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Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, April 18, 2007

OBITUARY ~ IMOGENE FLORENCE (VIRDEN) SLEZAK

Imogene Florence VIRDEN SLEZAK died March 31, 2007 at Osceola Nursing and Rehab Center. She was 85. Funeral services were April 3 at the United Methodist church in Osceola with burial following next to her beloved husband, Frank, at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Des Moines.

She was born February 1, 1922, to Rollie Alvin and Gladys CREVELING VIRDEN at Kellerton where she joined two older brothers, R. Francis and Kenneth D. VIRDEN. Another girl, AnnaBelle, was born later.

Mrs. SLEZAK graduated from Kellerton high school in 1939 and began teaching country school in 1940 at Shady Grove (Lotts Creek No. 6). She retired in 1984 from Carlisle school. Directly out of high school at 17, she had to do something until she reached 18 so she worked at the local telephone office that year for a salary of $16 per month. She was able to teach as she had graduated with a Normal Training degree from high school. When it was necessary to renew her certificate, she took summer classes at Simpson College while teaching in the winter, taking 13 years to receive her bachelor of science degree. She took courses to improve her teaching at Drake University until she had 30 more credit hours.

She was 18 years old and single when she began teaching. She walked a mile and a half to her school on a dirt road, pas a cave where Bonnie PARKER and "Pretty Boy Floyd" hid out. She taught in a one-room school with no electricity, no plumbing, no telephone and had a wood or coal burning stove. She had 12 to 14 students, taught all eight grades and did all of the janitorial work. She received $50 per month, $450 per year to stretch over 12 months. The check had to be picked up at the secretary's home and taken to the president of the board to be signed each month if she wanted her money.

She married Frank Mike SLEZAK on March 28, 1944 while he was home on furlough. They lived together for 53 years until he died at their apartment in Indianola on November 2, 1997

Mrs. SLEZAK belonged to various organizations and clubs when she was able. She was active in the Osceola United Methodist Church, American Legion Auxiliary, PEO, Retired Teachers and other groups.

She had a lifelong love for the arts, including drawing, painting and writing poetry which she thoroughly enjoyed. Her natural creative talents came easy to her and were shared with all who knew her. She would get up in the middle of the night to write a line that had suddenly popped into her mind.

Mrs. SLEZAK had developed a deep faith in God, always believing in and attesting her love for Christ. She lived her life as a child of God, setting an example for her extended family and her many friends.

She is preceded in death by her husband Frank; her parents; older brothers, Francis and his wife Fornola and Kenneth and his wife Peggy; brothers-in-law, Owen WEBB, Garland MARTIN and Edward SLUSHER; two nieces and one nephew.

She is survived by one sister, AnnaBelle SLUSHER of Salida, Colorado plus numerous nieces and nephews who were like the children she never had.

Mrs. SLEZAK will be greatly missed by her special lifelong friend, Alice POTTER, niece Sandy CAMPBELL and nephew Kurt and Clara CAMPBELL who have been there through many of her serious health problems during the past 10 years.

Memorial Contributions may be made to Hospice of Central Iowa in Mount Ayr.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, August of 2012

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