Category: Milestones

Making the Grade – January 16, 2019

Hawkeye Community College
Named to the Dean’s List for the Fall 2018 semester:
Brandon: Courtney Roster, Nicole Venneman
Buckingham: Olivia Sebetka
Dysart: Nicole Barker, Erica Butterfield, Billie Van Egmond
Garrison: Nicolas Vogeler
Gilbertville: Nicholas Macmahon, Kyle Bovy, Kyle Zahn
La Porte City: Katelynn Adams, Chelsea Beahr, Brandt Becker, Rayna Breitbach, Jordan Daniels, Taryn Davis, Isabel Dedrick, Maggie Driscol, William Fratzke, Daniel Jenkins, Ethan Kayser, Autumn Kies, Andee Mentel, Wesley Powell, Carly Sparks
Wartburg College
Fall Semester 2018 Dean’s List:
Dysart: Trevor Krug, Weston Krug
La Porte City: Kassie Hennings, Amber Rottinghaus
Iowa State University
Fall 2018 Iowa State University graduates include:
Ankeny: Marc Stayner, BS-Industrial Technology, Cum Laude
Dysart: Kristen Lowe, BS-Agriculture and Society and Public Relations, Summa Cum Laude

Mariellyn Runyan

Mariellyn Runyan, age 95, of La Porte City, died Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at La Porte City Specialty Care.
She was born March 5, 1923 in Cedar Rapids, the daughter of Harold O. and Frances W. (Black) Thune. Mariellyn graduated from Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School and earned a Bachelor’s degree from Upper Iowa University. She was united in marriage with Donald L. Runyan on March 1, 1944 in La Porte City. He preceded her in death on February 25, 2003.
Mariellyn taught mathematics, Spanish and computer sciences at La Porte City High School for 30 years. She was a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church in La Porte City. Mariellyn and Don enjoyed many summers of retirement with family and friends fishing at Lake Ida, Minnesota.
Survivors include a son, David (Sue) Runyan of Cresco; four daughters, Judy (Duane) Robinson of Earlville, Sharon (Jud) Anton of Jesup, Marleen (Tim) Darnell of Le Claire and Debra (Donald) Huck of Jesup; 16 grandchildren; 37 great grandchildren and one more on the way; a brother, Tom (Gloria) Thune of Cedar Rapids; a sister-in-law, Janet Thune of Scottsdale, AZ and a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Ted and Dorothy Runyan of Ft. Collins, CO.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; a granddaughter, Laura S. Kayser; a sister, Betty Joy Atchison and a brother, Robert Thune.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, January 14, 2019 at St. Paul United Methodist Church, 501 Sycamore Street in La Porte City, with burial in West View Cemetery. Public visitation will be held from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Sunday, January 13, 2019 at La Porte City Funeral Home, 606 E. Main St., La Porte City and an hour prior to the services on Monday at the Church.
Memorials may be directed to Cedar Valley Hospice, PO Box 2880, Waterloo, IA 50703; Union Schools Dollars for Scholars, 200 Adams St., La Porte City, IA 50651 or St. Paul United Methodist Church, 501 Sycamore St., La Porte City, IA 50651.
Condolences may be expressed at

Jacob and Caitlan Reineke

At a ceremony held at the Hartman Reserve Nature Center on September 22, 2018, Caitlan Schoenberger and Jacob Reineke affirmed their wedding vows.
Parents of the couple are Mike and Jane Whittlesey of La Porte City and Ben and Jenny Reineke of Luzerne.
Maid of Honor was Amanda Akers, friend of the bride. Bridesmaids were Destiny Dunning, friend of the couple and Jacey Reineke, sister of the groom.
Best Man was Lance Weeda, friend of the groom. Groomsmen were Jordan and Jeremy Reineke, brothers of the groom.
The bride is an emergency dispatcher for Tama County. The groom works for the Iowa State Patrol, also as an emergency dispatcher. They live in Belle Plaine.

Phyllis Claire Foster

Phyllis Claire Foster, 92, of La Porte City died on December 31, 2018 at La Porte City Specialty Care.
She was born on May 12, 1926 in La Porte City, the daughter of Shannon Luvern and Marian Ester Kline Davis. Phyllis graduated from La Porte City High School in 1944.
She married Donald E. Foster on October 5, 1946 in La Porte City; he preceded her in death on May 18, 2006.
Phyllis was a homemaker and had also worked for LPC Veterinary Clinic and as a grocery store clerk. She was a member of the La Porte City Country Club and was an avid golfer. She also loved to fish and took many fishing trips to Minnesota and Canada.
Survivors include a son, Claire (Joan) Foster of La Porte City; a daughter, Barbara (Kenneth) Wittmayer of Cedar Falls; eight grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; two sisters, Leslie (Leonard) Mullinex of Mt. Auburn and Ruth (Chad) Howrey of Pinetop, AZ.
Phyllis was preceded in death by her husband, Donald; a daughter, Diane Runyan; and siblings, Joann Grove, Mary Weich, Sharon Timson, and Shannon “Pudge” Davis.
“She did it her way.”
Memorials may be directed to Cedar Valley Hospice: 2101 Kimball Ave # 401, Waterloo, IA 50702.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date, with burial in Westview Cemetery, La Porte City.
Online condolences may be left at

Michael L. “Mike” Schmitz

Michael L. “Mike” Schmitz, 74, of La Porte City, died Tuesday, December 25, 2018 at UnityPoint Health Allen Hospital from complications of a stroke. He was born October 25, 1944 in Waterloo the son of Louis W. and Berniece E. Delagardelle Schmitz.
Mike married Carolyn Lewis on September 18, 1965 at Immaculate Conception Church in Gilbertville.
He worked as a large equipment operator at John Deere Co. for 17 years and owned and operated La Porte Performance Specialties.
Mike is survived by his wife, Carolyn of La Porte City; one son, Chris (Julie) Schmitz of La Porte City; one daughter, Carrie (Shane) Neil of La Porte City; five grandchildren, Dylan Schmitz, Nicole (Mitchell) Dierks, Jordan Schmitz, Paige (Tucker) Johnson, Vince Neil; one great grandson, Karsen Neil; four brothers, Pete (Linda) Schmitz of La Porte City, Pat (Paulette) Schmitz of Delaware, Arkansas, Joe Schmitz of Gilbertville, Robert Schmitz of Brooklyn and two sisters, Margaret (Charlie) Falk of Naples, Florida, Mary Sue (John) Murray of Osage.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
A Celebration of Life Service was held December 31, 2018, with inurnment to be held at a later date in the Maplewood Cemetery in Vinton.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family, where a memorial fund will be established.
Mike loved working in the shop, watching westerns, and spending time with his grandchildren and great grandson. He was a lifelong drag racer, winning multiple championships in many classes and longtime member of the Ozark Mountain Super Shifters.
Online condolences may be left at


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