Robert “Bob” Owens

Funeral services for Robert “Bob” Owens, 92, of Jefferson will be held Tuesday, Sept. 17th, at 10:30 am at the Central Christian Church in Jefferson with burial in the Jefferson City Cemetery with full Military Honors conducted by the Camp Dodge Honor Detail and the Jefferson American Legion & V.F.W.
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 pm Monday at the Brown Funeral Home in Jefferson.
Survivors include his wife, Janet, daughter Gayle Roberts of Clarion and son James of Marshalltown.

            Robert “Bob” Owens, the son of John Weston and Mabel (Hanson) Owens, was born, along with his twin sister, on January 14, 1927 in Jefferson, Iowa and departed this life September 12, 2019 at his home in Jefferson. He lived a full life to the age of 92 years, 7 months and 28 days.

Bob and his twin sister were the youngest of ten children born to the Owens family. The children were raised by their mother after their father died in an automobile accident when the twins were one year old. Bob graduated from the Jefferson High School in 1945 and was drafted into the U.S. Army. He trained and served as a military policeman in Germany until his discharge in November of 1946 with the rank of Corporal. Following his discharge he returned home from Germany with his childhood friends, Paul Patter and Robert Calvert.

Bob returned to Jefferson and was employed at Baller Auto Supply. Bob was united in marriage to Janet Miller of Cooper on November 6, 1949. Three children, Michael, Gayle and James were born to this union. In 1953, Bob joined the Sieg Auto Supply Company as a parts salesman and the Owens family made their home in Carroll, Estherville, Clarion and Fort Dodge. After 32 years with Seig, Bob and Janet returned to Jefferson.

Bob was a member of the Central Christian Church in Jefferson and also a member of the Jefferson American Legion and V.F.W. He volunteered as a greeter at the Mahanay Bell Tower for 14 years. In 1992, Bob became member of the Iowa Lincoln Highway Association and helped organize the Greene County chapter. He received the Meritorious Achievement Award from the Lincoln Highway Association in 2008. Bob and Janet have one of the original concrete Lincoln Highway markers in their front of their home in Jefferson. In later years, Bob could be seen driving his 1929 Ford Model A through Jefferson on the Lincoln Highway.

According to Bob, he was airplane crazy from the time he could look up. When he would see an airplane overhead, he would jump on his bike to ride out to the airstrip. A child of the Great Depression, he spent his free time building model airplanes. After his return from WWII, Bob started taking flying lessons at the Jefferson Airport. His first solo flight was in 1948. While living in Estherville, Bob and his friend Les Duoos built their own airplane; a single-seat 1964 Corben Baby Ace Model C. Bob and his brother-in-law, Melvin Miller, had their own private 1,300 foot runway at the Miller farm near Cooper. Bob enjoyed collecting literature and photographs detailing the history of powered flight, aviation memorabilia, 1920s records and a phonograph.

Bob is survived by his wife Janet, daughter Gayle (Mitchell) Roberts of Clarion, son James (Sonya) of Marshalltown, three grandsons; Michael Owens Jr. of Decorah, Edward Owens of Alaska, Robbie Baretich of Colorado Springs, CO. and Scott Lyons of Winona, MN., granddaughter Allison Rasmus of Belmond, six great-grandchildren, sisters; Norma Huffman and twin sister Bonnie Duncan, nieces, nephews and  relatives. Preceding him is death were his parents, son Mike Sr. in 1996, brothers; Kenneth, Eldon and Leland, sisters; Treva Curry, Lois Beeson, Katherine Vincent, Gwenyth Owens, Phyllis Powell Henrikson and brother-in-law Melvin Miller.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, September 17, 2019, at 10:30 A.M. at the Central Christian Church in Jefferson with Rev. Michael Armstrong officiating with Julie Cornelius delivering stories of Bob’s life. A reading of the poem “Solo” was read. Musical selections, “Going Home” and “On Eagle Wings” were song by Gary Haupert and accompanied by Pianist, Rita Rasmussen. Burial was made in the Jefferson City Cemetery with full Military Honors conducted by the Camp Dodge Honors Detail and the Jefferson American Legion and V.F.W.

Serving as casket bearers were Don Labate, James Ure, Dean Zenor, Dale Higgins, David Kingery, Chuck Elliott, John Fitzsimmons and Mark Lykke

Francetta Stream

              Francetta Stream, the daughter of Floyd and Margaret (Marsh) Fountain, was born April 26, 1927 at her parent’s home near Grand Junction, Iowa and departed this life September 11, 2019 at The Garden’s Retirement Community in Jefferson, Iowa. She lived her life to the age of 92 years, 4 months and 15 days.

Francetta attended and graduated from the Grand Junction High School in 1945. She worked in the Bee & Herald Newspaper office until her marriage.

On March 27, 1948, Francetta Fountain was united in marriage to Marvin Stream at the Methodist Church in Jefferson. One son, Merritt was born to this union. After their marriage, Francetta and Marvin farmed near Churdan. Francetta loved to help farm with her husband and later her son. She loved gardening and planting her flowers. Her husband, Marvin, was a very good baseball player and played semi-pro ball in the area and Francetta attended all of his games even after their son was born. She enjoyed watching baseball and basketball games on TV in the evenings while crocheting many, many items for her and others. She loved to dance, play cards and sit and visit with family and friends. She also enjoyed traveling and spending many winters in Florida and Arizona.

Left to mourn her passing are her son, Merritt and wife Annette of Churdan, two grandsons, Jeffrey and his wife, Stacy, and Justin and his wife, Michelle, great-grandchildren; Nicholas, Wyatt,  Justin (J.D.), Cayden and Chelsea Stream, all of Jefferson, a sister, Donna Smith and her husband, Bob, of Yreka California and many nephews and nieces. Those who preceded her in death were her parents, husband in 2004 and a brother, Darrell.

Funeral service were held at 10:30 A.M. on Monday, September 16, 2019, at the Brown Funeral Home in Jefferson with Pastor Marilyn Millard of the Community of Christ Church officiating. Burial was made in the Highland Township Cemetery in Churdan. Recorded musical selections, “How Great Thou Art” and “Amazing Grace” were played at the service.

Serving as casket bearers were Tyler Tasler. Bruce Mobley, Mark Nelson, Mark Wright, Michael Roth and Charlie Hoskins.

Phyllis Wiederin

Phyllis Wiederin, the daughter of Verlin and Mildred (Schwering) Blair, was born at home in Dayton, Iowa on June 5, 1932. She passed from this life August 26, 2019 at the Shady Oaks Care Center in Lake City, Iowa. She lived a full life to the age of 87 years, 2 months and 21 days.

Phyllis attended and graduated from the Dayton High School in 1952 and later attended Morningside College in Sioux City where she received a degree in teaching. In 1954, Phyllis took a teaching position in Churdan and taught for three years. On June 1, 1957, Phyllis Blair was united in marriage to Wilbur Wiederin at St. Columbkille Catholic Church in Churdan. Four children were born to this union. Phyllis and Wilbur made their home in Churdan and raised their family. Later in life, after the children were raised, Phyllis took a teaching position at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Fort Dodge for a few years before retiring.

Phyllis was member of St. Columbkille Catholic Church, Catholic Daughters of America and the Rosary Society and also a member of the Churdan American Legion Auxiliary. She also was a member a group known as the G.A. Club. Her children are not sure if the “G” stands for gab or gossip.

After retiring, Phyllis and Wilbur traveled by bus to many locations. They enjoyed gathering with their children and grandchildren. One of Phyllis’s favorite memories was her 80th birthday when she rode on a party bus with her children and grandchildren. She also enjoyed reading and her favorite author was Stephanie Laurens. She enjoyed going to the library hunting for books and visiting with the ladies. Wilbur passed away in 2001. Phyllis’s greatest heartbreak was the death of her daughter, Sharon Towers in 2014.

Phyllis is survived by her children; Mary (David) Lane of Algona, Mike (Lisa) of Churdan and Joe (Denise) of Farnhamville, son-in-law, Mick Towers of Adel, 11 grandchildren, many great-grandchildren, brother, Paul (Kathy) Blair of Dawson and three sisters-in-law, Etta Mae, Sherry and Wanda Blair. Those who preceded her in death were her parents, husband, daughter, three brothers, Kenneth, Jim and Tom Blair and a sister, JoAnn Brown.

Mass of the Christian Burial was held at 10:30 A.M Friday, August 30, 2019, at St. Columbkille Catholic Church in Churdan with Father John Gerald officiating. Burial was made in St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery. Musical selections were sung by Greg Carey as cantor with the church choir accompanying and Lois Last as organist.

Casket bearers were Nick Lane, Jake Lane, Jay Wiederin, Ben Wiederin, Ethan Wiederin and Joe Towers. Honorary bearers were Eileen Splendore, Jenny Nicholson, Becky Halling, Emily Coffey and Betsy Lemus.

Eula Mae Hicks

Eula Mae (Anderson) Hicks was called home just five days shy of her 97th birthday, August 3, 2019. Eula was born August 8, 1922 to Herbert and Delia (Bishop) Anderson, on the family farm in Greene County, Iowa.

While working as a soda jerk in Churdan, Iowa, Eula caught the eye of Milton “Red” Hicks and the two were united in marriage July 5, 1946.  Red and Eula would welcome four children into the world; Donald, Beverly, Donna and Milton “Butch”. Eula was a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church, practicing an unwavering and deep faith in the Lord.  That abiding faith was complimented by her ornery spirit, wicked sense of humor and mischievous twinkle.  Those who were blessed to be loved by Eula knew the depth of that love by her actions and words, always telling those she cared for how much she loved them, followed by a warm hug.  Everyone in Eula’s life knew how proud she was of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Eula was a famous apple pie baker, often sending her family home with extra pies to keep in the freezer for the winter months.  Eula was a tireless gardener, had a tender place in her heart for dogs, but most of all was the warm, safe spot for her family and friend to gather around.                 Eula lived her first 94 years in Greene County, and enjoyed her final three years at the Clarence Assisted Living and Clarence Nursing Home, where she made many friends, spent more time with family and was loved by all.

Eula is survived by her daughters Beverly (Dan) Walters of Thor, and Donna (Bob) Shaw of Dubuque, son Milton “Butch” (Linda) Hicks of Middletown, grandchildren Jennifer (Levi) VanOort of Clarence, Ben Shaw of Dubuque, Andrea (Grant) Galliger of Dubuque and Mike (Michelle) Walters of Milan, Michigan, great grandchildren Marshall and Clancey VanOort, Madeline Galliger and Olivia and Ada Walters and nieces and nephews. Eula was preceded in death by her husband, parents, son Don, siblings Marvin, Helen, Herbert, Doris and Andy, and a great granddaughter Fiona Galliger.             Funeral services were held Saturday, August 10, 2019 at 10:30 A.M. at the United Methodist Church in Churdan with Rev. David Arlunathan officiating. Eula was laid to rest in the Highland Cemetery in Churdan. Visitation was held one hour prior to the service. Honorary bearers were her grandchildren.

Ron Toliver

                Ron Toliver, the son of Lloyd and Yvonne (Briner) Toliver, was born February 18, 1937 at Churdan, Iowa and departed this life on July 29, 2019 at the Greene County Medical Center.   He lived his life to the age of 82 years, 5 months and 11 days.

Ron graduated from the Churdan High School in 1955.  He spent three years in the U.S. Army, and then went to Sioux Falls College, where he graduated with a degree in education.  On August 22, 1964, Ron was united in marriage to Teena Fenenga in Gregory, SD.   Three children were born to this union.  In 1969, Ron received his Masters of Education form South Dakota State University and later received a Specialist Degree from Iowa State University.    He taught school and coached athletics in Humboldt, SD, Brandon Valley, SD, Cedar Valley School District, Central Lyon School District, Paton-Churdan School District and The Elkhorn-Kimballton School.   In the early 1970s, Ron and Teena purchased an acreage north of Churdan where they made their home and raised their family.   Ron also engaged in farming.

Ron was a member of the First Baptist Church in Churdan and also a member of the Churdan American Legion and the Greene County Historical Society.

Ron marched to his own drummer.  He loved kids and teaching and really believed that each student he knew could achieve whatever they were willing to work for.   Not particularly interested in being a student himself, he believed in learning and he kept going forward in education until he received a Masters Degree in Administration.

He loved buying and selling and while making a profit was always the goal, he was not particularly upset when that did not happen.  He started auctioneering while at college and continued into his 70s.  He loved the sale barn, the auction house, tag sales, machinery sales and any other place that he thought something was a good buy or just interesting.

He loved to fish and spent many happy hours with his family doing just that.   He loved the Chicago Cubs and watched every game he could find on TV.  He would ask Pastor Bobby to pray for the Cubs, and when they won the World Series, he thought that might have been part of it.  He and Teena travelled down some historical trails, such as Sherman’s March to the Sea, and the Chisholm Trail Cattle Drive, and any other place that was tied into history.  The Churdan Coffee Club, where fiction became fact, was high on his list of “must dos”.  He loved his country and with the help of the community, the “Freedom Park” became a reality.

Ron was loved by his wife, respected by his children, and adored by his grandchildren.  He, in turn, loved them all and tried to make certain that they knew.  Uncle Ronnie and dad stories will continue through several generations so perhaps it is not a bad idea to carry your own drum.

Ron is survived by his wife, Teena, three children and their families, Ronell Lynne Robinson of Aurora, Illinois and her children, Paige and Payton; David Toliver and his wife, Jennifer, of Waukee, and their children, Jessica and Chase; Jess Toliver and his wife, Tiffini of Eagle Grove and their children, Kayce, Jack, Gabe and Isom Toliver, step-daughters, Michelle Mericle and Allison Mai; and three sisters,  Joanne Legore, Jeanne Wiederin and Janice (Charles) Paup, all of Churdan.  Those who preceded him in death were his parents; mother and father-in-law, Don and Esther Fenenga; brothers-in-law, Darrell Legore and Martin Wiederin, and nephew, Brent Lindgren.

Funeral Services were held at 10:30 A.M., Friday, August 2, 2019 at the First Baptist Church in Churdan with Pastor Bobby Palmer officiating.  Burial with full military honors by the Camp Dodge Honor Guard and the Churdan American Legion was made in the Highland Cemetery in Churdan.   A musical selection “On Eagles Wings” was sung by Amanda Helms and accompanied by organist, Rochelle Guess-Fagg and pianist, Renaye Lindgren, and a recording of “Midnight Cry” was played.

Serving as casket bearers were Cody Paup, Chance Paup, Chase Toliver, Rob Fenenga, Jay Pease, and Pat Fay. Honorary bearers were Dennis Fay and members of the Churdan Coffee Club, Pat Fitzpatrick and Tom Kinnan.

Memorials are suggested to be given to the Freedom or the Churdan Park Playground fund.


Marge Beecher

Marjorie M. Beecher, the daughter of Henry and Blanche (Perkins) Blasnitz, was born January 4, 1926 in Jefferson, Iowa and departed this life July 28, 2019 at the Regency Park Care Center in Jefferson, Iowa. She lived her life to the age of 93 years, 6 months and 24 days.

Marge was raised in a family of 13 children and graduated from Jefferson High School.  On March 4, 1946, Marge was united in marriage to Forest E. Beecher in Omaha, Nebraska. Three children were born to this union; Jeannie, Stephen and Lindsey. Forest and Marge farmed west of Churdan.  Marge was active in helping work the farm, along with raising her children and being a homemaker.  Forest passed away in March of 2005 and Marge and her daughter, Jeannie, moved to an apartment in Jefferson where they lived for many years. Due to the onset of Alzheimer’s, Marge made her home in her later years at the Regency Park Care Center in Jefferson.

Marge was a hard worker who helped Forest in all aspects of their life together, from driving the tractor; to walking beans; to campaigning with him when he was a County Supervisor for 23 years. She was an amazing cook and fed her family well at all holidays and family gatherings. She opened her home to visiting family and catered to all of her guests. You always knew you were welcome at the Beecher farm. She and Jeannie also enjoyed going to play Bingo together and visiting with neighbors. She was a devoted wife and mother, but she was a shining star as a grandmother. She loved having her grandchildren stay overnight, playing cards, eating popcorn, and hearing about their activities. Her love and support for them was unconditional. Marge was a member of the Churdan United Methodist Church and the Adaza Club.

Marge is survived by her children; Stephen and his wife, Bernadette, of Spencer, Iowa, Lindsey and his wife, Virginia, of Ames, Iowa and Jeannie of Jefferson, five grandchildren; Adam (Gina) Beecher, Katie Beecher, Thomas Beecher, Kristen (Brennen) Triplett and Julie Beecher and five great-grandchildren; Luke, Ben, and Noel Beecher and Rozlyn and Crayton Triplett. Those who preceded her in death were her parents, husband and 12 brothers and sisters; William (Bill), Wiona, Doris, Katherine (Mick), Darrell (Dike), Gladys, Beverly, Mary Lou, Don, Kay, Charlie, and Joyce.

Funeral services were held Wednesday, July 31, 2019, at 10:30 A.M. at the Brown Funeral Home in Jefferson with Marge’s grandson, Pastor Adam Beecher officiating. Burial was made in the Highland Township Cemetery in Churdan. Serving as Honorary Casket Bearers were her five grand- children. A visitation was held one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.