EDNA SHIRLEY SWEENEY
Edna Shirley Sweeney, daughter of Charles William and Blanche Lucille (Vangorp) Lehmkuhl, was born November 22, 1924 in Percy, Iowa. Shirley graduated from Mitchellville High School in 1942.
Shirley had an adventurous spirit about her that her grandchildren think she passed onto them by listening to her stories; whether riding her pony to country school; driving her aunt and uncle to Chicago as a young teenager; quitting her Des Moines office job to help put the crops in on the farm; or moving to Los Angeles to work during World War II.
On June 12, 1948, she married Hal Sweeney at her parent’s farm home in rural Mitchellville. Shirley and Hal lived their first years of married life on the Sweeney family farm of rural Runnells. In 1957, they bought and moved to a farm near Truro, Iowa where they raised their family. In 1999, they retired and built a home in Mount Ayr.
Shirley enjoyed meeting new friends, as she always kept faithful to her old friends. She was so happy to join a bridge club and antique club in Mount Ayr, and loved being hostess.
Shirley was a wonderful homemaker and a loving and supportive farm wife. She was always very resourceful! She did what was needed to be done with what she had. She perfected being a wonderful cook, canner, seamstress, decorator, gardener, and hostess. She also loved socializing and having fun after the work was done.
Shirley also enjoyed many years of buying, restoring, and selling antiques. Her knowledge of antiques has been shared and passed on to many family members and friends.
She was a member of the Altoona Christian Church and attended the Mount Ayr First Christian Church the past 17 years.
Family was so important to Shirley! She loved her cousins she grew up with, and her and Hal’s nieces and nephews who came for visits. She loved having the grandkids come to the farm. Shirley loved playing cards and games and was quite competitive. She had an attic full of “treasures” for kids and enjoyed children’s plays and dress-up.
Shirley was very proud and enthusiastic of her and Hal’s heritage; especially her Dutch ancestry. Her great great Vangorp grandparents were original settlers of Pella, IA, coming over from Holland on their honeymoon in 1849.
Shirley passed away at Clearview Home in Mount Ayr on August 9, 2016.
Survivors include her children Becky Jones of Winterset, Brad (Quendy) Sweeney of Truro, and Julie (Joe) Routh of Mount Ayr; grandchildren Gretchen (Mike) Heffernan, Shannon Sweeney, Kelli Sweeney, Nathan (Courtney) Sweeney, Katie (Logan) Porter, Tricia (Jeff) Uitermarkt, Matt (Katie) Routh; great grandchildren Eddie and Ayla Heffernan, Devon and Blake Beener, Tannah, Kyla, Madeline Sweeney, Raylan Hal Porter, Decker, Grady, and Ruby Uitermarkt, Claire, Nash and Libby Routh; step-grandchildren Joey and Josh Whitney; brother Bill Lehmkuhl; sister-in-law Marilyn Sweeney; host of relatives and friends.
Shirley was preceded in death by her parents; husband Hal Sweeney; parents-in-law Earl and Mildred Sweeney; sisters-in-law Priscilla Lehmkuhl, Dorothy Martin, Jean Kirschner, Libby Carroll, Emma Sweeney, Jewel Sweeney, and Betty Sweeney; brothers-in-law Herb Sweeney, Dan Sweeney, Dave Sweeney, Jim Sweeney, Al Martin, Hans Kirschner, and Kenneth Carroll.
Services were held at the Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr, Iowa on Sunday, August 14, 2016 at 2 p.m. with Pastor Bill Armstrong officiating and Annette, Joe, Jim Sweeney and Patty Parrish providing the music.
Casketbearers were Bill Sweeney, Matt Routh, Ed Craig, Dave Sweeney, Jeff Uitermarkt, Joe Warin, Shane Sweeney, Logan Porter, Scott Freeman and Mike Heffernan. Honorary pallbearers were Mark Lehmkuhl, Wayne Fitkins, Arlan Dopp, Harry Junior Cornelius and Kenneth Lehmkuhl.
The final resting place is at the Altoona Cemetery, Altoona, Iowa. A memorial fund has been established to the First Christian Church of Mount Ayr, Iowa.