MARVIN HOUCK WILLETT
Marvin Houck Willett, son of Eber J. and Faye Willett and stepson of Percie Smith, was born July 15, 1918 and was called to rest at Tomball Hospital in Tomball, Texas, January 13, 2002, at the age of 83 years, five months and 28 days.
On February 2, 1935, he was united in marriage to Lois Mae Austin and to this union three children were born. Lois Mae Austin Willett passed away June 8, 1990.
On April 3, 1992, he was united in marriage to Lois Boham Cooper. Lois Cooper Willett passed away February 17, 1998.
He grew up in Carbon, Iowa. He served honorably as a coxswain in the United States Navy during World War II. He resided in Creston, Iowa, Urbandale, Iowa, Marshall, Arkansas and Tomball, Texas during his adult life.
Marvin was a loving and beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend. He was a good man and we will miss his warm and smiling presence in our lives.
Marvin was preceded in death by his father, Eber Willett; stepfather, Percie Smith; mother, Faye Smith; stepbrothers, Orville Smith, Harold Smith; stepsister, Edna Smith Pehrsen; his wives, Lois Austin Willett and Lois Cooper Willett; and a brother, Wilton James Willett.
He is survived by his sons, James R. (Bob) of Urbandale; Gary Lee of Union, Iowa; his daughter, Janis Willett Gurnsey of Shenandoah, Texas; his sister, Helen Willett Sourm of Hillsboro, North Dakota; eight grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren; four stepchildren: Phillip, Kathy, Linda and Jim Cooper; and 12 stepgrand-
Funeral services were held Saturday, January 19, 2002 at Wilson-Watson & Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr with Pastor Rick Hawkins officiating. Debbie Cannon was the organist. Casket bearers were Jim Willett, Marvin Willett, Randall Gurnsey, Steven Gurnsey, Don Willett, Dave Willett and Greg Freeman.
Marvin was laid to rest in Hickory Grove Cemetery, Mount Ayr, Iowa. Military graveside rites were conducted by Ringgold Post #172, American Legion.
DOROTHY BLANCHE CAMPBELL
Dorothy Blanche Campbell was born to Harry and Blanche (Clemons) Stamper on August 13, 1915, at a farm home in Ringgold county, Iowa. She attended Diagonal school and graduated as valedictorian in 1933.
Dorothy married Owen Campbell on February 9, 1944, and they were fortunate to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary. They dedicated their lives to family and community. As a couple, they were a very special aunt and uncle to their nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
Dorothy's career included employment at Dolecheck's in Diagonal, Iowa and O. C. Hammer's, John Freeland's and Anthony's in Mount Ayr, Iowa. She was secretary to the Ringgold county engineer for thirty years, retiring in August 1982.
Dorothy was a longtime member of the Methodist church, Eastern Star, American Legion Auxiliary and Embers. She served as secretary of the Rose Hill Cemetery board for many years. Dorothy loved cooking and gardening and liked playing cards with her canasta club.
Most recently, Dorothy resided at Clearview Estates where she was among a family of friends. She enjoyed the many activities there, especially after-meal kitchen duties, and the staff gave her the title of "best dishwasher loader" of all.
As was Owen, she will be remembered as a pillar of the community. Dorothy will be truly missed by all for her love, care and friendship that she shared so generously.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents; husband; and brothers-in-law, Howard Gordon and W. A. Stephens.
Survivors include sisters, Helen Gordon, Betty Blessman and husband Leroy and Marietta Cobb and husband Dean; brother, Harry Stamper and wife Corrine; and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held Saturday, January 26, 2002, at Wilson-Watson & Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr with Reverend Susan Thomas officiating. Music was provided by Nancy Sackett, Margaret Bickers and Mary Trullinger. Casket bearers were Chuck Gordon, Tom LaPour, Larry Gordon, Jim Blessman, Steve Gordon, Ron Schlapia and Kevin Nelson.
Dorothy was laid to rest in the Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr.
Memorials have been established in her name for the American Legion, Mount Ayr Meal Site and Mount Ayr Fire Department.
NAOMI FERNE CREGEEN
Naomi Ferne Graham Cregeen, the last living child of James Monroe and Nellie Sheets Graham, was born south of Diagonal, Iowa on September 6, 1911. She attended Diagonal Community school, graduating in 1931.
Ferne and Stanley went to Savanna, MO to get married in April of her senior year. During their life together, they lived in Diagonal and Clearfield, Iowa and Portland, Oregon. In 1944 they returned to Diagonal, later moving to Mount Ayr, Iowa.
Five children, Richard, Mary, Roland, Elsie and Dale, were born to their union. They also raised two of their grandchildren for several years, and helped Elsie with her children while she went to college and started to work.
Ferne and Stanley had the privilege of celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in 1981, and were married for almost 60 years at his death. After Stanley passed away, Ferne returned to Diagonal.
Ferne worked for Art and Laura Bonebrake in their grocery store in Diagonal and later at the Clearview Home in Mount Ayr as a cook and a certified nurse aide. She liked to fish and could often be seen fishing while Stanley read the paper or napped by her side. She enjoyed visiting with her family and friends, playing bingo at the nursing home, going out with family and attending family reunions.
Ferne enjoyed going to the Tingley Meal Site with Kenny and Beva Morrow. While there she had a stroke and was taken to the hospital and later to the Afton Care Center. Later she was transferred to the Creston Nursing and Rehab Center where she lived out the remainder of her life. She passed away at this center on January 26, 2002.
Left to cherish her memory are her son, Richard, and wife Ila of Creston, Iowa; daughter, Mary, and husband Joe McCall of Webb City, Missouri; son, Roland, of Creston; daughter, Elsie Creveling, of Creston; and son, Dale, and wife Phyllis of Rockford, Illinois. She also is remembered and loved by 17 grandchildren and numerous great- and great-great-grandchildren.
Ferne was not just our mother, she was our best friend.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, January 29, 2002 at United Church of Diagonal in Diagonal with Reverend Karen Garrison officiating. Musicians were Judy Newton and Rochelle Mason. Casket bearers were Brandon Giles, Jeremy Giles, Brent Giles, Dustin Giles, Brad Giles and John Birkinsha, Jr.
Ferne was laid to rest in the Diagonal Cemetery, Diagonal.
Wilson-Watson & Armstrong Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.
JOSEPH K. DALTON
Joseph Kenneth Dalton, age 76, of Rogers, Arkansas died January 20, 2002, at his home.
He was born July 12, 1925, in Benton, Iowa, to Gail Martin and Katie Irene Dalton. He moved to Arkansas in 1988 from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
He was a member of Sunnyside Baptist Church in Rogers and the VFW. He enjoyed golfing, antiques and collector's cars. He was an Army veteran of World War II, and was a recipient of the Purple Heart.
Survivors include his wife, Wanda Dalton of the home; one son, Jimmie Dalton of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; two daughters, Regina Lee Madden of Coweta, Oklahoma and Karen Donette Scott of Tulsa, Oklahoma; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a niece, Mary Kathryn Gepner and husband Karl and son Mike of Benton.
Services were held Thursday, January 24, 2002 at Sunnyside Baptist Church in Rogers with Marvin Stephens officiating.
Graveside services were held Friday, January 25, 2002 at Park Grove Cemetery in Broken Arrow.
Memorials may be made to the Missionary Fund at Sunnyside Baptist Church, Rogers, Arkansas.
To My Uncle Joe:
He had the sweetest nature of anyone I ever knew. It was always said of him, "that if you could not get along with Joe Dalton, you could not get along with yourself."
LELA MAE NEAS
Lela Mae Martin was born June 26, 1909, in LaCygne, Kansas to James and Alice (Parker) Martin. She grew up in small Kansas towns where her father was a barber. After graduating from high school in Anthony, Kansas, she attended business college in Wichita, Kansas and went to Coldwater, Kansas to work. There she met Pearl Neas and they were united in marriage on November 28, 1929 in Wichita.
They were the parents of three sons: James, Jerry and David. They lived in Kansas and owned a small business and farmed. In late 1939, they moved to a farm near Redding, Iowa and in 1942, the moved into the house Lela would occupy as her home until her health failed and she entered the Mount Ayr Health Care Center in August of 2000.
Lela and Pearl were active participants in the Redding community where their sons graduated from high school, and Lela was active in the Redding United Methodist Church, the United Methodist Women and was in a local pinochle club that met monthly for many years.
Lela enjoyed her years working in the Ringgold county courthouse where she served as deputy recorder from 1957 to 1968. These years gave use to many long-treasured friendships. She enjoyed her family, the challenger of her years of office work and maintained a keen interest in current events and in community matters.
Lela was privileged to celebrate her 91st birthday in her own home before ill health forced her to move to the Mount Ayr Health Care Center. Lela passed away at the health care center on January 26, 2002.
Lela was preceded in death by her parents, James and Alice Martin; her stepfather of many years, David Parfet; her husband, Pearl, to whom she was married for 56 years until his death on January 1, 1986; and her brother, Kenneth.
She is survived by her three sons: James and friend Marshia Miller of Mount Ayr, Jerry and wife Marilyn of Des Moines, Iowa and David and wife Dale of Osceola, Iowa. In addition, she is survived by five grandchildren: Sheri Bowles and family of Adel, Iowa, Lori Galioto and family of Des Moines, Justin Neas and family of Winterset, Iowa, Rebecca Neas of Lorimor, Iowa and Jonathan Neas and wife Jill of Glidden, Iowa; and eight great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, January 29, 2002, at Wilson-Watson & Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr with Reverend Susan Thomas officiating. Musicians were Nancy Sackett and Kenneth Smith. Casket bearers were Dan Quick, Bill Quick, Tom Kelly, Richard Snethen, Roger Olney and Randy Andrews. Honorary pallbearers were Bob Andrews, Bill Andrews, Paul Smith and Kenneth Quick.
Lela was laid to rest in the Redding Cemetery, Redding.
BETTY JEAN SCHAEFER
Betty Jean Carson Schaefer was born June 6, 1930, the only child of Lola Carson. Shortly after her birth, her mother passed away leaving her to be cared for by her grandparents, Gene and Maude Carson, and their children: Beulah, Ray, Leo, Ivan and Earl. At the age of eight, Betty went to live with her aunt, Beulah, and husband Everett Hersom. They had no children and she was raised as their own.
On November 23, 1946, Betty was united in marriage to Robert Schaefer and they were blessed with two children, Randall Eugene and Caryl Ann. After they were married, Betty and Bob lived in several western Iowa communities while Bob worked on construction. In 1953, they settled back to Diagonal, Iowa and began farming. They have resided on their farm south of town since 1964.
Betty was a homemaker who in earlier years enjoyed raising chickens and helping milk cows. She loved gardening, canning, going to craft shows, going to the Iowa State Fair and crocheting, making many beautiful things. Probably her favorite pastime was caring for her four-year-old grandson. He always looked forward to his visits with "Grandma and Grandpa Tractors."
Betty was thrilled when two stepgrandchildren joined the family and she loved them as her own. Family and friends were very important to her, she enjoyed holidays and anytime that the family could get together. She was always one to put others before herself.
Betty was a member of the United Church of Diagonal and for 30 years was a member of the Crafty Souls Club.
Betty passed away on January 21, 2002, at the age of 71 years, seven months and 15 days.
Betty was preceded in death by her mother, grandparents and aunts and uncles, Beulah and Everett Hersom, Ray and Florence Carson, Ivan and Velma Carson, Dorothy Carson and Golda Carson.
Left to cherish her memory are her husband of 55 years, Bob; son, Randy of Knoxville, Iowa; daughter, Caryl Ann Fine and husband Brian of New Market, Iowa; grandson, Clint Fine and stepgrandchildren, Rachel and Ryan Fine; two special uncles, Leo Carson of Diagonal and Earl Carson of Mount Ayr; brother-in-law, Lowell Schaefer and wife Maxine of Diagonal; sisters-in-law, Thressa Willey and husband Don of Creston, Iowa and Darlene Ricker and husband Eldon of Mount Ayr; several nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends.
Betty will be sadly missed by all who knew her and her memory will live forever in our hearts.
Funeral services were held Thursday, January 24, 2002 at United Church of Diagonal in Diagonal with Reverend Karen Garrison officiating. Musicians were Judy Newton and Jennifer Schaefer. Casket bearers were Jack Carson, Frank Carson, Mike Schaefer, Kenny Schaefer, Don Willey and Eugene Ricker. Honorary pallbearers were Jerry Stephens, Jack Stephens, Brent Sobotka, Ed Sobotka, Eddie Carson and Steve Sobotka.
Betty was laid to rest in the Knowlton Cemetery, Diagonal.
Wilson-Watson & Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr was in charge of the arrangements.
Paul Wheeler, age 83, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, died December 20, 2001 in Sioux Falls.
He was born August 1, 1918, in Kellerton, Iowa, to William and Ida Mae (Collings) Wheeler. Following his high school graduation at Kellerton in 1935, he attended Iowa Barber College and Creston Junior College. Paul worked at his father's barbershop and subsequently became an independent barber.
He married Evelyn Collings on July 21, 1940, in Creston, Iowa. Paul continued to work as a barber for a period of time before becoming employed as a railroad fireman for CB&Q Railroad.
In 1954, the family moved to Sioux Falls. He then became a sales manager for Prudential Insurance Company, where he was a recipient of numerous company awards and citations. He retired in 1982, after 32 years.
Evelyn preceded Paul in death on May 30, 1993.
He began his Masonic career in Creston in 1947. He joined Unity Lodge #130 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in 1988. He was a member of Scottish Rite and the El Riad Shrine. He was invested with the Rank and Decoration of Knight Commander of the Court of Honour in the Scottish Rite in August of this year. He was past president of the Iowa-South Dakota Association of High Twelve and its immediate past international president. He belonged to the El Riad Chanters and the Roadrunner units.
An avid sports fan, Paul loved the game of baseball. In his free time, he enjoyed gardening and particularly liked planting and caring for his roses.
Paul was a true gentleman. Those who knew him best will recall his steadfast will, his never-ending positive attitude and his deep commitment to those less fortunate.
Grateful for having shared his life are his son, Troy Wheeler and his wife Roxanne of Sioux Falls; two grandchildren, William Wheeler and Stefanie Wheeler of Sioux Falls; and a special friend, Joan Owens.
Funeral Services were held on Thursday, December 27, 2001 at First United Methodist Church, Sioux Falls.
Memorials may be directed to Scottish Rite Foundation or the Shriner's Hospital.