Author Archives: Steve Brown

Jean M. Lowe

Funeral service for Jean Lowe, 85, of Jefferson will be held at 10:30 am Friday, July 5th, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jefferson with burial in Greenbriar Cemetery. Visitation will from 5 to 7 pm Wednesday at the Brown Funeral Home in Jefferson where a Vigil Service will be held at 6:30 pm.
Survivors include her two daughters; Kathy Booth of Bagley and Lori Tibbs of Robin, Iowa and a brother Earl Vanderheiden of Minnesota. 

Jean Marie Lowe was born December 29, 1933 to Earl Vanderheiden and Emma (Osterholt) Vanderheiden in Carroll County, Iowa. She was raised in Mount Carmel, Iowa and attended Our Lady of Mount Carmel School.

Jean lived in Iowa, Minnesota and Oklahoma during her lifetime. She worked hard her entire life and retired from Electrolux in 1998 after working there for 30 years.

Jean was known for always helping and giving to others. She enjoyed making and donating baby caps to the hospital for newborns. When Jean saw the need at nursing homes, she crocheted lap blankets for all the residents. If you were blessed to be her friend or in her family, she made sure you had plenty of blankets and beautiful doilies. Jean was a member of the St. Joseph’s Guild and donated an afghan every year for the cookie parade.

Jean had a strong love for her family. She was always happiest when spending time with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Jean will be sadly missed by her family and friends. Survivors include her daughters, Kathy Booth of Bagley, IA and Lori Tibbs (Jack) of Robins, IA; two grandchildren, Bryan (Heather) Booth of Bagley, IA and Jill (Jason) Kroeger of Jefferson, IA; three great grandchildren Ely and Emily Booth and Nora Kroeger; brother Earl Vanderheiden of MN; brother-in-laws Arnie Beckman of NE and Bud Gregory of OR and many more family and friends.

Jean was preceded in death by her parents; step-father Vincent Broich; brother LeRoy Vanderheiden; sisters, Judy (Ted) Loneman, Betty  Beckman and Shirley Gregory; son-in-law Darrell Booth; sister-in-law Renee Vanderheiden and nephew Pat Loneman.

Betty Reese

Elizabeth (Betty) Corrinne Williams Reese was born on July 20, 1922 to Francis and Opal (Gingery) Williams in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and departed this life on June 25, 2019. Betty lived her life to ninety-six years, eleven months and five days.

In 1923, Betty and her family moved to her grandparents’ farm in Cedar Township. The family moved in 1926 to an acreage near Paton. Betty began her formal schooling in Paton, later moving to Churdan and graduated from Churdan High School in 1940.

Betty attended the Iowa State Teachers’ College in Cedar Falls for one year. In 1941, Betty began her lengthy teaching career and in 1970, completed her Bachelor’s degree from Drake University in Elementary Education. Betty taught three years at the Minnehan Country School. In 1944, she taught two years in Readlyn, Iowa. From 1946-1948, Betty taught in the elementary school in Churdan, Iowa.

On May 23, 1948, Betty married William (Bill) Reese at St. Columbkille in Churdan. Bill was enlisted in the United States Air Force and in September 1948, Betty joined him in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She taught fifth and sixth grade students at the school on the Ramsey Air Force Base for the next three years.

In May 1951, they returned to the United States and were stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base near Shreveport, Louisiana where Betty taught kindergarten on the base until 1959.

To this union, two daughters were born: Linda and Nancy. In 1959, the family returned to Churdan while Bill was stationed in Goose Bay, Labrador.   Betty began teaching in Lohrville Community School in Lohrville, Iowa, where she continued her teaching career until her retirement in 1986 after forty-one years of dedication.

Upon her retirement, Betty traveled extensively throughout the United States. She particularly enjoyed many bus trips with her friend, Ann Donnelly.  In January 2012, Betty moved to Sunnybrook of Carroll and later was a resident of Regency Park of Carroll. Although Betty was an only child, she was considered a sister to her many Carey cousins. Many a card game of Nickel and RummiKub were played with her cousins. Betty was an avid reader, enjoyed completing crossword puzzles and watching Jeopardy.  Betty thoroughly enjoyed her many years in education and was widely regarded as a favorite teacher. Betty was a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Her easy-going, supportive and patient manner made her special to everyone who knew her. Her wisdom and steadfastness supported many of her students’ learning as well as being a role model. Betty was a member of St. Columbkille Catholic Church, Rosary Society and Catholic Daughters of America.

Betty is survived by her two daughters: Linda (Quentin) Minnehan of Churdan, Iowa and Nancy (George) Croy of Appleton, Wisconsin; four grandchildren: Jason (Brooke) Minnehan of Churdan, Iowa, Michelle Minnehan (Ryan Lamb) of Clive, Iowa, Kristin (Matthew) Percival of Waukee, Iowa and Skylar Croy of Madison Wisconsin; and six great-granddaughters; Ava and Hallee Minnehan, Reese Golightly, Savannah and Charlotte Lamb and Penny Percival. Betty was proceeded in death by her parents, husband, Bill, in 1975 and grandson, Matthew Minnehan, in 1995.

Mass of the Christian burial was held on June 28, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Columbkille Catholic Church in Churdan, Iowa with Father John Gerald officiating. Visitation was held on June 27, 2019 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. with a vigil prayer service at 6:30 p.m. The Interment was at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery in Cedar Township. Organist at the service was Michelle Fields and Cantor was Greg Carey.  Casket bearers were Jason Minnehan, Ryan Lamb, Matthew Percival, Skylar Croy, Anthony Minnehan and David Minnehan. Honorary Casket bearer was Matthew Minnehan.

The family wishes to thank the entire staff at Regency Park of Carroll for the loving care of Betty.



Elizabeth (Liz) Guess, 90, of Adaza

Liz wished to be cremated. A celebration of a life-well-lived will be held at 11:00 AM, Saturday,  July 13th at the Churdan Community Room followed by a time of lunch and fellowship. Burial of her ashes will be in the Highland Cemetery in Churdan.  The family asks to have memorials left to the Churdan Public Library or the Churdan Park Improvement fund.


Elizabeth Ann Kamps Guess, daughter of Hartwig and Elsie (Bolt) Kamps was born May 7th 1929 in Des Moines Iowa. She died June 18, 2019 in her own bed, as was her desire.  She lived her life to the ages of 90 years, 1 month and 11 days.

Liz grew up with her parents and brother Rudy on her family farm near Polk City. Liz was proud of her German heritage and to be a first generation American.   She enjoyed playing basketball on the Alleman High School team, riding the inter-urban train to Ankeny to have her knee taped before games.  After graduating in 1946, she attended the University of Iowa where she became a proud Hawkeye and made many life-long friends.  After graduating from the University, she worked for the YWCA in Rockford, IL.  In 1951, she married Martin Guess and they settled in Washington, IA. Martin was called back into the Navy and the couple moved to Norman OK, where Martin was stationed during the Korean War.  Liz worked for a newspaper in Norman.  When the war ended, Liz did what she never expected to do.  Martin became a farmer, Liz a farmer’s wife and they settled on the Guess farm near Adaza, Iowa.

Martin and Liz grew their farm and family. Martha Ellen, John Clayton, Ann Elizabeth and Susan Lynn soon joined the couple and Liz became a 4-H leader, Band Parent and School Board Member.  She was a long time member of the Churdan Library Board, working many hours to raise funds for the new library addition.  Liz was member of the Churdan Friday Club, Adaza Thursday Club, Edward English American Legion Post 198 Auxiliary, Greene County Historical Society and PEO Chapter CZ.  She and Martin loved to travel. They traveled all over the country. She and her mother Elsie traveled to Germany in 1987 and met family members for the first time. She traveled to Spain, France, Russia, Denmark and China to visit Susan. After Martin’s death, Liz traveled to Alaska, Australia, New Zealand, and Greece.  She also wintered in Texas a few times. Thursdays were a special day for many years, first for breakfast coffees in the library and then for lunch with friends at cafes and restaurants in the area.

Liz is survived by her children; Marty Hennesy of Churdan, John (Joan) of Scranton, Ann Elizabeth (Wade) Gemberling of Lohrville and Susan (Drew) Cover of Hamburg, Germany, her nieces and nephews Karen (Larry)  Schunk, Ron (Sheryl) Kamps, Steve Kamps, Leslie (Michael) Richardson, Jeff Tucker and Jim (Susan) Tucker.  Also surviving are her grandchildren, Katherine Hennesy, Nathan (Jess) Guess, Cara (Todd) Sawyer, Travis (Sara) Gemberling, Tucker Gemberling, Anna Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Ann (John) Towers, Natalie (Chance) Webb, Alena Cover and Tia Cover,  her ten great-grandchildren; Jacob, Georgia,  Cru, Joanna, Waylen, Alexa, Brystle, Anna Elizabeth, Claudia and Riley,  and her many great nieces and nephews.

Liz was preceded in death by her parents, Martin in 1998, her brother Rudy and his wife Donna, brother and sister-in-law Norman and Mary Ellen Tucker, niece and nephew Lynn and Phillip Brown and Katie Hennesy’s soulmate Jason Schultz.

Liz wished to be cremated. Her family is planning a celebration of a life-well-lived for July 13th at the Churdan Community Room.  The family asks to have memorials left to the Churdan Public Library or the Churdan Park Improvement fund.

The Guess family wishes to thank Lisa, Michelle, Brenda and the rest of the Kindred Hospice, Panora for their help caring for their mother. A special thank you also to Taylor Rose, mom’s favorite person to ignore in her last days.  Cheers to a life well lived!


Brent Lindgren

Lindgren 8Lindgren 9Services will be held at 10:30 A.M. Monday at the First Baptist Church in Churdan with burial in the Highland Township Cemetery. Visitation will be at the church from 4 to 7 P.M. Sunday.


Brent Lindgren, the son of Leonard and Alice Marie (Small) Davidson Lindgren, was born May 29, 1954 at Fort Dodge, Iowa and died suddenly on June 6, 2019. He lived his life to the age of 65 years and 8 days.Lindgren 3 Brent graduated from the Paton – Churdan High School in 1972 and later attended Iowa Central College in Fort Dodge for one year. On October 4, 1975, Brent was united in marriage to Renaye Lynn Legore at the First Baptist Church in Churdan. Two daughters were born to this union.  After their marriage, Brent and Renaye made their home in the Omaha – Council Bluffs area where Brent worked as a farm machinery mechanic and Renaye worked as a court reporter. They moved back to the Paton – Churdan area in 1982 and in 1995 Brent became an auto mechanic at Lee Benson Chevrolet in Gowrie until the fall of 2014. While working for Lee Benson Brent began farming on his family’s century farm outside of Paton. Brent was an active member of the First Baptist Church in Churdan. For the past several years, Brent and Renaye enjoyed traveling and had visited over 20 countries since 2010. He was blessed to be able to travel the world with his wife and their siblings and to get to know and love his six grandchildren. In 2015 Brent and Renaye traveled to India with his brother Larry and wife Mariette and Renaye’s sister Rochelle and husband Tom to have a Dream Center, Koraput, dedicated in honor of his mother. Brent enjoyed India and the children that are being helped by the Dream Centers so much that they made the trip again in 2017. On May 25, 2019 Brent’s daughters threw him a surprise 65th Birthday Party. Family and friends came from all over the country and state to help celebrate his birthday: his brother from Florida; extended family from Texas and Missouri; and many family and friends from Iowa. We can take joy and comfort in knowing that in his last days he was reminded how much his family and friends love and appreciate him. Brent is survived by his wife, Renaye, two daughters and their husbands; Amanda (James) Helms of Churdan and Tricia (Jamie) Loeffler of Gowrie; and six grandchildren; Levi, Rozella, and Rylin (Helms); and Leonard, Kasen, and Asher (Loeffler); two brothers; Larry (Mariette) Small of Tierra Verde, Florida and Galen (Colleen) Lindgren of Paton and a sister, Janis Humpal of Edina, Missouri. Those who preceded him in death were his parents and father-in-law, Darrell Legore. Funeral services were held Monday, June 10, 2019, at 10:30 A.M. from the First Baptist Church in Churdan with Pastor Bobby Palmer officiating. Burial was made in the Highland Township Cemetery in Churdan.  Musical selections included “I’ll Fly Away” and a special recording of “Midnight Cry” which Brent had requested to be played at his funeral service. Casket bearers were Nathan Guess, Lucas Fatka, Todd Sawyer, Jon Ayers, Cody Paup and Chance Paup. Memorials are suggested to be given in care of “Good News India”.

Mille Said

Said M 1 IMG_6107Mildred (Millie) A. Said, the daughter of William R. and  Florence (Gotter) Hoyt, was born November 28, 1935 in Scranton, Iowa and departed this life May 19, 2019 at Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. She lived her life to the age of 83 years, 5 months and 21 days.

Millie graduated from the Scranton Consolidated School in 1954 and later attended Simpson College. On May 13, 1958, Millie was united in marriage to Clifford Said at the Methodist Church in Scranton. After their marriage, Millie joined Cliff in Germany while he was serving in the Navy and their first daughter, Cynthia (Cindy), was born while there. Tamara (Tammy) was born in Fort Dodge after they came back to the states,

Through the course of their marriage and before, she had several moves and many adventures. Millie held many different jobs of which most were in the interest of public service. She worked as a dental assistant for Dr. Baker in Jefferson and worked as a nurse’s assistant at hospitals in Des Moines and Fort Dodge. She was an assistant to the resource center at Jefferson High School and helped coordinate the first Special Olympics in Des Moines. She was part of the Welcome Wagon for Sioux City and the concession stand for the swimming pool in Jefferson. She and Cliff co-owned a discount furniture store in Jefferson for several years. Her last job was as the assistant to the activities director at The Manor in Jefferson. In all of her positions, she made a point of serving and bringing joy to others. Even in her final days, she lived this way.

Millie was an active member of the Jefferson Presbyterian Church. She was a member of the Jefferson Does Drove #196 and served as Does President in 1982. She enjoyed playing cards and socializing with her friends. In addition to her career and social engagements, she was a woman who loved to laugh. It would be harder to find a friend or family member of   Millie who had not experienced one of her practical jokes. Her laugh and smile were infectious. She was quite the chef and baker–and she knew how to cook for a crowd.

Millie will be lovingly remembered by her daughters; Cindy Mason of Jefferson and Tammy (David) Schuett of Grand Island, NE, grandchildren; Lorelle (J.B.) Hinote of SD, Anna Schuett of NE, and Josef (Hope) Schuett of NE, great-grandchildren; Isaiah, Lily, Malachi, and Jordyn Hinote all of SD, brothers; Ralph Hoyt of Scranton, Dale (Linda) Hoyt of Scranton, Neal (Caroline) Hoyt of Scranton, sisters; Arlene (Ron) Carroll of MO, Clara Haack of Davenport, Gaye (Larry) Barr of Scranton; and sister-in-law; Beverly Hoyt of Jefferson. Preceding her in death were her parents; Florence and William R. Hoyt; husband, Clifford Said; brother; Glen Hoyt, brother-in-law; Jack Haack, and sister-in-law; Shirley Hoyt.

Funeral services were held Friday, May 24, 2019, at 10:00 A.M. at the First Presbyterian Church in Jefferson with Pastor J.B. Hinote officiating. Burial was made in the Scranton Township Cemetery near Scranton. Musical selections was sung by the congregation and soloist Lily Hinote and accompanied by Cheryl Nailor and Karen Murphy. Visitation to be held at 4:00 P.M. Thursday, May 23, 2019, at the Brown Funeral Home in Jefferson followed by a Does Memorial Service at 6:30 P.M..

Serving as casket bearers are Randy Hoyt, Jeff Barr, Kevin Hoyt, Joel Haack, Andrew Hoyt, and David Hoyt.

Clare Hunter

Floyd Clare Hunter was born to Floyd Erwin and Alice (Minor) Hunter on April 29, 1921 in Greene County Iowa on the family farm west of Churdan and passed from this life May 16, 2019 at Thomas Rest Haven in Coon Rapids, Iowa. He lived his life to the age of 98 years 18 days.

As a child, Clare lived with his family on several farms in Greene County, Iowa.  He attended school in Churdan, Scranton and graduated from Jefferson High.   He served in the U.S. Army in WWII for 39 months primarily in the transportation corps stationed in Prince Rupert, British Columbia to support the war in the Pacific. He also played the euphonium baritone in the Army Band.

After the war he returned to Churdan, and on April 10, 1947, Clare and Wilma Clipperton were united in marriage at her family farm north of Churdan.  After their marriage, they lived in Jefferson and then Ames where Clare attended Iowa State University.  In 1948, his father in law retired and Clare pursued his desire for farming by operating the family farm. During that time, they raised their two children.  Clare retired from full time farming in 1972.

In retirement, Clare and Wilma traveled to Camp Verde, Arizona where they served as volunteer staff for Rainbow Acres, a ranch for adults with developmental disabilities.  For 18 years, Clare enjoyed being the resident handyman and locksmith as well as a chaperone for residents on trips.  In 2009, they received the “Outstanding Service Award” from Rainbow Acres.

Clare met his goal of visiting all 50 states, as well as 11 countries including the Holy Land. This adventurous spirit also took him hiking the Grand Canyon at the age of 70.

Clare was dedicated as an infant at the First Baptist Church in Churdan and became a very active member.  He served many years on church boards and as a Deacon.  Clare was also a member of the American Legion Post 198 for 70 continuous years and was the last living WWII veteran in the Churdan Legion.

Clare is survived by two children, Dennis (Pauline) Hunter of Fort Dodge and Joanna (Billy Sammons) Hunter of Churdan; four grandchildren, Amy Kirkhart and Amanda (Dustin) Haggard, Brittany (Jason) Clark and Christopher (Cassie) Cerwick, ten great grandchildren, Paige, Peyton, Kadyn, Brock, Kamdyn, Karsyn, Quynton, Corbyn,  Preslynn and CJ and former daughter-in-law Mary Cerwick; a brother Donald (Eleanor) Hunter of West Virginia and many nieces and nephews.  Those who preceded him in death were Wilma his beloved wife of 71 years, his parents and seven siblings.

A celebration of Clare’s life was held at 10:30 am on May 21, 2019 at the First Baptist Church in Churdan with Pastor Bobby Palmer, Rev. Gary Wagner, and Rev. Lowell Hoyle officiating. Rochelle Fagg and Renaye Lindgren accompanied the congregation singing “In the Garden”. Special music included Danille Curtis singing “Beyond the Sunset” and “Wings of a Dove”, along with a piano solo “Clare’s Song” by Billy Sammons.

Burial was made in the Highland Township Cemetery in Churdan with the Military Honor Guard from Camp Dodge and the Churdan American Legion. Serving as casket bearers were Charlie Paup, Tracy Hunter, Marc Hoyle, Peyton Mericle, Brock Mericle,  Dustin Haggard and Jason Clark. Honorary casket bearers were Keith and Rhetta Wright and  Clare’s nieces and nephews including Margaret Wilt,  Byron Paup, Harold Hoyle, Genevieve Sherman, Lyle Hoyle, Patty Kaufman, David Brody and Ann Meyer.