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Atwood, Betty (Southern) Senior Focus


Posted By: Volunteer Transcriber
Date: 6/11/2015 at 20:49:20

Senior Focus
Betty (Southern) Atwood

By John Britson
Special to the Daily News

Betty was born in Mingo and graduated from Mingo High School in 1940 at age 16. She then attended, U.N.I (formerly Iowa State Teachers College) for two years and got her teacher’s credentials.

World War II was raging and both of Betty’s brothers were slated for military duty. Betty took a teaching position back in Mingo where she could help and lend support to her parents. She taught in Mingo for five years and then moved to Emerson Hough in Newton for four years. Every summer was spent at a college or university working toward her degrees. She got her B.A. in 1952 and M.A. in 1957.

Her next job was in Primghar where she was County Elementary Supervisor for O’Brien County. Then in 1957 she became Elementary Supervisor for Polk County and ended her career in education as a curriculum and staff development specialist for an 11 county area known as Heartland Area education Agency. She spent 45 years working in the education field.

The entire Mingo community was shocked and saddened when the news came in 1944 that both of Betty’s brothers were killed in Italy at about the same time. Her older brother, Lowell, was a graduate of the U of I and was an officer in an infantry division. Her younger brother, Deane, was a private in the signal corps. It was just a coincidence that both ended up in Italy. Betty’s father elected to have his son’s bodies brought back home after the war and they arrived in Colfax on a beautiful fall day in 1948 with military escort. However, as often happens in Iowa, the weather did an about-face and burial services at Greencastle Cemetery were held in the midst of a snow storm on Dec. 5, 1948 with several people stranded in Mingo.

Betty comes from a very patriotic family. Her father Russell Southern, was a veteran of World War I where he saw combat in France. Her husband, James, is a World war II Veteran. Betty has been involved in American Legion Auxiliary work much of her life. At present she is president of the Mingo Auxiliary and is in her 2nd term as president of the Jasper County Auxiliary. She has held numerous district and state offices throughout the years including State Education Chairman. She has been a delegate to three national conventions. In addition to offices held she has done volunteer work at the Knoxville Veterans Hospital and at the State Auxiliary headquarters.

Betty is a life member of the National education Association; Life member of the Iowa Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development; Past President of Tau Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma and member of Phi Delta Kappa (Honorary education Societies). She belonged to the Mingo Methodist Church and in recent years she and James renewed their membership and are active participants in church activities. Her father was a rural mail carrier out of Mingo for many years. Betty and James can be found at their home in Urbandale except when they are traveling around the country which they are prone to do quite often. ~ Special to the Newton Daily News, Newton, Iowa Wed 7 Jun 2011.

Transcriber note: The date of this special might be 2010-the last part of the date is torn off.


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