Avis Marie Acton, age 96, passed away on Saturday, January 4, 2020 at Jersey Ridge Place, Assisted Living Facility in Davenport, Iowa.
She was born on July 25, 1923 in Stark, Kansas. She was the eighth child in a family of nine born to Pearle Mellisa (Kelso) and George Rutter Defenbaugh. After elementary and high school in Stark, she attended Pittsburg State Teachers College where she received her Teaching Certificate, and taught at County School in rural Kansas.
She later worked as a bookkeeper at Stark State Bank, and Commerce Bank in Kansas City, Missouri.
On November 17, 1945, she married Jewell Leon Acton, whom she had known since kindergarten, at Christian Church in Bonner Springs, Kansas. She worked at the Federal Reserve in Omaha, Nebraska, Council Bluff Savings Bank, Waterloo Savings Bank, Wagner Manufacturing Company, and she then helped Jewell open and operate Acton’s Optical Dispensary in Waterloo.
Avis and Jewell were foster parents and she offered day care in her home for several years. She never met a stranger, was always kind, and could have a sincere conversation with anyone at any time, about anything. She genuinely cared about each and every person she came in contact with.
She also loved to “write” to people. She and Jewell each having 8 brothers and sisters, she remembered every birthday, anniversary, and everyone at Christmas with cards and letters. She knew every child’s name and age, of both family and friends.
She loved books and enjoyed reading. She was very enthusiastic about Sequence and other card games with family and friends. She had many a “tea party” with young and not-so-young tea lovers alike. She adored her grandchildren, great grandchildren and everyone else’s grands and greats too!
She was a member of the Cedar Falls Women’s Club. When living in Mission, Texas, she was a volunteer at local schools to read and help teach English to Spanish speaking students. She belonged to the American Lutheran Church while living in La Porte City. She and Jewell were one of the first residents at the Bridges Senior Living, Waterloo, where they lived for several years after moving from La Porte City.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years Jewell; her parents; all of her siblings: sisters Hazel Belle Defenbaugh, Georgia Lee Bowyer, Ferol Louise Dillon, Olive Frances Ruble, and Velma May Huffman; and brothers Fred Kelso Defenbaugh, Herbert Wesley “Son” Defenbaugh and George Robert “Bob” Defenbaugh; and a grandson, Mitchell Dean Shubert.
She is survived by her daughter, Lisa (Kevin) Burington; her son, Bruce (Lori) Acton; grandchildren: Jason Acton, Alyssa Acton, Coy Jackson, Nicklaus Shubert, Christopher (Jessica) Mohr, and Holly Mohr; great grandchildren, Aviana Acton, Roman Jackson, Kruse Mohr, Maverick Mohr, and Sloan Mohr.
A “Celebration of Life” will be held on April 4, 2020 from 12–2 PM at Cedar Falls Women’s Club, 304 Clay Street, Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613.
Memorials in her name may be made to Genesis Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House, 2546 Tech Drive, Bettendorf, Iowa 52722. Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.iowacremation.com under Obituaries.