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Elinor Bedell (1923 - 2017)


Posted By: volunteer (email)
Date: 3/7/2017 at 16:07:20

Elinor Healy Bedell, age 93, passed away peacefully at her Naples, Florida home on March 2, 2017 after a brief illness. She was born in Mankato, MN on March 9th, 1923. She was known to friends and family as a gentle, kind, and loving woman.

She grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota. During her childhood and whenever she could later in life she enjoyed summers in Grand Marais, MN.

Elinor graduated from University High School in Minneapolis, MN in 1941 and attended Iowa State University where she met her husband. They established their home in Spirit Lake, Iowa. There she was active in the United Methodist Church, PTA, PEO, United Way, and other community organizations. She was a Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader.

Elinor was the co-founder of the Voluntary Action Center in Spirit Lake and she was one of the first members of the Lakes Art Center where she enjoyed becoming an accomplished potter.

When her husband was elected to Congress in 1974 she moved to Washington, DC. There she enjoyed learning about our nation's history and giving tours to constituents from northwest Iowa. She was active in working for world peace and a founding member of Peace Links, a woman's people-to-people organization that connected woman across the world to inform the public about the threat of nuclear war.

In 1998 she and her husband donated 80 acres of land on East Okoboji Lake in Spirit Lake, Iowa to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Today the Elinor Bedell State Park, named in her honor, has extensive trails, camping, playground, a picnic shelter, and wildlife habitat.

She is survived by her husband of 73 years, former Congressman Berkley Bedell; three children, Ken Bedell (Kathie) of Alexandria, VA, Tom Bedell (Molly) of Bend, OR, and Joanne Quinn (Mike) of Loveland, CO, eight grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.

Elinor was preceded in death by her sister, Frances Naftalin of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and her parents, Marie and Kenneth Healy.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in Elinor's name to the Foundation for Alternative and Integrative Medicine, P.O. Box 2860, Loveland, CO 80539 or the Selby Duis Playground at Elinor Bedell State Park (Send to Iowa Great Lakes Rotary, P.O. Box 132, Okoboji, Iowa 51355. Please note it is a memorial for Elinor and the Shelby Duis Playground).

Published in Naples Daily News


Dickinson Obituaries maintained by Kris Meyer.
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