Posts Tagged: probit

Probituary: A notice of life! Imogene Macal

Imogene Macal – Interviewed by Inspire(d)’s Benji Nichols • Originally published in the Winter 2018-19 Inspire(d)

Imogene (Moellers) Macal grew up on Silver Spring dairy farm just outside of Ossian, Iowa. She and her three siblings went to school and church at St. Francis de Sales in Ossian, and graduated high school in 1944. Imogene worked full time at Klisert’s store in Ossian, and then in Waterloo for a year before coming back to the Decorah area and marrying her husband Roy. The couple, from their young years on, loved to dance at local dances and ballrooms like the Inwood in Spillville, and Matter’s Ballroom near Decorah.

It wasn’t until they were raising their family of five kids (Lynn, Christy, Marlene, Joe, and Mary) in Decorah, with Roy driving a fuel truck, that Imogene started working in the kitchen of St. Benedict’s School – a job that she would hold for decades.

“We fed anywhere from 200-300 kids when I started, and I did much of the baking and such,” says Imogene. Many St. Bens students fondly remember her from lunchtime, and she says the job “was just ideal” for her.

Later in life, Imogene took up several varieties of needlework (including Hardanger embroidery) volunteering at St. Benedict’s Church in Decorah, and playing bridge twice a month. Her bridge group began with eight friends rounded up by Jo Tierney, who had a book on how to play. Regular phone calls to Jo’s sister in Oklahoma during games for advice helped the group keep playing! Imogene’s late husband, Roy, also worked at ACE Hardware for 13 years where he was well known to customers, and the couple were regulars at dances across the region.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I grew up on a dairy farm, and delivered bottled milk with my Uncle. Later I enjoyed working at Klisert’s in Ossian, but I knew I always wanted to have a family.

What do/did you do?

I met Roy at a dance at the Inwood Ballroom – although we had gone to high school together. After we were married, we had five kids, and I worked at St. Benedict’s school in the kitchen – I was there for over 40 years.

Try to describe yourself in one sentence.

“We loved to dance – I think I wore out quite a few shoes dancing!”

If you could eat anything every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

We always had a big garden, and my Mom was a great cook – we grew everything we ate, and meals were always meat, potatoes, but also some type of vegetable – and a homemade desert! We always had a homemade pie, or cookies, or a cake.

Multiple choice: tell us about…

Your wedding day.

Roy and I got engaged on Easter Sunday, we were invited to a friend’s for Easter dinner. Roy gave me a ride home, and gave me the ring in the car – I was so thrilled – when I got out I walked the wrong way down the lane! We were married at (St. Francis) de Sales in May of 1948 – we had a reception at the house and then held a dance (of course!) at the Inwood Ballroom after.

Your first job.

I helped my Uncle Arnold (Timp), deliver bottled milk throughout the area, even receiving the nickname of  “Speedy”, while riding on the running boards and running bottles of milk to doorsteps.

Your favorite memory.

We loved to dance, and Spillville (The Inwood) was always a popular spot – as well as Matter’s Ballroom. We spent a lot of Sunday afternoons on the dance floor.

Probituary: Ernest M. Corson

Probituary: Ernest M. Corson, interviewed by daughter Charlene Selbee
Originally published in the Summer 2017 Inspire(d), Ernest passed away August 20, 2017 at the age of 102. Our condolences to Ernest’s family and friends.

Ernest Corson was born to Melvin and Emma Corson on May 29, 1915 on the “Skunk Farm” in Hesper, Iowa. He was joined in later years by his brothers Norman and Manford, and It was during his youth that he first met Charlotte, his wife -to-be, at family get-togethers. The couple would eventually grow their family to 6 kids; Denny, Lynda, Doug, Dalton, Forrest, and Charlene. Ernest graduated from Mabel High School, and attended Normal School in Preston, MN to become a teacher. (? Include?where he was the only boy in the class!)

Enlisting in the Army Air Corps in 1941, he was judged too old to fly planes at the age of 26 so he entered radio school and graduated two days before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He served during WWII at locations throughout Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, including volunteering for the invasion of Attu. He was diverted to the nearby island of Shemya and participated in the building of a top secret Air Force base during extreme arctic conditions. After World War II, Ernest and his brother Norman opened a radio repair shop in Mable, MN before re-enlisting.

Charlotte and Ernest were married Nov. 7, 1946, in Montana. Two deployments to England soon followed, family in tow – where the family spent a total of 6 years. Retiring after 20 years of service in the USAF, they returned to the family farm near Hesper. In 1967 Ernest became the manager for the Mabel Cooperative Telephone Co. where he used his skills to update the regional phone system. He continued to help on the family farm until the age of 93 and joined his wife Charlotte at the Aase Haugen Home in Decorah before their 66 years together came to an end in 2012. A life member of the Mabel Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Mabel, Ernest was surprised as a part of the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight to Washington DC in Arpil 2013. Several members of his family joined him in Washington where they toured the memorials before returning to Eastern Iowa.

1. What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

My dad and mom gave a lot of advice. Like “Don’t hunt anything unless you want to kill it.” Mouse or rat included. Why harm it if is not harming anything. Also, on longevity, “Lots of grass cutting. Don’t use a rototiller. Lots of hoeing by hand. I always had a big garden.” The secret for a long marriage? Always have fun together, and take your kids with you wherever you go.

2. How about the worst?

No bad advice – listen to what people had to say.

3. What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was 6 years old I had a plan, I was interested in being a teacher.

4. What do/did you do?

I had many odd jobs like pin setter at the Mabel bowling alley, and was a 1st – 8th grade teacher after high school. Enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941 and went to radio school. After WWII we ran a radio repair shop in Mabel, was manager at the Mabel Cooperative Telephone Company, and farmer on the Young family farm outside of Hesper.

5. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you?

I’ve been many places – and food and water are the most important things. Water is the most important. People don’t even know how important is. Water is more important than food.

6. If you eat anything every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Good food. My Dad was a sharp shooter and hunter – we always had food on the table from the big garden and good meat!

7. Name one thing you could not live without.

Water. Some people take it for granted but I don’t. No food or water – you won’t live very long. I’ve seen guys who were prisoners of war – in the Sahara Desert 1942, they got home and said water was most important. You can go without food for 2 or 3 days but can’t go very long without water.

8. Multiple choice: tell us about… Your first job.

I taught at South Fork in Fillmore County, MN. All eight grades in a one room school house – an they didn’t complain. Kids had to walk 1 mile to school, but I only walked a ¼ mile. I had to light a fire every morning before school at 9am – we let out at 4pm in time to go home and do chores. Some kids’ parents came from Norway or Germany and spoke no English, but it wasn’t hard to teach English. Spelling was a favorite – they were good at that. Memories include getting to the school in a cutter or sleigh in Winter and snowball fights. The Christmas program – so crowded that parents who came late had to stand. Having an apple or orange for lunch, and playing pump pump pull away outside during recess.

Probituary: Bev (Halverson) Christen

 Interview by friend Elly Lensch

There are a few special people in the world who light up any room or hall they enter with rays of sunshine on a gloomy day. Bev Christen is one of those people. Bev is always so pleasantly positive, you can’t help but love her the instant you meet her. And every time after that, she will remember you and probably make your day by just saying hi with a smile. She does this so successfully because her smile and welcome are authentic. Her life is less about quantity and so much more about quality. What Bev gives back is priceless.

bev christenWhat’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

My grandmother and mother instilled in me some really great advice: work hard (they came from farming backgrounds), do the best job you can, and be kind and considerate to everyone.

How about the worst advice?

Have one more cookie. Have one more roll. See, I like to eat, so that’s probably the worst advice or suggestion anyone could have given to me.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I thought about nursing, but as long back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a secretary.

bev christen on far leftWhat do/did you do?

I got married in 1958 while I was working at the Decorah Superintendent of Schools, and then I was a stay-at-home mom when the kids were small. I lived away from Decorah for 10 years and really enjoyed getting to know all the people and teachers elsewhere, but my husband, Elliott’s, job brought us back to NE Iowa in 1970. I had suggested he take the Waverly job, so I would be able to visit Decorah when the kids were out of school or on breaks, but he took the Decorah job! (Which ended up just fine, it’s just, I didn’t have anywhere to visit then!) Then I got the last and longest job I had, which was 27 years as the front desk secretary at NEIA Behavioral Health. A job I LOVED! I retired in 1999 from that job and have kept going ever since with volunteering, travelling, bridge, and coffee club. (Bev’s the one on the far left in the picture at left.)

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you?

• Good supply of food, water and Diet Coke or Pepsi.

• Television – I do like my television; it’s a good source of entertainment. Nothing specific, but I do like detective shows.

• Some kind of project to do to help someone with something.

Try to describe yourself in one sentence.

If there’s a job to be done, I want it done two weeks ago (that makes me a little OCD I guess).

If you could eat anything every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Something sweet… I like most anything sweet and like to have my sweet in the morning, but I would want to be able to have my sweet every day.

Name one thing you could not live without.

My family, extended included, and my friends.

Recall a favorite memory.

So many good memories, it’s hard to just pick one. I was born in the house on the farm, and was two years old when we moved into town. I’m the middle sister, and am a graduate of the Decorah Class of 1956 (the best class!). I was a cheerleader because I was a busy body who always liked to stay active. I was Homecoming Queen, which I wasn’t happy about that day because I could not cheerlead that game. We had an end-of-August wedding. It was an evening wedding as they all were back then, and had a nice little honeymoon up north of the cities. We have wonderful kids and their spouses, and a great grandson who has brought us a lot of joy and who we got to see because he went to Luther. I love my church and enjoy volunteering there. I am enjoying retirement, bus trips, loved travelling to the East Coast and had the experience of driving to see my previous boss in the fall through the northeastern states. Just beautiful. The best thing that has happened to me overall is the volunteering I do. I volunteer for the Winneshiek Medical Center Auxiliary, the Chamber, and Aase Haugen Homes. To be able to bring joy to other people and fill someone else’s life is priceless. We’re really blessed here in Decorah. Very lucky to be here and have all the activities, attractions, and arts at our disposal. And to have Family Table coffee time. Keep going as long as you can.

Bev’s Words to Live By:

Spend time with those you love.
Cherish your grandparents.
Have fun.
Do what you can for others to the best of your ability.
A smile and hello go a long way.