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Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, August 14, 2003

OBITUARY ~ BERTHA ISABELLE MIDGORDON

Bertha Isabelle MIDGORDEN was born on February 21, 1916 in Lamoni, Iowa on her parents' second wedding anniversary. She was the first born of Orville H. and Elnora (ANDERSON) MIDGORDEN, and was named after her maternal and paternal grandmothers. She passed away at the Lamoni Nursing and Rehab Center in Lamoni on August 11, 2003.

She grew up in the family home on North Silver Street in Lamoni and was educated in the Lamoni elementary and high schools. She graduated from Graceland College where she majored in elementary teaching and vocal music. She graduated from Graceland in May of 1937 and later received her bachelor of arts degree from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Bertha's first six years of teaching were in the Kent, Lorimor and Charter Oak, Iowa schools. In 1942 she found employment with the Mount Ayr, Iowa school system, where she spent the rest of her teaching career. She taught for 36 years in Mount Ayr, teaching first in the elementary school and later in the vocal music department. She assisted with music and teaching children in the Community of Christ Church (then RLDS) in Mount Ayr and with the music programs of the Methodist Church in that city. She was baptized at age eight into the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and remained a faithful member of that organization until her death.

Due to hearing loss, she found it necessary to retire from teaching in the spring of 1978 at age 62 and returned to Lamoni to reside in the family home, where she lived until the fall of 2001.

Organizations that she belonged to were: American Association of University Women, Business and Professional Womens Organization, Iowa State Educational Association and National Education Association (NEA), Retired Teachers Association, Iowa Reading Organization Book Club in Mount Ayr and Tuesday Club and Queridas Amigas Club in Lamoni. She was at one time the president of the Iowa Southwestern Teachers Association.

She was a dedicated teacher and tried to make every day count for herself and for her students. She spent long hours each day getting ready for class, arriving early at school and remaining late after classes ended. After retirement, these same principles guided her life, making detailed plans for the day and trying to make every day count, even when severe sight and hearing problems made every day a challenge.

Until her last few years and the decline of her eyesight, she enjoyed gardening, reading and handcraft. She always remembered her friends, and relatives with gifts, greeting cards and letters on special occasions. Just prior to her death she was still receiving about 100 Christmas greeting cards from friends, relatives and former students.

She will be lovingly remembered by family and friends for her wry wit, her ability to laugh, her courage and cheerfulness, even in the fact of severe physical handicaps, and most of all for her unconditional love and support.

Bertha was preceded in death by her parents; her sister Frances JOHNSON and brother-in-law Ray JOHNSON.

She is survived by one sister Martha Anne SHAW and husband James of Lamoni and six nieces and nephews and seven great-nieces and nephews. These include Eric JOHNSON and family of Des Moines, Craig SHAW and family of Leawood, Kansas, Stephanie SHAW and family of Hudson, Wisconsin, George SHAW and family of Blue Springs, Missouri, Christi WALKOWIAK and family of Savage, Minnesota and Dana MIDBY and family of Hudson, Wisconsin.

Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, August 16, 2003 at the Slade-O'Donnell Funeral Home in Lamoni. Visitation is Saturday prior to the service.

Memorials may be give to the Mount Ayr public school vocal music program or the Lamoni Community of Christ choir fund.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, August of 2012

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