Archive for July, 2010

Langs Have Moved to Lovilia

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Justin Lang and his wife, Sarah (Kraber) Lang, recently purchased a home on two lots on South E Avenue.  Sarah is glad to be back in her hometown.  Welcome!!

Headstart Openhouse July 15, 2010 at Lovilia

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Lovilia Headstart has been in transition for a year.  After inspectors who decide on adequacy of buildings said that the school building on the old Lovilia school site was no longer meeting their guidelines, the students and teachers were using the Lovilia Community Building as their temporary home.

A site was purchased on South H Street and the corner with 3rd Street.  The site was prepared and a double wide trailer was placed there for the classrooms.  Steps and handicap accessible ramps were placed at the exits.  All that is needed is to prepare the grounds and put all the playground equipment into place.

Open house revealed two well lighted classrooms and two bathrooms with a kitchen in between.  The room has a play “house” section, lego section, soft cushioned reading area, large  motor skills area,  and a  table for lessons.   There is also a listening center and technology center. Currently the second classroom will be used for the lunchroom and the second bathroom for storage.  But there is room for them to be utilized for classes if enrollment grows.

Currently 9 students have enrolled for the fall term.  There is room for 6 more students.  Students are eligible if they are 3 years old by Sept. 15th, 2010.  There are income guidelines.  Call the teacher, Jessica Caudill, if you want to see if your child could enroll.  Her number is 641-946-7992.

Jessica Caudill is lead instructor, Sandy Keegal is assistant instructor, and Kelly Nichols is the cook.  All three women live in the Lovilia community.  All three were at open house and excited about the new facilities and looking forward to meeting the children and parents of the fall class.

Deaths of Lovilia High School Alumni to Remember

Kenny Stevens class of 1957

Margaret Findley Walter class of 1950

VeraDean Godfrey Klobnak class of 1950

Annetta Pettyjohn Roberts class of 1960

Henderson Family Reunion

The reunion will be August 8, 2010, Sunday, at the Lovilia Community Building.  They will visit from 11a.m. to 2p.m.

Robert Kocur, Songwriter and Singer on Radio in Radios Heyday is Honored by Children

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

D id you hear Bob sing in the 1940 or 1950’s?  His voice was good and had a distinct quality.  He wrote his own songs and the lyrics were not only good but hauntingly so.  With the right backing and luck he could have been at the top of the Grand Ole Opry in my opinion.  He often performed live on the country radio station in Centerville and he would sing at local dances.  One lady remembers how he impressed her as a little girl when he played a Lovilia dance by handing out glossy autographed photos of himself and driving up in his yellow convertible.

His children have restored the coal mine community called Foster’s cemetery in honor of their parents, Georgean Johnson Kocur and Robert Kocur.   You can read all about it at their cemetery website:  They have done an excellent job of preservation.

United Methodist Church of Lovilia Has New Entrance Doors

In memory of Thelma Smith and John Hastings these new doors were purchased and installed at the front entrance on E Avenue.  The doors were installed in June and enhance the front of the building nicely.

In Memory of Ronald “Ronnie” Carl Conner

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Ronnie Conner died June 28, 2010 after a long illness with bone cancer.  Ronnie was born May 16,1953.  He was raised by his father, Cecil, and his stepmother, Viola Conner.  His education was at Lovilia elementary and later high school at Albia, Iowa.  His life’s work was truck driving.  He is survived by his wife Rose of Albia and three daughters:  Katascha of Otley, Iowa; Katrina of Oskaloosa, Iowa, and Marnie of Colorado Springs, Colorado.  He has five grandchildren.  Burial was at Oakview cemetery in Albia.  A memorial to Monroe County Hospice was established in his honor.  He leaves behind many friends and relatives who will hold him in their memories and prayers.

Lovilia St. Peter’s Catholic Church Annual Fundraising Picnic Celebrates 100 years Since Laying of Church Corner Stone

Monday, July 19th, 2010

James Drury, a young Irish American union soldier, returned home after the civil war to Vermont and married Jane Daugherty.  The newlyweds later moved to set up a farmstead in the Lovilia, Iowa area in 1869.  They were the only Catholics in the Lovilia area until the railroad came through and two Catholic men were employees, Patrick Ferris and Richard O”Brien.

These three families were the only Catholic ones until 1900.  In 1904 the bishop of our diocese at Davenport sent a 29 year old Irishman fresh out of seminary to Lovilia to set up a church at Weller and Lovilia.  Father Thomas Smyth decided his first task was to buy land for a rectory, a home for the priest to live in.  The same land our rectory is on today was purchased for $200.  The house was started in fall 1904 and finished the next spring.  One room of the house was set up as a chapel and mass was held there on Sundays and around 20 families were now in attendance.

Father Smyth then purchased land for the church next door to the rectory for a price of $165.  Contractors were Guthrie and Holst of Albia.  Cost to build the church was estimated at $10,000.  The cornerstone was laid on Oct. 9, 1910.  Work continued through the winter and was finally dedicated with a High mass on June 13, 1911.

After the mass, a picnic was held in the local park and a baseball game was played by the Weller and Lovilia parish men.

Lovilia is proud to have two young sons born and raised who became priests.  They are Walter Lenger and Allen Simpson.  Father Simpson also had the distinction of being the first black priest in the state of Iowa.  A third young man, Marion Durbala,  grew up on a farm a few miles from Lovilia.  He left home to work as a railway mail clerk to earn enough money to pay his way to go through the seminary.   He was ordained in 1927 and said his first mass in Lovilia  on Sunday, March 6th of that year.  He could speak four languages:  Bohemian, Croatian, Slovak, and English.  People would travel miles to hear him speak or hear their confession in their native tongue.

Beginning in 1930 young Lovilia women dedicated themselves to service to God  and his church by becoming religious sisters.  They were:  Clara Sofranko, Edna Feehan, Frances Papich, Jennie Mataya, Winifred McDonald, Marguerite Coady, Marguerite Nalevanko, Margaret Slofkosky and a former Lovilia girl,  Mary Lou Durbala.

Our special celebration and honored remembrance of those who worked so hard to establish our church will begin with mass at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 25, 2010.

At 11:30 a.m. we will have three choices for guests.  They may stay in the church for a history presentation of the beautiful stained glass windows or go to the cemetery for a presentation about five of our first families and our first priest.  You can go to the cemetery by horse drawn wagon or by driving your car.  Very unique and interesting stories that you will be amazed to hear.  the third choice is to go to the church hall for lunch.

The cemetery stories will be given three times as will the windows history.

We invite you to rotate to all three areas to celebrate and by the time you are done it will be time for the auction to begin at 1:30pm.  After the auction, raffle prizes will be drawn as the finale to our day.

Have fun, be well fed, learn some local history, worship, buy something or win a raffle prize.  Come on out to Lovilia July 25th and join us.!  Rain or shine.  If it rains, we will celebrate in the church and hall.