Margaret Bertha Pirtle February 4, 1918 – November 17, 2009

  Margaret Bertha Pirtle, daughter of Garrett Robert and Johanna Marie (Peterson) Poortinga, was born February 4, 1918 at Newton, Iowa. She graduated from Osceola high school. Margaret married Cleo Gracey and to this marriage one daughter, Johanna, was born. Margaret would later marry John Pirtle, Sr. and to this marriage three children were born, Garrett, John, Jr. and Cindy. 

Margaret worked outside the home over the years. She worked for a lawyer in Osceola; owned and operated custodial homes in Jefferson, Iowa and was a cook at the Clearfield school for several years before working as a mental health worker in Clarinda. After retiring, Margaret went to California to care for her brother, Vern.

Margaret was a caring person who loved her sports. The Saint Louis Cardinals and Denver Broncos were her favorite teams. Margaret was a member of the United Methodist Church in Clearfield. She moved into the Clearview Home in Clearfield in 2001 and it was there that she passed away on November 17, 2009. 

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, John Pirtle, Sr. in November 1976; daughters, Jo and Cindy; a granddaughter, Andrea Hargin, and two brothers, Vern and Bud Poortinga.

Survivors include her sons, Gary (Robin) Pirtle of Clarinda, Iowa and John (Janis) Pirtle, Jr. of Clearfield, Iowa; son-in-law, Mike Simmerman of Colorado Springs, Colorado; grandchildren, Tim (Angela) Simmerman, Casey (Mara) Simmerman, Kelly (Steve) Duree, Darby Simmerman, Jason (Michelle) Walton, Clinton Pirtle, Corey (Jamie) Pirtle, Lindsey Pirtle, Erika Pirtle, Erin Pirtle and Danielle (Nick) Gray; stepgrandchildren, Laine Gray, Breana Gray, Kennedy Gray, Dawn Pullen and Kisha Wagoner; great-grandchildren, Jacob Simmerman, Garrett and McGregor Duree, Mica Simmerman, Kyle, Conner, Zach, Ethan and Devon Pirtle and Laxi Gray; four stepgreat-grandchildren; two nieces who Margaret helped raise, Patty Martin of Iowa City, Iowa and Donna Kottom of Minnesota; brother, Ted Poortinga of Escondido, California; sisters-in-law, Peggy Poortinga of Joshua Tree, California and Shirley (Floyd) Collins of Leon, Iowa, and other relatives and friends.

Services were conducted at the Christian church in Clearfield on Saturday, November 21, 2009, with Rev. Alan Rusk officiating. Musicians were Patty Parrish, Terry Roberts and Deb Briggs.

Casket bearers included Kim Brown, Jeani Swartwood, Susie Fletchall, Carrie Baker, April Curtis and Christina Roberts.

Honorary pallbearers were Gary Pirtle, John Pirtle, Jr., Tim Simmerman, Casey Simmerman, Jason Walton, Clinton Pirtle, Corey Pirtle and Kenny Nelson.

Margaret was laid at rest in the Clearfield cemetery, Clearfield.

A memorial fund has been established in her name to be decided later. Arrangements were by Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Clearfield, Iowa.

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