Category: Milestones

Making the Grade – January 22, 2020

Hawkeye Community College
2019 Fall Term Dean’s List:
Dysart: Emma Alpers, Allie Carty, Mason Kelling, Lauren Peters, Keegan Rohlfsen, Kayla Schakel, Jessica Schellhorn
Gilbertville: Kayhil Schmit, Leah Schmitz, Lauren Weber
La Porte City: Xavier Batchelder, Chelsea Beahr, Alexandra Bonner, Alyssa Frost, Amy Grimstad, Payge Hames, Mary Jenkins, Maci McLaughlin, Kinsie Murley, Kaleb Roach, Nolan Wandschneider, Charles Weltzin
Mount Auburn: Allissa Hendryx
Hawkeye Community College
2019 Fall Graduates:
Dysart – Nicole Barker, Business Administration, High Honors; Madyson Hill, Early Childhood Education; Mason Kelling, Digital Mass Media, with Honors; Jessica Schellhorn, Associate Degree Nursing
Gilbertville – Leah Schmitz, Liberal Arts, High Honors
La Porte City – Rayna Breitbach, Practical Nursing, with Honors; Holly Carter, Business Administration; Nathan LeRoy, CNC Machine Operator; Andee Mentel, Early Childhood Education; Dayton Powell, Associate Degree Nursing; Amanda Schotzer, Liberal Arts; Charles Weltzin, Welding, with Honors
Iowa State University
2019 December Graduates:
Brandon: Sarah VanDeWalle, BS, Animal Science, Summa Cum Laude
Buckingham: Grant Mullen, BS, Computer Engineering, Cum Laude
Dysart: Macy Krug, MS, Seed Technology and Business

Avis M. Acton

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 under Obituaries.

Deborah Ann Hamer

Deborah Ann Hamer (Williams) died in the comfort of her home, surrounded by loved ones, on January 3, 2020 in Kingsland, GA after a hard fought battle with cancer at the age of 57.
Deborah is survived by her parents, Ken and Ann Hamer of Kingsland, GA; husband Jack Williams of Kingsland, GA; daughters Elisha (Mark) Palmer of La Porte City, Brianna (Luke) Gilles of Waterloo, Hillary (Ryan) Watson of St. Marys, GA; stepdaughter Jennifer (Joshua) Bonnewell, stepson Chris (Mandi and Oliver) Williams; sisters Jeanne (Mike) Spegal of Kingsland, GA, Tara (Barry) Grimm of Dysart, brother Greg (Missy) Hamer of Angola, IN; grandchildren Hunter, Gracie, Evie, Joey, Henry, Maverick, Tucker and Nash; best friend Beverly Rabideau; and many beloved nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
She is preceded in death by maternal grandparents John and Luella Bergmeier; paternal grandparents Merle and Irene Hamer; and grandson Knox Owen Palmer.
As a daughter, sister, mother, wife, friend, aunt and Nana, she had a creative soul and a gift to make those around her see life in a different and beautiful way. She was an accomplished entrepreneur and owner of a bookkeeping and tax office as an enrolled IRS Agent. She also had a passion for real estate and became a Realtor and HUD representative.
A service was held on January 7th at New Hope Baptist Church. Per her wishes, she wanted donations made to the Knox Blocks Foundation, a foundation created in honor of her grandson Knox ( or P.O. Box 291 Cedar Falls, IA 50613).
Coastal Camden Funeral Home in Kingsland, Ga. was entrusted with Mrs. Hamer’s arrangements.

Carroll W. Allsup

Carroll W. Allsup, 71, of La Porte City, died Monday, December 23, 2019 at his home of cancer. He was born December 22, 1948 in Knoxville the son of Ray and Edna Cowman Monteith. He was a 1968 graduate of La Porte City High School.
He worked as an auto technician for Clark Chevrolet for 40 years and retired from Witham Auto Center after 5 years.
Carroll was a member of the La Porte City American Legion U.S.S. San Diego Post #207. He served in the U.S. Army MP during the Vietnam Era.
He is survived by one son, Eric Allsup of La Porte City; one brother, Keith Allsup of La Porte City and one sister, Florence Monteith of La Porte City.
Preceding him in death were his parents.
Graveside inurnment will be at a later date in the West View Cemetery in La Porte City.
Memorials may be directed to La Porte City American Legion Post #207.
Online condolences may be left at


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