Betty Larson, 1930 – 2019

Services were held Aug. 10 at First Presbyterian Church in Jefferson for Betty Jeanne Larson, 89, of rural Jefferson.

Words of comfort were offered by commissioned pastor Wendy Pittman of First Presbyterian Church of Jefferson and Pastor Larry Monthei of Hope United Methodist Church of Cooper. Gary Haupert was soloist, accompanied by Cheryl Nailor. Honorary bearers were Jami Szwejk, Leslie Welter, Levi Larson, Lakota Larson, Haily Larson and Autumn Larson.

Casket bearers were Christopher Dela Pole, Grant Custer, Mitchell Larson, Reed Larson, Nick Welter, Jeff Szwejk and Alex Contreras. Interment was  at the Franklin Township Cemetery.

Betty Jeanne Schilling Larson was born March 17, 1930, at Jamaica, IA. She was one of five children born to Grace (Harvey) and Dewey Schilling. Betty grew up in Franklin Township and graduated from Cooper High School in 1948. She attended Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls for one year.

On Jan. 29, 1950, Betty was united in marriage to Duane Harold Larson. Betty and Duane raised their family and farmed in Franklin Township where they produced corn, soybeans, hay, cattle and hogs. From 1967 to 1971, Betty and Duane participated in an American / Japanese agricultural program which linked them to four young Japanese men, all students of agriculture, who lived with the Larson family for nearly one year each. In later years, Betty and Duane visited all four men and their families in their respective homes in Japan. To this day, the Larsons remain in contact with Shigenobu Miyauchi of Kochi-Ken, Japan.

Betty served as a girls 4-H leader for several years and taught Sunday school at the Jefferson Methodist Church. She worked at Virginia’s Clothing Store in Perry for a few years, then worked for many years as a travel agent for Fun Travel of Jefferson, and led trips and tours throughout the United States and abroad.

Betty was a member of the Iowa Supreme Court Grievance Commission for nine years. She served on the Greene County Farm Service (FSA) board, was an ombudsman at Regency Park Nursing and Rehab in Jefferson, and served as co-chair of the Greene County Farm Bureau women’s committee. She was an avid reader and believed in being an active participant of the political process.

Betty Larson died Aug. 3, 2019, in Jefferson. She was preceded in death by her husband Duane, who died Jan. 31, 2017; her parents; brother Dewey Schilling, Jr; and sisters Frances Safley and Bonnie Blaugh.

She is survived by four children: daughter Lin Pole and son-in-law John of Birchwood, WI, daughter Laine Custer and son-in-law Tom, son Lindsey Larson and daughter-in-law Debra, and son Loel Larson and daughter-in-law Sandy, all of Jefferson; sister Bea Freeman of Jefferson; eight grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Memorials are suggested to Genesis Development or Greene County Medical Center both in Jefferson. Services by Slininger-Schroeder Funeral Home, Jefferson

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