Velma Radebaugh, 98, of Jefferson passed from this life on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 following a brief illness at the Greene County Medical Center in Jefferson, Iowa.
Velma, the second daughter born to Cyrus and Alta Lulu (Hiddleson) Radebaugh, was born June 10, 1920 at her parent’s farm home in Hardin Township, Greene County, Iowa. She attended her first eight years of school at Hardin No. 4 country school under the tutelage of the same teacher, Mrs. Grace Lamb. From an early age, Velma had an interest in music and played the violin and piano. Velma graduated valedictorian of her class from the Jefferson High School in 1937. Her father died the year that she graduated, and Velma attended Grinnell College that fall. Her mother and grandmother purchased a small home a block from the college dormitory to be close to Velma. Velma received a Bachelor’s Degree in music from Grinnell College in 1942. She began her teaching career and taught for three years in the Bayard and Ogden schools. She then went to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where she received her Master’s Degree in music education in 1945. Following that she taught in the Carroll and Perry schools, and then taught in the Ames Community School in 1955 until her retirement in 1982. Velma returned in Jefferson and lived with her sister, Vivian, and helped Vivian in a craft business known as The Crafters until its closing. Following her sister’s death in 1991, Velma continued to live in Jefferson and in 2003, Velma’s nephew, Rory Autenreith, came to make his home with Velma. Rory passed away in 2007 and Velma continued to live in the home until 2015 when she became a resident of the Greene County Long Term Facility in Jefferson.
During her life, Velma was a member of the Baptist and Methodist churches and at her death was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Jefferson. Velma was member of the Jefferson CZ Chapter, P.E.O. and a 75-Year member of Beta Sigma Phi Beta Alpha Chapter in addition to being a past member of the Retired Teachers and Delta Kappa Gamma. In her retirement, Velma enjoyed reading, needle work and playing her grand piano. Velma was never married and had no children but she lovingly referred to her farm tenants, Dave and Steve Haupert, and Randy Riley and their families as her “boys”. She will always be remembered by her friends as a caring and loving person who was openly and appreciatively grateful for any kindnesses that she received from others. She loved flowers and her favorite phase when she received them was “Aren’t they lovely”. Her genuine appreciation made it a joy to others to give to her, even if it was just a smile or hug. Her response to the gift or gesture, however small it may have been, elevated the gift to the most important thing in her life on that day, and she remembered it from that day .
She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister and brother-in-law, Vivian and Dean Autenreith and nephew, Rory. Funeral services were held, Monday, January 28, 2019 at 2:00 P.M. at the Brown Funeral Home in Jefferson with Rev. Dennis Martens and Rev. David Simonson officiating. Burial was made in the Rippey Cemetery at Rippey, Iowa. Musical selections chosen by Velma were “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “The Lord’s Prayer”. Serving as casket bearers were Steve Haupert, Dave Haupert, Randy Riley, Zeck Simonson, William Radebaugh and Colby Peacock. Memorials are suggested to be given to the Bell Tower Community Foundation in Velma’s name at 115 E. Lincoln Way St., Suite 200, Jefferson, Iowa 50129.