grandchildren, along with many other relatives and friends.


Glass, Norma Darylene Rickert - Memorial service for Norma Glass, age 75, will be held at a later date. Memorials maybe directed to the family to be established. Memories and condolences may be sharedwith the family at www.cummingsfamilyfuneralhome.com under Obituaries.

Norma Darylene (Rickert) Glass was born May 11, 1944 to Howard Rickert and Leola (Kost) Rickert, in Leon, Iowa. Norma grew up and attended school at Mormon Trail (Humeston) and eventually graduated with her G.E.D.

Norma married John Glass July 29, 1978 in Blockton, Iowa. They made their home on a farm outside of Conway, Iowa. Norma enjoyed being a farm wife and all the tasks that went along with it. John and Norma later moved to Lenox, Iowa, where they resided until Norma’s passing.

Norma enjoyed many hobbies through the years including: crocheting, needle point,quilting, playing bingo, fishing and visiting friends at nursing homes or around town.Norma loved her family and always enjoyed spending time with them.

Norma is preceded in death by her parents, Howard and Leola Rickert; daughter, Tammy Pester, niece Robin Wood, and sister, Debbie Markham.

Norma is survived by her husband, John Glass; sons Tony (April) Glass, Adam Olson,Alan Olson; daughter Teresa (Jeff) Gustafson; step-son, Michael Glass; step-daughter,Cathy Glass; grandchildren, Tyler, Taylor, Madison, Chelsea, Hannah, Chloe, Noah, Phoebe; step-grandchildren, Alaina, Kendra, Ashley; great-grandchildren, Jaedon and Jesse ; sisters, Paula Rickert, Janice (Kenny) Wood; son-in-law, Dale Pester; and sister-in-laws Nancy (Chuck) Palmer, Peggy Robinson, Carole (Ed) Spencer and many nephews and nieces


Godfirnon, Peggy Sue Perkins - Bedford, IA - Penny Sue passed away June 20, 2020. She was born on July 30, 1957 to Eugene and Ramona (Olson) Perkins. She was raised in Des Moines. Penny worked for the Department of Corrections for Missouri State for 20 years, retiring in 2018. She loved being outside and loved going to concerts with Joe.

She is survived by her husband Joseph Godfirnon, her mother Ramona Watson, six children, nine grandchildren, brothers Gene and Tate Perkins, and multiple family members and friends.

She was preceded in death by her father Eugene and sister Rose Danylchuk.

Penny loved her work with Lake of Three Fires State Park in Taylor County, Iowa. Memorial contributions made to them for her memorial bench. (2303 Highway 49, Bedford, IA 50833)


Gold, Norma Jean Alexander - Private Celebration of Life Funeral Services for Norma Gold, age 87, were held at the Cummings Family Funeral Home, Monday, April 20, 2020 at 1:30 P.M. Interment was held at Fairview Cemetery in Bedford, Iowa.

Norma Jean (Alexander) Gold was born October 9, 1932, in Gravity, Iowa daughter of Walter Glen Alexander and Nora Madge (Humbert) Alexander. She grew up in Bedford and graduated from Bedford High School in 1951.

Norma and Jack Gold were childhood friends, their parents being close friends. Friendship blossomed into courtship and courtship into marriage June 17, 1951, at Bedford United Methodist Church. Theirs was a love which was shared for 65 years.

Norma was a wonderful homemaker, with raising her family the top priority. Other ventures in Norma’s life included owning a fabric store in Bedford in the early 1970’s, owning and operating Gold Coin Laundry and helping Jack with their other business Gold Seamless Guttering.

Norma was involved in many community groups throughout her lifetime. She was a lifelong member of the Bedford United Methodist Church, P.E.O., Chapter CU; United Methodist Women and the Taylor County Historical Museum.

Norma and Jack shared a lifetime partnership filled with love. Their life together was one of hard work, devotion to family, pride in their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and their commitment to their community.

They enjoyed traveling and spending winters at Voyager RV Resort in Tucson. They hosted a Swiss student, Louis-Guy Vorlet. Norma made many crafts through the years and enjoyed china painting with her close friends. She made hundreds of beaded bracelets and gave many away. She loved to walk and be outside working with her flowers. She was a Master Gardener. She gave of her time freely to help others her whole life.

Norma is survived by her children, son Rodney (Wendy) Gold of Bedford, IA; daughter Janet (Jack) Locke of Waterloo, IA; son Jon (Connie) of Springfield, MO; daughter JoEllyn (Jerry) Lock of Bedford; grandchildren; Lindsey Christensen (Derek Taylor) of Marion, IA; Larissa (Landon) Treloar of Waverly, IA; Alex Brown of Bedford, IA; Mason Brown of Bedford, IA; Addison Gold of Springfield, MO; Jack Gold of Springfield, MO; Corey (Sandra) Leftwich of Mesa, AZ; Preston Leftwich (Alanna Neves) of Tuscon, AZ; Nicole Lock of Ruskin, FL; Mason Lock of Bedford, IA; Eric (Shasta) Locke of Waterloo, IA; Elizabeth Locke of Cedar Falls, IA; Great grandchildren Brady and Quinn Treloar and Steven, Morgan, and Kristin Locke; Nathaniel and Lili Leftwich and Swiss son Louis-Guy Vorlet of Fribourg, Switzerland. Norma is preceded in death by her parents, Walter and Madge Alexander and husband, Jack


Hanshaw, Ethel Mae Newkirk Shehan- Private Funeral Services for Ethel Mae Hanshaw will be held Tuesday April 14. Visitation will be held Monday, April 13, from 1-7 PM at the Cummings Family Funeral Home. Interment will be held at Fairview Cemetery in Bedford, Iowa.

Ethel Mae (Newkirk) Hanshaw, daughter of Roy Newkirk and Flossie (Thompson) Newkirk was born 3 miles northeast of Bedford, Iowa on August 17, 1926. Ethel Mae, along with her three brothers attended Crum school. In 1944 she graduated from Bedford High school. She then took the 2-year Normal training course to become a teacher and taught two years of country school at Ross #2 and The Crum school.

On January 26, 1946 Ethel Mae was united in marriage to Robert M. Shehan in Troy Kansas. To bless this home and share their love, were three sons and four daughters, Ernest John, Stephen Roy, Patricia Kay, Janice Lee, David Rodney, Joyce Elaine, Susan Jane.

During their journey in life together Ethel Mae and Bob lived in various places but eventually, in 1952 they returned to Bedford and purchased Martin Auto Salvage. Later in July of 1961 Ethel Mae and Bob purchased the building at 321 Main Street and opened Shehan's Department Store. Business was good and they continued to expand by opening stores in Glenwood, IA Hopkins and Albany, MO. Robert passed away in April of 1969 and Ethel Mae continued to own and operate the family business until February 29, 1992 when she retired.

Ethel Mae married Clifton Hanshaw July 27, 1973 and they shared 30 wonderful years of marriage together until Clif’s passing in May of 2003. Clif and Ethel enjoyed traveling throughout the United States with their dear friends Bob and Roberta Grimes, hosting family gatherings with their children and grandchildren and serving the Bedford community in many ways.

Through the years, Ethel Mae enjoyed carpentry, fishing, sewing and making crafts. She especially enjoyed making quilts for her family. Ethel Mae was a very active member of her community where she was involved in the Bedford Development Club and was a charter member of the JT club. She belonged to Forever Young, and a quilting club at the Bedford United Christian Presbyterian Church where she was also a longstanding member.

Ethel Mae is preceded in death by husbands, Robert Shehan, Clifton Hanshaw; daughters, Janice Lee Shehan, Susan Jane Shehan; sons, Earnest John Shehan, Stephen Roy Shehan, David Rodney Shehan; parents, Roy and Flossie Newkirk; brothers, Howard (Inez) Newkirk, Dwight (Helen) Newkirk and Donald Newkirk. Daughter-in-law Barbra Shehan, son- in- law Jon Ryan, step-son Jim Hanshaw and her lifelong friend Ollie Lee.

Ethel Mae is survived by daughters, Patricia Shehan, Joyce Shehan, Step-Daughter, Kaye (Len) Ware, and a neighbor who was much like a son to Ethel, Doug (Tammy) Thompson. daughters-in-law, Helen Shehan, and Vicki Shehan, Pat Smith, Sister-in -law Dee Newkirk. Grandchildren Stephenie (Jim) Shehan-Marckmann, Derrick and Quentin Shehan, Robert (Holly) Shehan, Jennifer (Chris) Johnson, Jessica Wheeler, Phillip (Leanne) Shehan, Ashley Watson, Wesley (Kristin) Shehan, Catie (Jason) Seaton, Justin (Kodi Kae) Callies, Jared (Ashley) Bartles, Jabree Bartles, Angie Thompson, Jason (Stacy)Hanshaw, Micah Steele, Kelli (Bob) Bensch, Jamie (Jenny) Steele along with many great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends


Hawhee, Ruth Naomi Fleck - Ruth Naomi Hawhee, was born March 16, 1913, on a farm near Hepburn, Iowa, the daughter of John C. and Grace (Davidson) Fleck. She attended rural schools, never being tardy or missing a day. She was united in marriage to Louis Hawhee on September 10, 1929. To this loving union six children were born.

Ruth was a life-long Page and Taylor County resident. She was a charter member of the Wild Rose Club in Gravity, the Valley Community Club, and a former member of the Golden Rule Rebekah Lodge No 134. She was a member of the Siam Methodist Church. Upon its closing, she became a member of the United Methodist Church in Bedford. Ruth and Louis farmed south of Bedford where she spent many hours working in her garden, cooking and canning. The family holds fond memories of "haying time" and the large meals she cooked on her cast iron stove to feed everyone. Family time included listening to the broadcast of "The Grand Ole Opry", "Captain Jack", "The Lone Ranger", and "Gene Autry" on the battery powered radio. Most family reunions would end at Ruth's home where the family would gather for continued fellowship.

Ruth enjoyed traveling. She and Janet would take vacations to California each year to visit family, while Louis stayed home and tended the farm and milked cows. Janet especially remembers the years she and her mother spent "Raising each other" after her father's death in 1964. Besides being a wonderful mother and homemaker, Ruth worked for the Mental Institute in Clarinda and especially enjoyed her work as a cashier at Place's and as a waitress at the Junction Cafe. Customers will remember her always having a smile to greet them. In later years her travel would include many bus trips with her true friend, Vera Akers, with fond memories of New Orleans and Branson. In 1992 failing health required Ruth to enter the Bedford Nursing and Rehabilitation Center where she resided until her death.

Ruth is survived by two sons, Earl Richard and wife Marilynn of Penn Valley, California and Donald D. and wife Patricia of Bedford, four daughters, Madylene Huntsman of New Market, Joan and husband Lloyd Compton of Buffalo, Missouri, Janiece and husband Doyle Hamilton of Cainsville, Missouri and Janet and husband Mike Shafar of Gravity; one brother, Howard Fleck and wife Adelaide of Hepburn, Iowa; two sisters, Edna Hall of Arcadia, California and Betty Graham and husband Charles of Hepburn, Iowa; three sister-in-law, Hyldred Haarstick of Clarinda, Marjorie Chase and Mabel Neumeyer of New Market; 21 grandchildren, 32 great grandchildren and many, many friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents, John and Grace Fleck; her loving husband, Louis in 1964; four sisters, Hazel Warrick, Gladys Riggs, Irene Minard and Violet Leak.

Funeral services were conducted by the Ritchie Funeral Home of Bedford on Monday, June 23, 1997 at 11:00 am at the United Methodist Church in Bedford. Burial was in Hawleyville Cemetery north of New Market.


Huber, David Clarence "Dave" - David (Dave) Clarence Huber, 66, of Lenox Iowa, passed away peacefully on March 11, 2020, surrounded by friends and family. A celebration of life will be held Saturday, March 21st, at 12:00 PM, at Wilson Lake, Lenox Iowa. Private Interment of ashes will be held at the North Fairview Cemetery in Lenox.

Dave was born in Creston Iowa on July 30th, 1953 the son of Duane and Thelma (Day) Huber. He attended Lenox School District during his youth and continued his education as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) throughout the 1980s. Following in his father’s footsteps he operated his own business as a brick mason throughout much of his life. Dave’s passion was his music. He had an extensive vinyl album collection and played the drums his entire life. Dave and his brother, Bob, played together from a very young age. One of his fondest memories he shared was the two of them playing at The Lake of Three Fires back in the ’60s. His love of music was passed to all who shared his life.

On June 10, 2000, he was united in marriage to his wife Karlene Smith and together they shared six children. Dave was a free soul and an avid music lover who will be greatly missed by his family and many friends. Those left to cherish his memory are his wife Karlene, children Angela (Scott) Hartman, Marcie (Rick Huffman) Huber, Jerad (Jacquelyn) Huber, Chad Chaney, Shanette (Allen Jordan) Chaney, and Sam Chaney, brothers Harold (Joan) Huber, Kenneth-Clutch (Monica) Huber, sister-in-law Kris Huber, and 12 grandchildren. He enjoyed watching his grandchildren grow and play. Cherishing the memories of those times with their grandpa are Paul (Andrea Nicolas) Longfellow, Melyssa (Bret) Kautz, Abigail (Juan Gonzalez) Longfellow, Alec Schaubhut, Mallory Schaubhut, Jodie Perkins, Ashlynn Chaney, Rubiann Perkins, Ellie Huber, Elin Huber, Christian Henry, Adalynn Jordan, seven great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

Dave is preceded in death by his parents Duane and Thelma (Day) Huber, brothers Robert Huber and Lewis Huber

Ritchie Funeral Home


Janson, Eldon Joseph - Eldon Joseph Janson was born October 4, 1913 on a farm near Goldfield in wright county, Iowa and died April 15, 2000 at St Francis Hospital in Maryville, Mo.

He was the fifth of 10 children of Mjalmar and Anna Engel Janson. He was proud of his Norwegian heritage. He attended country school through eighth grade and went to high school in Clarion, Iowa. After graduation he worked on several different farms helping his family and saving money to go to college.

Out of this particular county school, six of the boys went on to become veterinarians and two of the girls married veterinarians. One of the boys was Eldon, one his brother Harley and three were his first cousins who lived across the road from Eldon's family. Drs Stewart and Kelly must have had a profound influence on the young people of that community. In 1939, he began his pre-vet work at Kansas State and in 1940 entered veterinary school at Iowa State in Ames, Iowa.

He was in the Army 1 1/2 years while at Iowa State and was discharged when he graduated in December 1943. He came to Gravity March 30, 1944 and practiced until 1999. A colleague once asked why he didn't retire and his reply was that he was doing just exactly what he had always wanted to, so why quit?

Eldon was married August 21, 1943 to Helen Lucille Henderson of Seymour, Iowa and they had five children. Marilyn died at age one month in 1944 and Robert Dean died in the service in 1969. Remaining are Dick and his wife Jeanne E., who have homes in Iowa City and Grinnell, Jeanne A. of Mobridge, S.D., and Janet Kelly of Lawrence, Kan. Also there are six grand-children, Kirja Janson of San Francisco, Calif., Tor and Per Janson of Grinnell and Lara Janson of Iowa City and Grinnell, Joe and Jon Kelly of Lawrence, Kan. Three foreign students made their home with the family and attended high school.

Doc always enjoyed children and young people and that showed up in many of the things he was active in doing in the community. He was on the Gravity school Board from 1947-1959 and on the reorganized Bedford Community School Board from 1959-1973 and was president of the board many of those years. He was on the Southwestern Community college board from 1973-1983. He was on the town council many years and served as mayor of Gravity several times over the years, too. He was active in the American Legion and held several offices in the local post where he was always promoting Boys State each year. He was county Legion commander one term. He worked with the Junior Legion Baseball team in the late 40s and early 50s and with the Midget and Pee Wee baseball teams here for several years.

Doc was chairman of the Taylor County Board of Health when the Public Health Agency was formed in 1972.

He was active in St John's Lutheran Church in Clarinda, Iowa where he was a member and was chairman of the congregation several times and an elder.

Eldon was a lifetime member of both the state and national veterinary medical association. He was a charter member of the county Historical society.

Doc was an active Bedford Lions Club member and a member of the New Market Community Club, New Market was one of his favorite pitch-playing places along with the Koffee Kup at Gravity. Many men will remember "One more game."

He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Tolford and Paul of Clarion; Kenneth and wife June of Eagle Grove, Iowa; and Joel and wife Bernice of Clarion; sisters-in-law Grace Janson of Belmond and Helen Janson of Clear Lake; brothers-in-law, John Holtzbauer of San Diego, Calif; and Dr Howard Henderson of Henderson, Iowa.

Surviving are his wife, Helen; Dr H.A. Janson and wife Harriet of Clear Lake, Iowa, Edgar Janson of Belmond, Iowa, Marjorie Holtzbauer of San Diego, Calif., Evelyn Leffingwell and husband Bill of Alexandria, Va., Anna Elaine Kane and husband Ritchie of Westgate, Iowa, and sister-in-law, Sharon Henderson Gollhofer of Charter Oak, Iowa.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, April 18, 2000 at St John's Lutheran Church, Clarinda, Iowa with Pastor Gary Jaeckle officiating. Burial will be at a later date at the Norway Township Cemetery north of Clarion, Iowa. Memorials may be directed to St John's Lutheran Scholarship Fund or the Taylor County Historical Museum. Walker-Merrick Funeral Home, Clarinda, Iowa was in charge of arrangements.


Janson, Helen Lucille Henderson - Helen Lucille Henderson was born and raised on a farm 3 miles southwest of Seymour, Iowa, the daughter of Robert Carlton Henderson, a farmer and registered breeder of Belgian work horses, and Mima Ann (Masters) Henderson, a school teacher. Helen loved to be read to at an early age from which she developed a life-long love of reading. She rode her pony to a nearby country school in Wayne County from which she graduated after passing the county-wide eighth-grade exams and matriculated to Seymour High School. During her senior year she was chosen to recite the poem, "Paul Revere's Ride" to a HS assembly. She majored in Institutional Management in the College of Home Economics at Iowa State University, concentrating on dietician's work, and graduated in 1943. At Iowa State she met and married Eldon Joseph Janson, a Norwegian-American from Clarion, Iowa, who was studying veterinary medicine.
Doc was part of the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine's graduating class whose army assignment was to practice veterinary medicine in SW Iowa in order help ensure a safe food supply for the troops and those on the home front. Helen and Doc moved to Gravity, Iowa, in 1943 where they put down roots and began to raise a family and to participate in community and school affairs. Helen inculcated in her children and others a love of reading and a sense of curiosity about people and events, both past and present. She and Doc worked to enlarge a view that went beyond current geographic boundaries and present circumstances. Helen was a skilled seamstress, making new shirts for the boys and dresses for the girls each summer before the school year began. She was also an excellent cook who became particularly noted for her elegant pie crusts and tasty pies. For Christmas Helen turned the kitchen into a factory for producing exceptionally tasty tea rings which she would give to Doc to distribute throughout the community, particularly focusing on elderly folks. Helen loved to make seasonal decorations for her house, particularly in the fall, and enlisted Doc and the kids in bittersweet expeditions to locate and gather it in. She was also a masterful garden overseer and canner of jams, jellies, pickled beets, pickles, sauerkraut, tomatoes, tomato juice, and frozen vegetables. When she found it necessary, Helen was strong-willed and gently persistent.
Helen's work as a Cub Scout den mother and developer of a summer library program benefitted many children in Gravity. Her work with the American Field Service (AFS) program facilitated cultural exchanges between the Bedford Community School District and countries around the world which enriched us all. Helen's work with the Taylor County Museum, the Taylor County Historical Society, and the Taylor County Genealogical Society touched the lives of Taylor County residents and others, both around Iowa and the United States. Helen was honored in 1989 by being designated "Iowa Mother of the Year" for her contributions to family & community life and for her work on behalf of others. Helen also received the Governor's Volunteer Award in 1989.
Besides helping with soup suppers (chili, oyster stew, & pie) and many other food-associated fund raisers in Gravity, Bedford & Clarinda, Helen was also active with the Gravity and Bedford PTA's, the Gravity American Legion Auxiliary, the Gravity Canasta Club, the Gravity Women's Study Club, Lioness of Bedford, the Iowa Veterinary Auxiliary, and the St. John's Lutheran Church Library Board in Clarinda. In addition, she volunteered for the Iowa Society for the Blind to transcribe materials from regular print into Braille text with a Braille typewriter she purchased. Helen also served as the book chair for the two-volume Taylor County History and served on the editorial team to compile and publish an initial volume of Tombstone Record of Taylor County, Iowa as well as a supplemental volume the following year. Helen also contributed to historical work on the Underground Railroad in Taylor County, and was working at the time of her death on nominating to the local Hall of Fame Lulu Johnson, a Gravity resident who became the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. from The University of Iowa. Helen touched the lives of many by using her skills, knowledge, and abilities in positive ways to help others and to work with others to make community life more informative and interesting.
Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. E.J. Janson (2000); her first-born daughter, Marilyn Ann Janson in infancy (1944); her son, Robert Dean Janson, while serving in Army counter-intelligence (1969); her brother, Howard Henderson, in a car crash while making a rural call as a veterinarian in SW Iowa (1958); her father, Robert Carlton Henderson (1965); and her mother, Mima Ann Henderson (1972). She is survived by three children (Dick Janson, Decorah, IA; Jeanne Janson, Mobridge, SD; & Janet Kelly, Lawrence, KS), six grandchildren (Joe Kelly & Erin, Lawrence, KS; Jonathan Kelly, Boise, ID; Kirkja Janson, St. Paul, MN; Tor Janson, Decorah, IA; Per Janson, Brooklyn, NY; & Lara Janson, Chicago, IL), two great-grandchildren (Annika Janson-Lofgren & Anneli Janson-Lofgren, St. Paul, MN); one AFS son and his family (Masao & Yoshimi Nishimura, daughter Nami & her husband Tetsutaro Shimaoka, & son Akihiro, Tokyo, Japan), and numerous Henderson & Janson nieces & nephews and their children.
A memorial service celebrating Helen's life will be held at 10:30 AM on July 18, 2017, at St. John's Lutheran Church, Clarinda, Iowa. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Taylor County Museum or the Taylor County Historical Society.
Both Helen and Doc donated their bodies to the Kansas University Medical School in Lawrence, Kansas, to assist future doctors with their medical education. Afterwards their bodies were cremated with their ashes being interred in the Norway Township Cemetery, Wright County, Iowa.
Services provided by Walker-Merrick Funeral Home, Clarinda, Iowa.

Janson, Robert Dean


Sgt. Robert D. Janson, son of Dr and Mrs E.J. Janson of Gravity, has been reported by the U.S. Army as missing in Italy according to a telegram received Monday morning by his parents.

The Defense Department's telegram stated that Sgt Janson had been missing since July 12 following the capsizing of a water craft and that searching is in progress, with another report to follow. As of Tuesday afternoon the Jansons had received no additional information concerning their son, who entered the service Dec 1, 1967.

"Bob" as he is known to countless friends of all ages, was a 1965 Bedford Community High School graduate and had complete two years and one quarter at Iowa State University in Ames prior to entering the service. BEDFORD TIMES-PRESS, Jul 17, 1969



In Gravity Monday morning was U.S. Army Mike Waldron of Council Bluffs who officially informed Dr and Mrs E.J. Janson of some of the details of their sons' death. The body of F5 Robert D. Janson has been recovered and will be sent home.

The parents had received word July 14 by a telegram reporting that their son who was attached to a U.S. Army unit in Europe, was missing in Italy following the July 12 capsizing of a water craft.

Funeral service arrangements are pending the arrival of the body in the states. BEDFORD TIMES-PRESS, Bedford, Iowa, Jul 24, 1969



Funeral services for Sgt. Robert D. Janson were held Tuesday at 10 am at St John's Lutheran Church in Clarinda with interment at Norway Township Cemetery in Wright County, near Clarion.

The body was returned from northern Italy where Bob was in a boating accident and drowned. He had been in the service since Dec 1, 1967 and went overseas the first part of April, 1969.

Sgt Janson was baptized and confirmed at St John's Lutheran Church in Clarinda and had grown up in Gravity. He was graduated from Bedford Community High School and spent two years at Iowa State University before enlisting in the service.

He is survived by his parents, Dr and Mrs Eldon Janson, sisters, Jeanne and Janet, a brother, Richard, and a grandmother, Mrs R.C. Henderson.

Funeral arrangements were made by Shum-Novinger of Bedford. BEDFORD TIMES-PRESS, Bedford, Iowa, Jul 31, 1969






Jennett, Kenneth Glen -

Kenneth Glen Jennett, oldest son of Glenn & Esther (Bahr) Jennett, was born July 30, 1935 in Muscatine, Iowa. Ken attended school in Muscatine and graduated from Muscatine High school in 1953. After graduation, he attended Muscatine Junior College for 1 year. Ken transferred to Iowa State University for the next 5 years of study and he graduated from I.S.U. in Veterinary Medicine in 1959.

On June 14, 1958, he was united in marriage to Evonne Zeran in Ames, Iowa. After graduation from I.S.U., they moved to Wilton, Iowa and worked 1 year. They moved to Durant, Iowa where he practiced Veterinary Medicine until 1970, when they moved to a farm in Taylor County, Iowa.

Doc, as he was better known, loved life on the farm. He raised cows; mostly pigs; and Broiler Chickens. Doc was active in the Clearfield Lions Club for many years and he served on the Clearfield School Board. He was a member of the Taylor County Pork Producers and the Clearfield United Methodist Church. Kenneth was also a member of the Masonic Lodge and the Order of Eastern Star.

Doc became a resident of Clearview Home in Mount Ayr. He passed away at Clearview Home on March 12, 2020. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister Donna Burr; twin sisters at birth; and sister-in-law Ruth Jennett.

Survivors include his wife Evonne Jennett of Bedford; 4 sons David (Sandy) Jennett of Creston, IA, Gary (Cindy) Jennett of Cedar Rapids, IA, Ron (Terri) Jennett of Truro, IA, and Steve (Chantelle) Jennett of Blockton, IA; 13 grandchildren Tim (Kate) Jennett, Andy (Nicole) Jennett, Sarah (Brian) Meyer, Kyle Jennett, Jacob Jennett, Ben Jennett, Simon Jennett, Brian (Kate) Jennett, Heidi Jennett, Kevin (Caitlin) Jennett, Maggie (Marshall) Lynch, Mitchell Jennett, and Lindsey Jennett; 6 great grandchildren; brother Vernon Jennett of Mooresville, Indiana; brother-in-law Ralph Burr of Muscatine, IA; sister-in-law Joan (Richard) Bothun of Albert Lea, Minnesota; other relatives and friends


Key, Doris "Dorie" Radene Roe - Doris (Dorie) Radene (Roe) Key was born in Lenox, Iowa on July 27, 1931, the daughter of Jesse Roe and Mary (Cipra) Roe. She grew up in Lenox attending school, graduating from the Lenox High School. After graduation she was united in marriage to Reldon Key on November 20, 1948. To this loving union five children were born, Alan, Mike, Deb, Jacquie and Sandra. Dennis Elliott, who worked with Reldon, soon became part of the family.
The couple made their home in Lenox where Dorie was privileged to be a stay-at-home-mother where she enjoyed raising her children and making a home for the family. Dorie was a wonderful cook, the family has fond memories of fried chicken on Sundays, chocolate chip cookies and many other family favorites. Dorie had a passion for dogs and cats, the family has fond memories of the constant flow of different animals throughout the years in their home. The children remember the family taking care of a large garden in their younger years. But mostly, they remember their parents attending all their sporting events and activities, along with attending the grandchildren's activities.
Left to cherish Dorie's memory is her loving husband Reldon Key of Lenox, Iowa; her five children Alan Key and Cathy of Charlotte, North Carolina; Mike Key and Mindy French of Guthrie, Oklahoma; Deb Dalton and husband Dick of Lenox, Iowa; Jacquie Ellis of Maryville, Missouri; and Sandra Marshall and husband David of Lenox, Iowa; thirteen grandchildren, Brian, Miles, Jasen, Tasha, Megan, Jordan, Paul, Amy, Evan, Scott, Nick, Tyson and Britty; many great, great-great-grandchildren; along with many other relatives and friends.

Preceding Dorie in death are her parents, Jesse and Mary Roe; her brothers and sisters; a son-in-law, Gary Ellis in February of 2020; and a grandson, Clint Marshall in November of 2017


King, Phillip Eugene -

Phillip Eugene King was born on September 1, 1947 in Maryville, Missouri to Edwin and Luetta Lorraine (Cavin) King. Phillip passed away on April 29, 2020 at the age of 72.

Phillip grew up on a farm outside of Blockton, Iowa. He graduated from Bedford High School in 1965.

Phillip served in the United States Army from 1967-1969 and was stationed in Vietnam with the 15th Medical Battalion of the 1st Air Calvary Division.  Upon returning home, Phillip worked for Chicago Northwestern Railroad, later known as Union Pacific Railroad. He worked as a railroad foreman until his retirement in 2007.

Phillip married Merna Padilla in 2005. They moved to Bedford after Phillip’s retirement where he resided until his death.

Phillip enjoyed photography and was proud of his achievements in local photography contests.  Phillip also enjoyed participating in classic car shows. Colorado always held a special place in his heart since his youth.  He became interested in mountain hiking and decided to start with Mt. Elbert, the highest summit in Colorado, and worked his way down the list of ‘Fourteeners’.

Preceding Phillip in death were his wife, Merna; parents, Edwin and Lorraine; and brother, Dan King.

He is survived by his 2 daughters: Elicia (David) Ropte and Heather King, both of Des Moines, Iowa;

Stepchildren: Cynthia (Talu) Leota of Port Orchard, Washington and Charles (Cara) Schwake of Hampton, Iowa; 2 grandchildren: Benjamin and Catherine and 5 step-grandchildren: Jeremiah, Anthony, Gracie, Noah, Symon and Isaac..


Memorial Services will be held at 2:00 P.M., Saturday, May 16, 2020 at the Prugh-Dunfee Funeral Home in Grant City, Missouri. Inurnment will follow at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Blockton, Iowa


Larson, Jake - James L. - Mr. James L. Larson (Jake) passed away November 25, 2019. He was born March 21, 1929, to the late James P. and Mary Larson. Besides his parents, Jake was preceded in death by his loving wife of 50 years, Barbara, and his 2 brothers and 2 sisters, Robert Larson, Phil Larson, Alora Peterman and Marguerite Thalacker. Jake was the last surviving Larson of that generation.

Jake grew up in Clearfield, raised his family in Sharpsburg as he farmed, and socialized with friends at the Spring Store in Sharpsburg as well as the Tiger Den in Lenox. He entertained his friends in Yuma, AZ, with many stories and taught his grandkids how to play cards, being sure they knew how to shuffle them correctly!

He also dealt cards on a riverboat and coached a Sharpsburg High School basketball team in the 1950’s. In Jake’s hey-day, he was a lover of baseball and a great “speedball pitcher who could put it where he wanted”. Most recently he was an avid fan of the Cubs.

Jake left behind many people who love him … his four children … Jim Larson from Lenox, Jane Hegwood (Bob) from Colorado, Doug Larson (Teresa) from Kansas and Connie Hart (Mike) from Alabama. His 10 grandchildren include Zach (Amy), Jamie and Travis (Cassie) all from Colorado; Lindsay, Dustin (Jessica), Clay and Troy all from Kansas; Ashley and Jessica (John) all from Georgia and Melissa (Sean) from Alabama. The 16 great-grandkids include: Mary from Arizona, Marcus, King, Madisyn and Charlotte all from Colorado; Destiny, Giana, Ethan, Journey and Jax all from Kansas; Allie, Kyle, and Brooke all from Alabama and Hannah, Grant and Kate all from Georgia. Jake left quite a legacy!

Jake will be laid to rest in the North Fairview Cemetery in Lenox


Maharry, William Grady - William Grady Maharry was born July 26, 1949, in Creston, Iowa the son of Leland Eldon Maharry and Lucille Doris (Gripp) Maharry. He grew up on the family farm near Kent, Iowa, and attended Platte No. 9 Country School. His middle school years were spent in Osceola, Iowa. The family returned to Creston in 1964, and he graduated from the Creston High School with the Class of 1968. After graduation, Grady attended Southwestern Community College for one year. He then attended Northwest Missouri State University, and graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor's Degree in Art Education.

Grady taught briefly in Bethany, Missouri. However, he began dealing with mental illness, a battle he fought throughout his life. Much of his life was spent near his family in Lenox, Iowa. He was a talented artist who especially enjoyed painting, ceramics and sculpture. Grady also enjoyed family trips to Okoboji during the summer, and he loved antiquing with family. Most of all he enjoyed his nieces and nephews, and attending their activities.

Left to cherish Grady's memory are his sister, Sandra Harris of Creston, Iowa; his brother, Fred Maharry and wife Robin of West Des Moines, Iowa; six nieces and nephews, Sara Anderson and husband Marc of Eldora, Iowa; Jennie Samo and husband Ryan of Creston, Iowa; William Harris of Creston, Iowa; Jessie Harris and wife Emily of South St. Paul, Minnesota; Robert Maharry and fiancé Kellie Collins of Conrad, Iowa; and Emily Mohling and husband Jake of Granger, Iowa; ten great-nieces and nephews, Ellie, Lucy, Garrett and Sophie Anderson; Harris, Clara and Nolan Samo; Heston and Vivienne Harris; and Charlotte Harris; along with many other relatives and friends.

Preceding Grady in death were his parents, Leland and Lucille Maharry; his special aunt, Mabel Pine and her husband Alan; and his brother-in-law, Dr. Dan Harris


McHenry, Maria Baumgartner -

TAYLOR COUNTY HERALD, Bedford, Iowa, 12-25-1941 - Mrs Maria McHenry was born March 21, 1862 in Dushore, Sullivan county, Pennsylvania and died at her home in Blockton, Ia, December 13, 1941 at the age of 79 year, eight months and 22 days.

She was married to Steven F. McHenry of Dushore, Pa., in Waverly, New York on August 1, 1891. Her husband died in 1909 after which she lived in Waverly until 1917 when she moved to Blockton, Iowa and made her home with her sister's family.

She was the youngest of seven children. Her father was a volunteer soldier in the Civil War a member of Company R??? Pennsylvania Volunteers. He lost his life in the battle of C---orsville.

Funeral services were held ...morning, December 15, from the Blockton Methodist church with Rev E.B. Stewart in charge of the rites. Interment was in Blockton cemetery.


Pace, Donald W. Sr - 05 Jul 1923 - 27 Mar 2020

Private Funeral Services for Donald W. Pace will be held at a later date. Visitation for Donald will be held Wednesday, April 1, 2020 from 12 PM to 7 PM at Cummings Family Funeral Home.

Donald W Pace was born on July 5, 1923, the youngest child of Dannie and Effie (Drennen) Pace, passed away on March 27, 2020 at his home in Bedford, Iowa.

He married Signe Esther Anderson on September 15, 1948 in Lenox, Iowa. To this union 9 children were born, enough for a ball team.

He is preceded in death by his wife, his parents, all 8 of his siblings: Lonnie Pace, Goldie (Ray) Gamel, Ona (Charles) Million, Vesta (Estel) Parks, Letha (Bill) Million, Dannie Pace, Joseph (Alta) Pace and Jeanette (Fay) Coverdell, a son and daughter-in-law, John and Connie Pace, a son-in-law, Lloyd Woods, a grandson, Timothy Pace, and 2 great-grandsons, Colton Lundy and Dalton Pasmore.

Left to cherish his memory are 8 of his children: Donald (Dorothy) Pace, Jr of Delta, Iowa, Shirley Woods of Hopkins, MO, Cindy Hamm of Clarinda, IA, Hilma Bedsworth of Sheldahl, IA, Richard (Ida) Pace of Clarinda, IA, Bruce (Lynette) Pace of Urbandale, IA, Thomas (Lisa) Pace of Clarinda, IA and Treva (Randy) Smyser of Sheridan, MO, 25 grand-children, 61 great-grandchildren, 2 nieces, Effie (Million) Crowley of Rush Center, KS and Dorothy (Pace) Rucker of Bedford, Iowa, Several great nieces, nephews and friends.

Don loved to hunt and tell stories of his years growing up in rural Bedford, Iowa on a farm that was 7 miles to Sheridan or 7 miles to Bedford. He played fast-pitch softball with and against 2 of his nephews, Wayne and Wilbur Pace, on a team called Cockelbur Ridge as a catcher. Don worked construction after leaving the farm and drove a cement mixer for Clarinda Coal and Concrete for several years before retiring.

In his later years he enjoyed taking rides out by where he grew up or almost anywhere in Taylor or Page Counties he could tell you a story about something that happened even making you stop in the middle of the road and back up so he could explain or show you something.
And he loved rock hunting from the comfort of the car “Whoa, Whoa, there is a rock” and he would get out and take a look at it, bringing several home for everyone who came by to see. He would also tell us to slow down when we were driving, so he could look for alligators


Patterson, Lisa Campbell - Lisa Campbell-Patterson the youngest child born to Jack and Edith Campbell of Blockton, IA passed away after a brief illness on April 7, 2020 at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa, AZ.
Lisa chose a career in law enforcement, beginning with the Taylor County, IA Sheriff’s office and ending after serving over thirty years with the Polk County, IA Sheriff’s office in Des Moines. The Iowa State Fair was Lisa’s favorite time of year, rarely missing a day at the fair while she lived in Des Moines. Demonstrating products for Anderson Erickson in her early retirement was a part-time job Lisa enjoyed, she preferred AE eggnog to any other refreshment ever devised.
In 2015 Lisa made her second home in Apache Junction her permanent address. Lisa loved the Superstition Mountains, walking the trails and going for a drive. Experiencing the desert and all Arizona had to offer was one of her favorite pastimes. Lisa always said she was never lost as there was always a place to turn around.
Lisa was preceded in death by her husband Warren “Pat” Patterson and her parents.
Lisa is survived by brothers, J. R. Campbell (Ann) of Topeka, KS; Allen Campbell (Sandy) of Arvada, CO, three nieces and a nephew and a host of friends from all over the United States and Canada. Lisa’s presence made a lot of people’s lives much more meaningful, she never knew a stranger and will be missed by her family and a host of friends.
Private services and internment will be held at Rose Hill Cemetery in Blockton, IA at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to: The Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation, 3000 E. Grand Avenue, Des Moines


Perkins, Virginia Ann Henry - Graveside Memorial Service for Virginia Perkins will be held at a later date to be determined. Cummings Family Funeral Home was entrusted with the arrangements for Mrs. Perkins.

Virginia Ann Perkins (Henry) 88 was born August 27, 1931 and grew up on a farm SE of Bedford. She married Hal Edward Perkins on July 11, 1951 and to the marriage two children were born Edward and Beverly. Hal and Virginia farmed and ran a grade A dairy farm.

Virginia was always busy with something. She had two huge gardens on the farm that were planted full each year, which meant there was lots of canning to do. Virginia loved her flowers on the farm and later when she and Hal moved in to town. She admits they were a lot of work and she got tired of watering them. Every year the kids would hear how she was going to cut back and then the next year she still had just as many until her health restricted her from being able to do as much. Her flowers were beautiful! She also fed and enjoyed the birds...except for the blackbirds, which frustrated her to no end trying to keep them out of her feeders.

Virginia and Hal were in bowling leagues for many years. Farm life was hard work and when you milk cows twice a day it’s hard to get away for any kind of vacation. This was a nice way for them to do something they enjoyed and they got to do it every week instead of once a year.

After the kids were grown and gone from the farm Hal and Virginia retired from farming and milking cows and moved in to town. Hal started trucking livestock to market and Virginia went to work at the Veterinary Clinic in Bedford as the office gal. Hal would load livestock right next door and stop in to see Virginian quite often. They loved their jobs!

The day came when they decided they wanted to do some traveling, Virginia retired from her job and Hal traded the livestock truck for a camper. They spent several winters in Arizona exploring the landscape and just enjoying the warm weather and the people they met along the way.

In 2013 Virginia received the Main Street Volunteer of the Year Award and was honored by Governor Terry Branstad at a dinner and program in Des Moines. Many a day you would find her uptown weeding in the Memory Garden or plucking weeds from the flowers pots along Main Street.

Virginia loved to walk, in the evenings on the farm you would see her walking down the road, probably picking up rocks along the way. When Hal and Virginia moved to town she continued to walk and pick up rocks until her health kept her from doing it any longer.

Virginia was an artist. There wasn’t anything she couldn’t draw or paint. She did toll painting, oil painting, and water color paintings. She painted on pillowcases, towels, she painted on pieces of wood and saw blades. One year when they were in Arizona she saw where people had painted animals on rocks and began to do that. It gave her even more reason to go rock hunting.

Proceeding Virginia in death were her parents, Beryl and Violet (Campbell) Henry, her husband Hal who died in 1998, a sister Margarett, a brother Gilbert, aunts and uncles.

Left to cherish her memory is her son Ed and wife Rhonda of rural Bedford, daughter Beverly and husband Craig of Cedar Falls, IA, 5 grandchildren, Mathew, Andrea, Susan, Carrie, and Tanner. 11 great grandchildren, 5 great-great grandchildren and sister-in-law, Enola Lowry of Bedford.

Mom loved to see the grandkids, sometimes she would just sit back and listen to them talk and I’m sure in her mind she was shaking her head at the antics they pulled and the silliness. Those were good times! As we remember mom we find there is a little piece of her in all of us. Memories are forever and we will cherish them forever


Purcell, L. Edward - L. Edward Purcell died after a short illness on Saturday, June 20, 2020 at UnityPoint Grinnell Regional Medical Center.
A private family graveside service will be held on Thursday, June 25, 2020 at Highland Memory Gardens in Des Moines with Rev. Wendy Abrahamson, pastor of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Grinnell, officiating. A public memorial service will be held at a later date.
Memorials may be designated to the Drake Community Library or to the Department of Natural Resources and mailed in care of the Smith Funeral Home, PO Box 368, Grinnell, Iowa 50112. Memories and condolences may be shared with the Purcell family on the Smith Funeral Home website at www.smithfh.com.
Leon Edward Purcell was born the son of Lemuel and Mary Jo (Maxwell) Purcell on June 4, 1944 in Maryville, Missouri, and raised in Bedford, Iowa, where his family lived in his grandmother’s house across the street from the Taylor County courthouse. Ed graduated from Bedford High School in 1962, and received a B.A. in History from Simpson College, where he was student body president, in 1966. He also received an M.A. in history at the University of Iowa.
Ed married Mary Purcell on August 8, 1965, and they were close through 54 years of marriage, living in Iowa and Kentucky. He worked as an editor and publications director at the State Historical Society of Iowa, Transylvania University, and the Council of State Governments, before going out on his own in the 1980s as a free-lance editor and writer, vocations he pursued until he retired in 2015. He was the author or editor of more than 20 books on extremely diverse topics ranging from history to wild horses. Ed taught courses at Transylvania University, Drake University, and Grandview University. He was a voracious reader for his whole life (detective novels, history, and science fiction), and he loved classical music, tennis, cooking, and (in recent years) competitive target shooting.
Ed is survived by his wife, Mary Purcell of Grinnell; their only daughter and her husband, Sarah J. Purcell and Hugh Sheridan, of Oakland Acres, Iowa; step-granddaughter and son-in-law, Frances and Brian Beavers; and two step-great grandchildren, Avery Beavers and Evelyn Beavers, of Waukee, Iowa; his brother, William T. Purcell, a resident of the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown, Iowa and his wife, Anita Dittmer-Purcell, who lives in Des Moines. Ed was preceded in death by his parents Mary Jo and Lemuel Purcell


Purdom, Bertha Mae Abel - Bertha Mae (Abel) Purdum was born October 12, 1932, on a farm northeast of Walnut, Iowa the 5th child of 8 children born to Abner Earl Abel and Gladys Olivia (Worden) Abel. Bertha grew up attending Monroe #7 grade school until 1945, then the family moved to the farm they purchased northeast of Cromwell, Iowa. Bertha graduated from Cromwell Consolidated School with the Class of 1950. After graduation, she worked at First National Bank in Creston. On December 26, 1951, she was united in marriage to Dale Purdum in the Cromwell Congregational Church. While her husband was in the Army she and her sister lived in Kansas City with their aunt and uncle and worked until he returned home in 1953. The couple moved to Atlantic until 1956, while there she worked in the Auditor's office at the Cass County Courthouse until moving in 1956, to the farm northeast of Lenox, Iowa. Their sons, Mark and Steven, were born while living there. In 1963, they purchased the Men and Boys clothing store which was later changed to Dale's Clothing. The couple operated this business until 1988, when they retired. In 1964, they built their home and moved to Lenox, and they lived there until 2015.

Bertha enjoyed attending all the activities and sports events that Mark and Steve were involved in during school. They also enjoyed going to the grandchildren and great-grandchildren's activities and family gatherings. Bertha was a member of the Lenox United Methodist Church, the UMW Circle, American Legion Auxiliary. Bertha enjoyed playing cards was a member of several card clubs, She also enjoyed golfing and dancing and she loved taking care of her roses until she moved after 51 years.

Left to cherish Bertha’s memory are her children, Mark Purdum and wife Kathy of Centerville, Iowa; Steve Purdum and wife Tammy of Hutchinson, Kansas; four grandchildren, Alicia Loman and Matt, and their children Keaton, Kaleb, Makaila, Maddison and Maverick of Centerville, Iowa; Aaron Purdum and wife Ashley of Papillion, Nebraska; Christopher Purdum and wife Ashley and their children, Davis, Burke and Holden of Wichita, Kansas; and Nathan Purdum and wife Sarah and their son Eli of Wichita, Kansas; two sisters, Mary Bryant and Carol Anderson; along with many other family members and friends.

Preceding Bertha in death are her parents, Abner and Gladys Abel; her loving husband, Dale in 2009; three sisters, Evelyn Abel, Loretta Doonan Petersen and Beverly Mohr; three brothers-in-law, Bill Mohr, Gaylord Doonan and Jack Anderson; two brothers, Kenneth Abel and Chester Abel; a sister-in-law, Darlene Abel; her in-laws, Francis and Lucille Goldsmith; Pete and Gladys Leach; Raymond and Deloris Purdum; Jean and Carlton Lewis and Clifford Purdum


Sheffield, Timothy Lee - 26 Dec 1965 - 24 Apr 2020

Graveside services for Tim Sheffield, age 54 years, died April 24, 2020 at Bergen Mercy Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska, will be held Friday, May 1, 2020, 11 AM at Fairview Cemetery, Bedford, IA. Visitation will be Thursday, April 30, 2020 from 5-7 PM at Cummings Family Funeral Home, Bedford, IA. Memorials can be directed to the family.

Timothy Lee Sheffield was born December 26, 1965 in Corning, IA, the youngest child of Richard Bennett and Eleanor Jane (Townsend) Sheffield. Tim grew up in Bedford, graduating from Bedford Community Schools in 1984. He lived in the Bedford/Taylor County area his entire life.

In 1986, Tim was married to Charla Farrens. This union was blessed with sons Logan Lee and Tyler Lyle. They later divorced.

In 1994, Tim married Joni Stephenson. With this marriage, two families were joined of 3 children: Logan, Tyler and Darrah. Kylie was welcomed later in the family by her parents and siblings.

Tim spent many years as a truck driver until health forced him to no longer get in the truck. He also enjoyed his years of serving as a Gravity Firefighter.

Timmy (as he was known to his older siblings) enjoyed spending his free time fishing and cheering for the Minnesota Vikings. His love for trains was known by everyone.

His grandkids were his life. He enjoyed spending time with the grandkids and bragging about them to anyone who would sit long enough to listen. Tim would always be there for his kids to the best of his ability. Even when he had nothing, he would do what he could to help them.

You would rarely see Tim without a Pepsi nearby or a DingDong close! His dogs were his best friends and a huge part of his life.

Tim was preceded in death by his parents, Dick and Eleanor Sheffield, and his wife, Joni, in 2008.

Left to cherish his memory are children: Logan (Blaire), Tyler (Chelsey), Darrah, and Kylie (Shyanne). Grandchildren: Caden, Mahayla, Maverick, Teegan, Shaylee, Alayna, Tayven, Lilly, Trenton, Elliana and Olivia. Siblings: Doug (Julie), Scott (Diane), Susan (Dan), Rick (Carol), Greg (KayLynne), Teresa (Mike) and Jeff (Keri).
Tim also leaves too many nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews to count, plus many other family members, friends and acquaintances



Smith, Diana May Hill - Memorial Services for Diana Smith will be held at a later date. Memorials may be directed to the family to be established. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.cummingsfamilyfuneralhome.com under Obituaries.

Diana May (Hill) Smith, age 61, of Bedford, Iowa was born June 15, 1958 to Fird Douglas Hill and Anna Lee (Brandkamp) Hill. Diana married Rodney Paul Smith of Grand River, Iowa on July 23, 1978. To this blessed union two children were born, Leana Marie of Lenox, Iowa and Chad Douglas of Clarinda, Iowa.

The family made their home in Kellerton, Iowa, Coin, Iowa and Bedford, Iowa. Diana was employed as a caregiver at Imagine The Possibilities in Corning, Iowa for the last 16 years and was a non-paid caregiver her whole life to her family.

Diana's favorite things to do were taking her granddaughters shopping, reading romance novels, doing puzzle activity books, watching General Hospital, eating at Mexican Restaurants for family get-togethers, going to garage sales and cooking spaghetti or steak dinners with Rod.

Diana was preceded in death by her parents, Fird and Anna Hill; and one niece, Deanna Rae Hill.

Diana is survived by her husband, Rod; daughter Leana; son Chad (Katherine); granddaughters, Ashlyn, Briley, Zariah and Natalie; brothers, Lewis (Sharon) Hill of Mountain Home AR, Firdie (Shelda) Hill of Leon, IA, Doug (Donna) Hill of Leon, IA; sisters Linda (Francis) Fry of Colfax, IL, Kay (Linn) Armstrong of Halfway, MO, five nieces and nephews along with many other cousins, family and friends


Whipp, Margaret Jane Gray - Margaret Whipp, a resident of Elkhorn, Nebraska since 2010, left us on March 19, 2020. She was 98. For many decades, Margaret was a musical Johnny Appleseed - teaching, sharing, and spreading the joy of music. She firmly believed that everyone could sing, and could enjoy singing, and she set about to make this happen throughout her lifetime. Margaret was a private person, yet she loved to perform, and held command of the rehearsal room and the stage.

Her younger years
Born Margaret Jane Gray in Corning, Iowa on February 3, 1922, she spent her childhood in various southern Iowa communities before her family moved to Des Moines, where she graduated from North High. Margaret grew up in a musical family. Her pharmacist father had his own jazz band. Her mother was an accomplished pianist, who developed great sight-reading skills while playing for silent movies as a teenager.

Margaret received music degrees from Simpson College, and was the president of her sorority. She met her future husband, Forrest Whipp, while they were students at Simpson. Margaret's first teaching job following her 1943 graduation was in Dysart IA, and she and Forrest were married in Omaha NE later that year.

Her teaching career
After moving with Forrest to the rural Lenox IA area, Margaret taught in Clearfield and Creston on flexible work schedules while their children were young. A few years later, Margaret was recruited by several Lenox community leaders to teach in its schools. Except for a couple of years when she taught in Des Moines during her mother's illness, Margaret spent the balance of her teaching career in Lenox.

Perhaps the most notable early career recognition for Margaret was when a Lenox high school girls trio she directed won a national competition in Miami FL in the late 40's. It was a big deal for the community at that time - and for Margaret, since it enhanced her teaching credentials very early in her career.

As the years rolled on, the success of the Lenox vocal music program under Margaret's leadership continued to grow. She created many types of musical activities and performances, including solo and duet, smaller chorales, larger choruses, and operettas. All of this required not only many singers, but a cadre of accompanists whose skills were honed under Margaret's tutelage. She gave some private lessons, and helped to secure college scholarships for those interested in music careers.

One of the greatest sources of pride for the students involved in vocal performance was their impact at small and large group contests. At every small group event, Lenox would have the greatest number of performers, with a whole series (often 3 or 4 deep) of girls and boys quartets, sextets, double quartets and sextets, soloists, duets, madrigals, and so forth taking the stage. And, at every large group contest, the Lenox girls and boys choruses and the combined mixed chorus often outnumbered the other schools by two- or three-fold.

Music in the community
During her time in the Lenox and surrounding communities, Margaret spread the joy of music in many ways. She played the piano or organ or sang for countless weddings, funerals, and celebrations. She and Forrest sang duets at many events. She was an organist for the Lenox United Presbyterian Church her entire adult life. Later in her career, Margaret organized annual Easter cantata choruses, in which she brought together former students and other adult community members to sing challenging music. As frequently happened in her school programs, unsuspecting members of the group would often end up in key roles - with trepidation - but with rewarding results.

On the move
First as a young family, and then in later years, Margaret and Forrest loved to travel. In the early years, there were summer camping vacations, with Colorado a favorite destination. There were tents, then better tents, then a pop-up camper, then a basic travel trailer, then finally a trailer with a shower and A/C. These also became shelters with friends over many decades at the state fair.

After their children left home, Margaret and Forrest began a 25-year quest of international travel, including many journeys throughout mainland Europe, the United Kingdom, the Scandinavian countries, Northern Africa, and much of Asia, as well as several Soviet bloc countries before the Berlin wall came down. When foreign travel became too demanding, they bought a custom van, and traveled with friends throughout most of the lower 48. They also took a few cruises, and were conveniently stranded on a cruise ship on 9-11.

Fun facts
A few little-known facts about Margaret: She sang for WWII troops during college with a Des Moines-based dance band and declined an offer to move with the band to Los Angeles, she did "Rosie the Riveter" duty at a California aircraft factory with her sister, she passed on the chance to study piano performance in New York City to marry her young farmer husband, her first year teaching income paid for her living expenses, a new winter coat, and tractor tires for Forrest, she bought a mail-order refrigerator during the war before their rented house had electricity, and she designed their Lenox house with "only a few touches" by the architect. And, Margaret loved color. This showed up in colorful clothing for the family, in colorful houses, and in a whole series of red automobiles, starting with a 1951 Pontiac special-ordered with convertible-only red paint. Margaret's marriage to Forrest (a marriage of over 66 years) was kept secret during her first year of teaching because married women "didn't need a job." And, she was not crazy about a couple of Forrest's hobbies, and rarely rode with him on his motorcycles or in the Cessna's.

Margaret was predeceased by her father Erastus Reagan Gray, mother Dorothy Loper Gray, husband Forrest in 2010, sister Mildred Hansen and husband Ted of Marysville CA, and daughter-in-law, Pamela Whipp. She is survived by son Dennis Whipp of San Rafael CA, daughter Janet Robinson and husband Stephen, granddaughter Sarah Robinson, grandson Joseph Robinson and wife Nicole, and great grandsons Charles, Samuel and William Robinson, all of Omaha, and granddaughter Jennifer Zebrack and husband John, and great grandchildren, Jane and Joshua Zebrack, all of Reno NV


Townsend, Jerry Edward -

Jerry Edward Townsend was born December 18, 1935 to Orie and Evelyn Townsend. Jerry grew up in Bedford, Iowa and graduated from Bedford High School. During his senior year, Jerry started what would become his long journey of service.

In 1953, he entered into the United States Navy, serving four years on the USS aircraft carrier Shangri-La, after he had completed his training in San Diego Naval Air Base. The USS Shangri-La was one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers that was completed after World War II. Jerry was active working on the deck of the carrier. His job was to be ready to watch for the air crafts that came into land on the carrier as well as aircraft that was ready to take off on the flight deck. Jerry would either make sure that “chalks” which were placed behind the incoming aircrafts so the wheels would not be able to roll due to the carrier’s motion. When air crafts were ready to take off from the flight deck, Jerry would remove the “chalks” from the air crafts. He eventually was called for a second duty which took him to the aircraft tower. That job consisted of relaying messages from the Captain to the crew down on the flight deck. Of the four years Jerry was on the carrier, he did 7 months on active tour as the Korean Conflict was getting serious. Half-way to where they were assigned to go, the carrier was advised all was calming down. Jerry’s next assignment was another alert some months later and they headed out to sea. Eventually, all calmed down. 7 more months on tour to various countries. The last of his tour he was sent to Monterey, CA where he received his honorable discharge completing his 4 years with the Navy.

During these years, Jerry met and fell in love with Annette Castro. Jerry and Annette were married on June 8, 1958 in Galt, CA. Jerry applied for several jobs in California but the job market wasn’t hiring much at that time, so he felt it was time to move on and to bring his wife to Iowa so his family could meet his wife. Due to Jerry’s father’s health, his parents were un-able to attend the wedding. To this union were 5 children: 4 daughters, Adrianne, Jan, Tammy, and Trudy and 1 son Randy. Jerry always thought Annette looked like Annette Funiculi. Their roots were planted in Iowa.

Jerry and Annette’s first home was in Clarinda, Iowa where Jerry found a job at Lyle’s Corp in Clarinda. His job was helping in the freight line. He worked there for 3 months as his dream was to get into Law Enforcement. Jerry was accepted by the Clarinda Police Dept at the beginning of his career. After 1 ½ years on the police department, Jerry applied for the Shenandoah, IA Police Dept for 5 ½ years. Still having the desire to further his dreams,

Jerry applied for the Iowa Highway Patrol (which now goes by Iowa State Patrol). After applying twice, he was hired! His dream came true. His first assignment after he completed his training was at Lamoni, IA. After 1 ½ years in Lamoni, there was an opening in Mount Ayr as Trooper Wayne Peterson was being assigned to Des Moines. In August 1967, Jerry was re-assigned to Mount Ayr, IA. Jerry fulfilled his 25 years with the Iowa State Patrol on May 27, 1990-now retired!

This was the beginning for Jerry. He soon applied for Papetti’s Egg Plant working as security officer. Within 2 years, Jerry applied for the police department in Mount Ayr, working for a year. Jerry transitioned into his next branch of service in the United States Army Reserves. He did his 16 years with the Reserves which included his 4 years in the Navy, giving him 20 years. In June 2013, Jerry applied for the Iowa Southern Trolley and was accepted. This gave Jerry so much enjoyment. His took his work seriously. Jerry enjoyed fishing when he found the time plus watching John Wayne movies. Many may recall his signature vests he wore as his everyday attire. Jerry will be deeply missed by so many.

Jerry passed away June 4, 2020. He was preceded in death by his parents; infant daughter Tamara Lynne; infant sister; and brother Dennis Dean Townsend.

He is survived by his wife Annette; children Adrianne Townsend (dear friend Dean Blades), Janine Beason, Randy (Susan) Townsend, and Trudy Clark; grandchildren Amanda Angus, Jeremy & Jerrod Mahaffey, Drew Fry, Raymond Townsend, Ryan Bohannan; brother Charles William (Retha) Townsend; other relatives and friends


White, Bennie Carl - Bennie Carl White was born April 12, 1936 in rural New Market, Iowa to Claire Alphonzo and Hazel Grace (Wells) White. He graduated Gravity High School in 1955. He then joined the Navy and served in radar and air traffic control in Kwajalein, Marshal Islands. and in Whidbey Island, Washington. After serving our country Bennie worked for the FAA for over 38 years. Bennie enjoyed his time after retirement in 1994.

Bennie and Kay married in Taylor County on July 1, 1961. They resided in Kansas City, Missouri in the first of many cities while he worked for the Federal Aviation Administration in the airport control tower. Bennie and Kay’s son, Britt Cary White, was born December 1, 1962. The family began a long career with the FAA and started an adventure moving to various places around the country. The first big move was to Great Falls, Montana. The family lived in many cities including Oakland, Ca. They lived in the U.S. Territory of Guam for over four years. This was a memorable time living on a tropical island in the middle of the Pacific ocean. He took business classes and got his Stock Broker’s License. They were able to travel to Asia for vacations during that time. They returned to the mainland and lived in many Texas cities including San Antonio, Houston, Austin and the Dallas/ Fort Worth area. Bennie and Kay retired in Bedford, Texas. They enjoyed owning a motor home and traveled many times to stay in Iowa and also travel around the country. Recently Bennie and Kay moved to Owasso, Oklahoma to be near Britt and his family.

Bennie enjoyed the warm climate that Texas had to offer and played a lot of golf and tennis over his lifetime. He enjoyed many table games with his family and friends like cribbage, dominoes, pinochle and bridge. Back in high school he played basketball and baseball. He enjoyed watching his son,Britt, play various sports growing up and was proud that he earned a college scholarship to play tennis at Southeastern Oklahoma University and Oklahoma State. He enjoyed encouraging and watching his family members and grandchildren play sports, perform concerts, dances and various other interests. He enjoyed attending all of the weddings, graduations and family reunions he could.

He treasured his blessings on earth but his focus in life was serving Jesus. He loved the people he has known from the many churches he attended. He was always ready to share the good news with people that he was close with and with complete strangers. He was a lifelong active deacon. He led various Bible studies over the years. He had a servant heart and would always be willing to go where the Lord needed him. His memorable mission trips were to Australia and Ukraine.

Preceding in death, parents Claire and Hazel, sibling Marvin, brother-in-laws Duane Simmons and Frank Miskey, sister-in-law Debby Neil, niece Lisa Murphy West, great nephew Styles White and granddaughter Katherine White. Bennie leaves many family members to cherish his memory-his son and daughter-in-law Britt and Heather White, best friend and sister Margaret Simmons, sister and brother-in laws Nancy and Pat Motola, Mary Miskey and Floyd Chaffee, Peggy Murphy, John Neil, grandchildren Britt Jr. “Chip”, Kirsten Jean, Garrett Benjamin, Addison Claire, nephews and nieces Rick and Maria White, Randy and Jenice Simmons, Don and Norma Simmons, Cheri and Dave Dirksen, Greg and Pat Simmons, Ryan and Erin Motola, Ashlee and Collin Strickland , Mike Motola, Sherri and Mark Lam, Kris Murphy , Lauren and Steven Jeffery, Adrienne and Mike Roth, Jennifer Miskey and Tony Fertil , 41 grandnieces and grandnephews , Becky and Gary Kennedy, Cary and Jill Kennedy, Godson Bart White, and many cousins, friends and his beloved wife Barbara Kay. “While we grieve today, we also rejoice in his victory in Jesus!”

Special thanks to dear cousin Larry Cunning who lovingly transported Bennie back to his resting place in Iowa


Young, William Curtis "Bill" - William (Bill) Young was born on October 27, 1928 on a farm near Lenox, IA to Charles and Ida Young. Bill went home to be with the Lord and closer to his late wife, Roberta, on March 23 rd . His spirit is carried on by their 2 sons, 8 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren and dear friends. During his time with us, Bill performed countless acts of service for others. We can’t remember a time when he ever told someone no. His service to others included being stationed in Germany with the Army during the Korean War, church ministries (especially soup suppers!), decorating the Lenox Park at Christmas, mowing lawns, calling Bingo numbers, climbing ladders to change light bulbs or pretty much anything someone needed - even chasing bats out of houses. His love for serving others would light up the room almost as bright as he lit up the park at Christmas time with all those lights!

Family was one of the joys of his life. Ours started when Bill married Roberta in January 1956. Bill worked hard to provide for his family but he also made sure to take time to create special memories with us too. Some of our favorite memories include playing cards, putting together puzzles, helping him in his shop with woodworking, attending the rodeo and of course making popcorn and homemade ice cream. Nothing was better than hearing the popcorn popping or being the one who got to choose what flavor of ice cream we made! As long as he had family around him, Bill was happy.

We were blessed to learn many valuable lessons from Bill during his 91 years but the one that sticks out the most is to make sure to love and care for those most important to you. Family was the most important thing to Bill and we will hold him and what he has taught us in our hearts until we are able to reunite with him.

Bill is preceded in death by wife Roberta and his three sons Jackie, Jeffery and Roger.

He is survived by Ed and wife Donna Young, Gary and wife Wendy Young, 8 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren


Zieglowsky, Elizabeth Jane Taylor - Elizabeth Jane (Taylor) Zieglowsky, age 79, of Washington, Iowa, passed away Friday, May 22, 2020 at her home surrounded by her family following a courageous battle with cancer.

Celebration of life services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 29, 2020 at Faith Baptist Church in Washington with Pastor Jon Rees officiating. Calling hours will be held from 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 28, 2020 at Jones & Eden Funeral Home with family present from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Interment will take place at Elm Grove Cemetery in Washington. A memorial has been established for Hospice of Washington County and Faith Baptist Church. Online condolences may be sent for Elizabeth's family through the web at www.jonesfh.com.

Liz was born September 22, 1940 in Bedford, Iowa, the daughter of James and Adah (Allison) Taylor. She graduated from Bedford High in 1959. She was united in marriage to William Eugene "Gene" Zieglowsky on July 26, 1959 in Bedford, Iowa.

Liz worked various places in Washington and she owned and operated Zieglowsky Home Furnishings and Zieglowsky Landscaping and Trucking with her husband Gene. Upon the birth of her first grandchild, she quit all her jobs and became a full-time grandma, taking care of her grandchildren.

Liz was a member of Faith Baptist Church. She served on various committees, taught Sunday School, served weekly dinner to the Wednesday night Trendsetters youth group and was willing to help out whenever and wherever she could. She enjoyed sewing, cooking, baking and shopping, particularly when she found a good bargain. She cherished time spent with friends over coffee and she loved to play cards. She was a huge supporter of Washington Athletics and attended every game her family participated in or coached, with rare exception. Her greatest love was Jesus, her Lord and Savior, but her greatest earthly love was for her family, both of whom she was totally devoted to.

She is survived by her daughter, Julie Zieglowsky of Washington, IA; son, James Zieglowsky and wife Denise of Washington, IA; son, Jay Zieglowsky and wife Cindy of Macomb, MI; grandchildren: Jamie (Kevin), Erica (Trenten), Jalyn (David) and Jacylyn; adopted grandchildren: Steve, Samnthia and Kathy; great-grandchildren: Kamlyn, Kylee, Kimberlyn and Kensington; adopted great-grandchildren: Akira, Ian and Ellianna; and brother Carl Taylor of Charlotte, MI.

She was proceeded in death by her parents; husband Gene in 2010; granddaughter, Ashley; sister, Jenny; and brother Charles