Monday, August 29, 2011

George Richard Mincks, 1924-2011

The Seymour Herald- 25 August 2011
  George Richard Mincks, 87, passed away peace-fully to be with the Lord Tuesday, August 16, 2011, at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines following a tractor accident.
  Richard was born in Jerome, Iowa to George and Ida (Morrison) Mincks, April 24, 1924.  In 1943 he graduated from Seymour High School and was united in marriage to Genevieve Catherine Rash. To this union two children were born: Mary Catherine and Steven Richard.
George Richard Mincks
  Richard lived his entire life in the Jerome-Seymour area pursuing his desired profession of farming. He served as a Monroe Township Trustee, a member of the Wayne County Fair Board, and a leader of the Walnut-Monroe Lone Tree 4-H Club. He was a long-time member of the United Methodist Church where he held numerous positions and enjoyed singing in the choir. He also enjoyed singing with the Coal Miners Choir.
  He is survived by his daughter Mary Catherine (Gary) Couchman of Bella Vista, Arkansas and son Steven Richard Mincks and Bill Williams of Seymour; grandchildren Duane of Urbandale and Troy (Melanie) of Bella Vista, Arkansas; great-grandson Keith of Bella Vista, Arkansas; brother William (Donna) Mincks of Cedar Falls, Iowa; and sister-in-law Deloris Darrah of Seymour, Iowa. He leaves many loving nieces, nephews, friends and neighbors.
  His loving wife Genevieve, sister-in-law Rowena Robinson and brothers-in-law Don Robinson and Eugene Darrah, preceded him in death.
  Funeral services were held Monday, August 22 at the Seymour United Methodist Church with Reverend Mike Finn officiating.
  Pianist was Mary Parker and vocalists were the United Methodist Church Choir and Milton Albertson.
  Musical selections were “The Lord’s Prayer,” “My God and I,” “Amazing Grace,” and “Hard to Say Good-Bye.”
  Bearers were Keith Couchman, Josh Wells, Todd Rider, Todd Robinson, Nathan Wells, and Nolan Wells.
  Interment was in Southlawn Cemetery.
  In lieu of flowers memorial gifts may be given to the Seymour United Methodist Church.
  Picture of George Richard Mincks is from the Obituaries Section of the Daily Iowegian website posted on 19 August 2011.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Dorothy Nadine Stagner Ervin, 1921-2011

Centerville, Iowa
  Dorothy Ervin, age 90 of Centerville, Iowa died Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at Mercy Medical Center, Centerville, Iowa.
  Dorothy was born July 12, 1921 in Centerville, Iowa, the daughter of Clarence and Ila (Patterson) Stagner. She grew up in Centerville and attended local schools. Dorothy married Paul Ervin on December 24, 1938 in Bloomfield, Iowa. He preceded her in death in July of 2001.
  She was a post mistress with the Jerome Post Office from 1952-1955. Following her tenure with the post office, Dorothy continued to help support her family’s farm as a farm wife. In 1971, Dorothy and Paul sold the family farm and at that time, she made the medical field her main source of income as a nurse’s aide.
  Dorothy worked as a nurse’s aide for the Golden Age Care Center in Centerville for a short period before beginning her employment with Mercy Medical Center. She was employed with Mercy for thirteen years.
  Following her retirement, Dorothy ran a flea market, along with supporting the family ambulance service.
  She was a member of the Drake Avenue Christian Church in Centerville for many years. Furthermore, Dorothy ran the prayer chain for the church for ten years.
  She is survived by her four children, Don (Karen) Ervin of Fort Dodge, Iowa, Max (Mary) Ervin of Centerville, Iowa, Bob (Connie) Ervin of Indianola, Iowa, and Jim (Cheryl) Ervin of Huxley, Iowa; thirteen grandchildren; twelve great grandchildren; and two half brothers, Delbert Davis of Des Moines, Iowa and Don Davis of Arkansas.
  Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Paul Ervin; a brother Keith Stagner; and a half sister Evelyn McKelvogue.
  Graveside funeral services will be held 11 AM, Friday, August 12, 2011 at the Jerome Cemetery in Jerome with Pastor Carl Heien officiating. A visitation will be held on Thursday at Lange Funeral Home in Centerville from 12PM-8 PM, with the family present from 6-8 PM. Memorials have been established to either the Mercy Medical Center Foundation or the Centerville American Legion- Post # 214 and may be left at Lange Funeral Home, 1900 S. 18th St., Centerville, Iowa, 52544. Condolences may be shared online at

Dorothy and Paul Ervin's Gravestone
in the Jerome Cemetery
  The editor appreciates the contribution of the above updated gravestone picture by Jimmy Ervin of Centerville, Iowa.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Ethel Jones Lira, 1927-2011

4 August 2011
  Ethel Lira, age 84 of Numa, Iowa passed away July 31, 2011 at the Centerville Nursing and Rehab Center in Centerville, Iowa.
Ethel was born March 9, 1927 in Centerville, Iowa, the daughter of Guy and Bessie (Sage) Jones. She grew up in Numa, Iowa and graduated from Numa High School. Ethel later married Ronnie P. Lira on March 9, 1947 in Numa. He preceded her in death on April 12, 1992.
  She was very active throughout her lifetime, both in social organizations, as well as in numerous fields of employment. Ethel had short tenures of employment with both Centerville National Bank and Swift & Company.
Ethel worked with the Iowa State Employment Service (Iowa Workforce Development) from 1952-1993. In fact, she was the first woman to service five counties on a regular basis: Appanoose, Wayne, Davis, Monroe, and Lucas.
  She spent many years writing a weekly column and special interest events for the Centerville Daily Iowegian.
Ethel also owned and operated a bookkeeping business from her home from 1955- 2005.
  She was very active in the community throughout her life. Ethel was a member of DAR-Daughters of the American Revolution, the Appanoose County Historical Society, and the Appanoose County Genealogy Society. She was also a member of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Centerville.
  Ethel is survived by her two grandchildren, Lee Lira of Dallas Center Grimes, Iowa and Amber (Raymond) Houser of Elkhart, Iowa; a brother Carl L. Jones of Bettendorf, Iowa; and two great grandchildren, Bryce Michael Houser and Kaitlyn Joy Houser both of Elkhart, Iowa; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
  She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Ronnie P. Lira; a son Ron Lira; a sister Janice Kay Grenko; a stillborn baby John Phillip Lira in 1948; and many friends.
  Funeral services will be held 10 AM, Friday, August 5, 2011 at Lange Funeral Home in Centerville, Iowa with Father Dennis Schaab officiating. Burial will follow in the Numa Cemetery. A visitation will be held on Thursday at Lange Funeral Home from 3-7 PM, with the family present from 5-7 PM. Memorials have been established to the Appanoose County Historical Society and may be left at or mailed to Lange Funeral Home, 1900 S. 18th St., Centerville, Iowa, 52544. Condolences may be left online at

Skylar McElvain Honored

The Seymour Herald – 28 July 2011
  Skylar McElvain, a SCHS graduate and freshman in the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department at Iowa State University, was selected to receive the Wessman Scholarship for the 2011-2012 school year. The Wessman Scholarship was established through the estate of John and Helen Wessman. Mr. Wessman was a 1941 Agricultural Engineering graduate of Iowa State. The scholarship is based on scholastic accomplishments and aptitude.
  McElvain will be recognized at the department’s Parent/Student Banquet in April 2012. The Iowa State University Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department, which was the first Ag Engineering Department in the nation, celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2005 and offers degrees in Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural Systems Technology, and Industrial Technology. To learn more, visit
  He is the son of James and Melinda McElvain.
Posted 17 April 2009
Scholar of the Week: Skylar McElvain
  SEYMOUR, IOWA -- Skylar McElvain of Seymour High School has an interest in agriculture, theatre, and even baseball. And he is actively involved in his community.
  "Well I like being in a small school because you...know everybody and I think you get a better education because you can work with the teachers better," said Skylar.
  He received top honors at state level for an expository address, and he has also performed on his high school stage.
  "The one was about a kidnapping," said Skylar, "where the child they kidnap for ransom, the kidnappers actually get driven crazy and actually pay to get rid of her!"    
  His post-graduation life is set...and awaiting him.
  "Yeah, I'm planning to go to Indian Hills, enrolled in the Arts & Sciences program and then I plan to transfer to Iowa State, and get a degree in Agricultural Engineering," said Skylar.
  "Skylar is an excellent student," said Agriculture Science Teacher, Stephanie Lukavsky. "He's very self-driven, always wants to do a good job. But when he needs help, then he will ask for it, so that's always good in a student."
  Skylar also has advice for those students working to achieve academic and personal success.
  "Pay attention in class...and do the work, and that’s all you really need to do. And then the rest will just come to you," said Skylar.
  "I could definitely see him pursuing something with the Ag business side of things because he is really good in school and with numbers...I think he will be very successful," added Lukavsky.