Skip to content

Bertha May Brown Motsinger December 30, 1931 – October 21, 2011

  Bertha May Brown Motsinger, only daughter of Charles and Susan Winstone Brown, was born December 30, 1931 in Adams county near Corning, Iowa. She attended various schools around Villisca, Iowa and graduated from the Villisca high school with the class of 1950. Bertha attended the Villisca Advent Christian Church.  Following graduation, Bertha was employed by the Villisca Municipal Telephone Company as a telephone operator.

On December 30, 1952, Bertha was united in marriage to Lloyd Eugene Motsinger in the Villisca Advent Christian Church parsonage. Bertha and Gene moved to their home in Redding, Iowa and lived there until Gene went to the army in 1956. Bertha moved to an apartment in Mount Ayr and worked for the P.M. Place Company. Upon Gene’s return to Ringgold county, the couple moved back to the farm near Redding in 1958. 

Bertha was then employed by the Mount Ayr Mutual Telephone and worked for 22 years. Although working as a telephone operator was her preference, times changed and the company became Contel and Bertha became a desk clerk.  She retired in 1993.

Bertha loved the country life and for a period of time even raised goats. Bertha also raised a garden big enough to share the produce with family members. Her favorite dogs were Fred the first, Fred the second not so much and Sapphire.  Bertha loved sharing stories about these dogs and, when she took her last breath, Bertha had a white stuffed dog in her arms, a present from Brittany, Paige and Mollie.

Bertha was known for making the most delicious pies in the world, great cakes and her beautiful crochet work. She loved listening to country music and attended the Redding Country Music Hall whenever she could. Bertha also enjoyed Cowboy Church. Bertha hid no feelings; they always showed on her face. The expression she will be remembered by was her warm and beautiful smile that she readily shared. Visiting with the patrons of the Watterson Store was another happy memory. The couple moved to Mount Ayr in 1962 when Gene started working for the State of Iowa Transportation Department. Bertha worked for Ruth’s Caf??. 

Bertha and Gene had no children of their own. However, there was no less a loving family that was a major part of her life. Gene and his nephew, Bill Stringham, grew up together and remained close to this day. Bill’s children — David, Donna, Billie and Penny — and great-nephews — Ed and Dan Adair — thought of Bertha as their grandmother. Bill’s family has frequent and loving memories of Bertha and was with her at the time of her passing. Bertha and Gene spent 58 wonderful years together. Bertha spent countless pleasant times with nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews and even great-greats. 

Following a year-long illness, Bertha’s wish was granted that she was brought back to Mount Ayr to leave this earth peacefully with family by her side. Bertha passed away October 21, 2011 at the Mount Ayr Health Care Center. 

Bertha was preceded in death by her parents; in-laws, Albert (Pad) and Eunice Motsinger; a half-brother, Wilber Ray Brown, and nieces, Betty Adair and Shirley Holden.

Left to mourn her passing are her devoted husband, Gene of Mount Ayr, Iowa; nephews, Bill Stringham, Allyn Jarred and Roger Motsinger; nieces, Myrna Luko, Beverly Cochran, Sandra Black and Debra Burk; a cousin, Anna (Bob) Lee of Red Oak, Iowa; great-nieces and nephews, and a host of friends.  

Services were conducted at the Kirk Cemetery in Allendale, Missouri on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 with Rev. Edward Shields officiating.

Casket bearers included David Stringham, Mark Spencer, Larry Jarred, Bill Wiederholt, Brad Holden and Edwin Adair.

Burial was in the Kirk Cemetery in Allendale. 

A memorial fund has been established to the Hickory Grove Advent Christian Church. 

Arrangements were through Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr.

Leave a Comment