Author Archives: Steve Brown

Carolyn Towers

Carolinelighten4Funeral services  for Carolyn Towers, 83, of Churdan will be held at 10:30 am Tuesday, April 30th, at St. Columbkille Catholic Church in Churdan with burial in St. Patrick’s Cemetery west of Churdan. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 pm Monday at the church with a Vigil Service at 6:30 pm.


Carolyn Marie Towers

Carolyn Marie (Lamoureux) Towers joined her beloved husband in heaven, reunited and once again dancing together as they so enjoyed during their 64 years of marriage. A devoted mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin and friend, her warmth and nurturing spirit that knew immeasurable love, is already sorely missed.

Carolyn was born in Churdan, Iowa on May 14th 1935 to her loving parents Rosella (Roper) and Jules Lamoureux.  Her father, Jules succumbed to cancer when she was only 9 years old and thus began her industrious nature to always help when and where she was needed. The oldest of three children, she was bright, beautiful and adored by her brothers and many friends. She was always there for Gene and Denny, staying up late to make sure they finished their assignments and keeping them out of trouble with their teachers.   She would join Denny after school to watch and dance along to American Bandstand, mastering the steps.  They were even featured in a spotlight dance by a disc jockey during a celebration in the new gym at the high school. She was a cheerleader for four years, voted most beautiful in the senior class, graduating from Churdan High School and later attended Briar Cliff University.

On February 4th, 1954 she married her high-school sweetheart and life-long dance partner, Duane “Riley” Towers in a small ceremony in San Diego where he was stationed with the Navy.  Moving to California was a great adventure and there they welcomed the first of their eight children.  Together, they moved their growing family back to Churdan where she was known throughout the county for her amazing cooking and baking with cinnamon rolls and chocolate chip cookies among our favorites.  Even when pressed by a tight budget and busy schedule, she always managed to be impeccably dressed and enjoyed sewing for the family.  She took great care in making her house a home, seeking out antiques and refinishing furniture.  After the 4-H and farm chores were finished, the family would spend summer afternoons with a picnic and swimming at Spring Lake.  Carolyn was an engaged and long-time member of the American Legion Auxiliary, serving as an officer and was dedicated to her Catholic faith.  She demonstrated to us the joy in giving to others by delivering Meals on Wheels, volunteering at the hospital, organizing prayer circles and even vacuuming the church if that’s what needed to be done.

She would go to any lengths to stay in touch with her family mastering Facebook, e-mail and text messaging so she could easily reach us.  Grandma Carolyn was always excited to hear about our lives and encouraged us in whatever we pursued.  She was there to take our picture at prom, stand beside us when we graduated high school and college, and when there was a wedding to celebrate, she was the last to leave the dance floor to be sure we could pay tribute to her with a sing-along to Sweet Caroline.  Her love for her family knew no bounds, she made each of us feel special proving that our large family didn’t divide her attention, but only multiplied her adoration.  She was the strong, stoic yet sweet matriarch of our family and we will dearly miss her greeting us at the door on Oak Hill drive with a hug, kiss and something to nourish our hearts and our bellies.

Carolyn Towers is lovingly survived by her children; children: Dan Towers, Churdan, Catherine Towers, Covolo, California, Tim and Julie Towers, Churdan, Teresa (Teri) and Dr. Patrick Harr, Maryville, Missouri, Michael (Mick) Towers, Adel, Tami and Joe Nugent, Shawnee, Kansas, Joseph Towers, Kansas City, Missouri, and Sarah and Matt Burnett, Ankeny; grandchildren: Brian and Crystal Towers, Ankeny, Kristin and Joe Brookover, Urbandale, Justin and Diana Towers, Jefferson, John and Libby Towers, Churdan, Nicholas and Mary Glasnapp, Dallas, Texas, Traci and Mark Kennedy, West Des Moines, Eileen and Danny Splendore, Perry, Jenny and Will Nicholson, Jefferson, Becky and Matt Halling, Perry, Joseph Towers, Churdan, Erin and Megan Nugent, Shawnee, Kansas, Layla, Harrison and Greyson Burnett, Ankeny; great-grandchildren: Taya, Vivian, Nathan, Natalie, Noah, Anna, Claudia, Claire, Hayden, Thomas, Blake, Scarlett, Bartney and brothers; Gene Lamoureux, Holland, Michigan and Dennis (Karen) Lamoureux of Greene, Iowa. She is preceded in death by her husband, Duane Towers, parents, step-father Rex McCormick, daughter-in-law Sharon Towers, brother-in-law and sister-in-law Sam and Anne Anderson and nephews; Kevin Towers, Kenny Lamoureux and Rick Anderson.

Mass of the Christian Burial was held Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 10:30 AM at St. Columbkille Catholic Church in Churdan with Father John Gerald officiating. Burial was made in the St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery. Musical selections were played by organist Lois Last and selected songs were sung by members of the Carey family. Casket bearers were granddaughters; Kristin Brookover, Traci Kennedy, Eileen Splendore, Jenny Nicholson, Becky Halling, Erin Nugent, Megan Nugent and Layla Burnett.

Visitation was held Monday evening from 4-7 PM at St. Columbkille Catholic Church with vigil services held at 6:30 PM led by Father John Gerald.

Contributions in her honor can be made to the Churdan Community Betterment Fund, specifically for the Playground Park Project.

Maxine Gustin


Maxine Gustin, the daughter of Ernest and Mildred (Sheeder) Jensen, was born December 28, 1939 at Greenfield, Iowa and departed this life April 2, 2019 at the Greene County Medical Center in Jefferson, Iowa. She lived her life to the age of 79 years 4 months and 4 days.

Maxine grew up and attended school in Casey, Iowa. On January 11, 1958, Maxine Sheeder was united in marriage to Darrell Gustin at Panora, Iowa. Five children were born to this union. Maxine lost her son, David, shortly following his birth. Maxine and Darrell made their home in Jefferson and Maxine raised their children and also worked at Franklin Manufacturing in Jefferson.

Maxine was a strong, independent and loving person who enjoyed spending time with her family. She was an outgoing person who loved going to musical concerts and taking in various entertainment events. She and Darrell both loved the outdoors and took the family on many camping trips. She enjoyed reading, especially about history, loved cooking for the family and liked riding on trains.

Maxine is survived by her four children and their spouses; Darlene (Norman) Zollars of Jefferson, Karen (Dan) Beblo of Richland, N.C., Robert (DeAnna) Gustin of Ames and Kelly (Tim) Emery of Ames, a brother, Wayne Jensen of Anita, two sisters; Marie Allard of Kansas City, MO. and Marlene Davis of Harcourt, 13 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. Those who preceded her in death were her parents, husband Darrell in 1996, son David, and two great-grandchildren; Richard Smith Jr. and Timothy Emery, Jr.

In accordance with Maxine’s wishes, her remains were cremated and a private family burial service was held at the Jefferson City Cemetery with Pastor Karen Patrick officiating.

Judy Stern

Judy K. Stern, the daughter of Archie and Gladys (Cafferty) Anderson, was born February 21, 1946 at Lake City, Iowa and departed this life March 15, 2019 at Lake City, Iowa. She lived her life to the age of 73 years and 24 days.

Judy grew up on her parent’s farm near Lohrville and moved into Lohrville with her parents in 1961. She attended and graduated from the Lohrville High School with the class of 1964. She then attended cosmetology school in Fort Dodge.

Curtis Stern came from North Dakota to Iowa to work and he met Judy Anderson. They were married May 7, 1966 at the Lohrville Christian Church. Three children were born to this union; Jolene, Kenneth and Karen. After their marriage, they made their home south of Lohrville and later moved into Lohrville. Judy raised her children and also worked for Air Electric in Lohrville for many years. Judy attended the Woodlawn Christian Church in Lake City.

In 1979, Judy and Curt’s youngest daughter, Karen, was involved in an accident on their acreage south of Lohrville. Karen was taken to the University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City where she later passed away.  Even in a time of grief, Judy and Curt made the decision to donated Karen’s organs so that others would have life. Curt passed in May of 2013 and Judy continued to make her home in Lohrville.

Judy is survived by her two children; daughter, Jolene Beenen and her husband, Rick Francis, of Rockwell City and her children; Logan Mogler and his wife, Alyssa, and their children; Kaylee and Jackson, of Lohrville and Austin Mogler and his friend, Tiffany Phillips, and their son, Barrett, of Muscatine, son, Kenneth and his children Kennedy and Kaitlyn of Gowrie and a brother, John Anderson and his wife, Marilyn, of Lohrville. Those who preceded her in death were her parents, husband and daughter.

A celebration of Judy’s life will be held at 3:00 P.M., Friday March 29th, at the Woodlawn Christian Church in Lake City with Pastor Roy Karlen officiating.  A gathering of friends and family will follow from 4:30 to 6:30 P.M. at the Lohrville Community Building.

In accordance with Judy’s wishes, her remains were donation to the Des Moines University for scientific study. Her ashes will be buried in the Evergreen Cemetery near Lohrville at a later date.

Margaret Powers


Margaret Powers, the daughter of Harold and Anna (Goedert) Traner, was born February 26, 1926 at Carroll, Iowa and entered into rest February 5, 2019 at the Regency Park Care Center in Jefferson, Iowa. She lived her life to the age of 92 years, 11 months and 27 days.

Margaret attended St. Joseph Grade School, two years at St. Angelus Academy and graduated from the Carroll High School in 1944. After graduation, she attended St. Anthony School of Nursing in Carroll.

On July 3, 1946, Margaret Traner was united in marriage at Carroll, Iowa to Donald Powers of Rockwell City. To this union were born six children; Jayne (Larry) Hested of Geneva, Illinois, Lynda (Dick) Pawlowski of Lake Panorama, Mary (Gene) Gutshall of Lake City, Tom (Sharyl) Powers of Jefferson, Nancy (Gary) Carlson of Clive and Sharon (Brent) Black of Nevada. After their marriage, Don and Margaret farmed and raised cattle near Rockwell City and Lohrville. Margaret worked at Shady Oaks Care Center in Lake City for many years and then worked as a ward clerk at Trinity Regional Hospital in Fort Dodge; retiring in 1986.  In their later years, Don and Margaret spent 32 winters in Magic Valley Trailer Park at Weslaco, Texas. They retired from farming in 1985 and moved to Jefferson in 1989. Don passed away in 2011 and Margaret moved to Evergreene Ridge apartments in Jefferson. She had been a resident of Regency Park Care Center since June of 2015.

Margaret was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jefferson and enjoyed going to Mass daily. Margaret liked crochet-ing, playing bridge and golf.

Margaret is survived by her six children, 15 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, two brothers; Don and Jack Traner, a sister, Lois Stork and a son-in-law, Lynn Dial.

Mass of the Christian burial was celebrated at 10:30 A.M. Saturday, February 9, 2019, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jefferson with Rev. Father Allen Reicks officiating, Eucharistic Ministers; Brent Black, Sharon Black and Gene Gutshall, Readers; Ashley Carlson and Jennifer Swayne and Gift Bearers, Julie Buckley and Lori Hofmeyer. Burial was made in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Jefferson. A special musical selection “Here I Am, Lord” was sung by Margaret’s granddaughter Marsha WrightSkinner. At the service, Greg Carey served as cantor and Lois Last was the organist. A Vigil for the Deceased was held Friday evening at 6:00 P.M. at the Brown Funeral Home in Jefferson.

Serving as casket bearers were Tom Powers, Todd Pawlowski, Jeremy Gutshall, Trent Powers, Bryce Black and Colynn Black

Memorials may be given to the family to be distributed at their discretion and may be sent to the funeral home.


Wilma Hunter

            Wilma Irene Hunter was the daughter of Ben and Lillie (Patrick) Clipperton and was born on December 3, 1922 in their home southwest of Churdan, Iowa and passed from this life January 30, 2019 at the Shady Oaks Care Center in Lake City, Iowa. She lived her life to the age of 96 years, 1 month and 27 days.
           Wilma grew up in rural Churdan, moving to her home north of Churdan when she was in junior high school.  After she graduated from Churdan High School in 1940, she attended Iowa State Teacher’s College in Cedar Falls.  Wilma taught at three country schools in rural Churdan.  She enjoyed teaching and as her life unfolded often served in teaching roles.  She would say “once a teacher, always a teacher”.
           On April 10, 1947, Wilma was united in marriage with Floyd Clare Hunter in the home in which they resided north of Churdan.  To this union two children were born.  She was a homemaker and worked in several office positions throughout her life.  Two of her favorites were being the Office Deputy Sheriff of Greene County and the Secretary to the Dean of the College of Home Economics at Iowa State University.  She also enjoyed her work at the Greene County ASCS office and the Churdan Elevator.
          Wilma was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Churdan at which she served as a Sunday school teacher and pianist, President of the local American Baptist Women and the Guild Girls’ Advisor.  In the community, she was a 4-H leader for the Highland Lassies and a member of the Friday Club and the Rebecca Lodge. For 18 years, Wilma and Clare traveled to Arizona to serve as volunteers on Rainbow Acres, a ranch for adults with developmental disabilities.  Wilma spent much of her time tutoring ranchers on math and reading skills, which she found very rewarding. In 2009, they received the “Outstanding Service Award” from Rainbow Acres. Wilma enjoyed doing many crafts including painting, crocheting and embroidery.  She took great pleasure in flowers. Traveling was also a pleasure as they visited all 50 states and 12 countries including the Holy Land. Wilma will be forever missed by all who knew her, especially by her family.
          Wilma is survived by Clare, her loving husband of 71 years; two children, Dennis (Pauline) Hunter of Fort Dodge and Joanna (Billy Sammons) Hunter of Churdan; two grandchildren, Amy Kirkhart and Amanda (Dustin) Haggard; six great grandchildren, Paige, Peyton, Kadyn, Brock, Kamdyn and Karsyn; two step grandchildren and four step great grandchildren, and former daughter in law Mary Cerwick; and many nieces and nephews.  Those who preceded her in death were her parents and brother, Wayne Brody.
         A celebration of Wilma’s life was held at 10: 30 A.M. Monday, February 4, 2019, at the First Baptist Church in Churdan with Pastor Bobby Palmer, Rev. Gary Wagner and Rev. Lowell Hoyle officiating. Rochelle Guess Fagg and Renaye Lindgren accompanied the congregation singing “In the Garden”. Special music included Danielle Curtis singing “Beyond the Sunset” and “Wings of a Dove”, and a piano solo “Ode to Wilma” by Billy Sammons. Burial was made in the Highland Township Cemetery in Churdan.
         Serving as casket bearers were Charlie Paup, Tracy Hunter, David Brody, Peyton Mericle, Brock Mericle, and Dustin Haggard. Honorary casket bearers were Keith and Rhetta Wright and all Wilma’s nieces and nephews including Ann Meyer, Byron Paup, Harold Hoyle and Marc Hoyle.

Rose Bea Siemann


On March 4, 1924, Rose Bea Conner was born at home to Frank and Melissa Moore Conner of Churdan, IA, joining her cherished older sister, Catherine Hazel, on the homestead farm northeast of Churdan. Rose Bea attended Hyland School #2 and Churdan High School.  With Hazel on the violin and Rose Bea on the piano, they played for dances, anniversaries, parties, and local events.  Through the mentorship of young Doctor Phillips Lohr, M.D., she received her Registered Nurse Degree from St. Anthony School of Nursing in Carroll, IA in 1945.

By this time, her sweetheart, John L. Siemann, had finally returned from WWII; they became engaged, with Rose Bea insisting that they wait one more year before marriage while she began her nursing career at Mercy Hospital in Ft. Dodge. On September 10, 1946, they wed in St. Columbkille Catholic Church in Churdan.  The couple moved to the rented 240 acre farmstead between Lohrville and Churdan, 2 miles straight north of Adaza.  That farm became the home of the couple and their five children until they moved to Jefferson in 1969.

Rose Bea’s roles of wife, mother, and farmer are well known in her rural community; her life’s work of nursing brought healing, hope, compassion, and peace to patients, family, staff, and authorities alike. She worked wards, floor, surgery, long term, inservice, emergency room, o.b., home care, etc.  She helped establish cardiac units in hospitals throughout west central IA.  When Rose Bea reached eighty years of age, John said, “Enough nursing.”

Rose Bea is survived by her five children: Thomas (Tom) of Carroll, IA and Mary Schachtlie of Des Moines, John (Johnny) and Linda, of Kansas City, MO, Mary Elizabeth (Mary Beth) Siemann of Cedar Rapids, IA, Margaret McDermott and Paul, of Fort Madison, IA, and Michael (Mike) of Terrell, TX. Rose Bea is also cherished by seven grandchildren, eight greatgrandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren, with one on the way.  Additionally, she is the well-loved aunt and cousin of many.

Rose Bea is preceded in death by her husband, her parents, her sister, several nieces, a nephew, and many cousins, etc.

Rose Bea Siemann

1924 – 2019

Visitation: Tuesday, January 29, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.,                                         Vigil Service – 6:15 p.m. Brown Funeral Home, Jefferson, IA

Wednesday, January 30, 9:15 a.m.    – 10:15 p.m.  St.Columbkille Church, Churdan, IA

Mass of Christian Funeral: Wednesday, January 30, 10:30 a.m.                         St.Columbkille Church

Burial: Wednesday, January 30, following the Mass, St.Patrick Church          Cemetery, Cedar Township, Greene County, IA

Funeral Luncheon: Immediately following burial, St.Columbkille                                     Parish Hall


Priest: Rev. Steve Brodersen

Cantor: Greg Carey

Organist: Michelle Fields

First Reader: Mary Cheboski

Second Reader: Amy Linden

Petitions: Family member

Gifts: Great-grandchildren Marian and Peter Weeks

Pall Bearers                                                           Honorary Pall Bearers

David Anderson                                                   James Eichied                                Kathryn Anderson                                   Dennis Hendricks                                  Leo Anderson                                                       Paul McDermott                                      Jon Linden                                                          Mike Schultz                                                        John Siemann                                                      Gerald Wright                                    Mike Siemann                                                                                                                     Tom Siemann