30th Wedding Anniversary for Bob and Loita Williams

September 8th, 2012

Bob and Loita were married on Sept. 25, 30 years ago (1982). The wedding was at the Methodist Church in Albia, Iowa. Pam Barnes (Selby), her sister, was maid of honor and Randy Beary, Bob’s cousin ( son of Larry and Joan Beary), was best man.

They have lived on main street at 1104 South E Avenue for many years. This house was originally Frank and Maggie Barnes’ home ( Loita’s grandparents). They have worked steadily to refurbish the property and it is in excellent condition.

Their marriage has been blessed with three children: Sadie, Katie, and Christian. Sadie is married to a high school sweetheart from Twin Cedars school, William Dykstra. They have two children.

We wish you many more happy years together Bob and Loita!

Theme Park for Everyone Including Disabled and Wheelchair Occupants Now Open in San Antonio, Texas

Gordon Hartman has a daughter with mental and physical disabilities and decided with his skills as a home builder and friends in the skilled trades to build an all inclusive park that would be wheel chair accessible.

The theme park is named Morgan’s Wonderland.  There is a carousal that allows people in wheelchairs to float up and down like those riding the carousal horses.  There is a sensory free village for those who can not tolerate bright lights and loud noises.  There is a wheelchair accessible sandbox.  A train ride which is completely wheelchair accessible travels almost a mile around the park’s lake for the fun of the visitors.

The park is free to those with disabilities so no one is excluded due to cost.  Admission for adults who accompany a disabled person is $15,  $10 for children, and $10 for seniors and military members.

The park opened in April 2010.  One boy in a wheel chair said his favorite thing at the park was the swings which wheel chairs can use.  He said it was the first time he could swing like other kids and it meant so much to him to experience that.

To learn hours of park use or make a donation go to morganswonderland.com.

Please pass the word about this exciting opportunity for anyone you know who could enjoy this chance to ride the rides and play for a day!


St Peter’s Catholic Church Annual Picnic to Be  Oct. 14th

Mark your calendar for the yummy homemade luncheon, auction,  raffles, and country store.  Even some games and fun in the plan too.  A beautiful blue and white quilt pieced by Sharon Stoffer, one of our members from Bussey, will be sold in a silent auction that day.  The quilt was hand quilted by the quilting ladies in Ottumwa St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.  Sharon generously donated the quilt to the fundraiser.

William “Bill” Papich Died August 15,2012

August 23rd, 2012

Bill is the son of Stanley and Katherine Jackovich Papich. He was born in Lovilia on December 24, 1929. Stank and Katie will be remembered for running Papich Grocery in the south end of Lovilia all their married lives.

Bill had graduated from American Institute of Technology in Des Moines, Iowa and served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.

His wife of 56 years is Sally Southwick Papich. They have a son William of Decatur, Alabama. They also have three daughters. Julie Wooten of Rogers, Arkansas; Pam Papich of Jonesboro, Arkansas; Kathy Cherryholmes of Collierville, Tennessee.

Bill’s brother Stan survives and lives in Bloomington, New York. His sister, Dorothy Crum, lives  in Iowa City, Iowa.

Bill and Sally have five grandchildren.

Bill retired from working for Southwestern Power Administration Department of Energy. He was a member of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. His pastimes were gardening, hunting, and fishing, and Wednesday poker with the guys.

Services were held Aug. 18, 2012 at his church in Jonesboro. Burial in Holy Cross Cemetery. Rosary and family visitation was the night before at Emerson Funeral Home chapel.

John and Judy Johnson Celebrate 50th Wedding Anniversary

August 4th, 2012

John and Judy were married on August 5, 1962. They have three children: Tammy, Terry, and Tony. They both graduated from Lovilia High School and ran an insurance business here for many years and then moved the business and their residency to Albia. Best Wishes on your special day and may you enjoy many more years together.

Steve Bunch Made General Manager

Steve Bunch of Lovilia has been hired to be general manager of Motor Inn of Knoxville Auto Group (previously DeVore Motors).  They will sell GMC, Buick, Chevrolet, Ford, Lincoln, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram.  The company will sell new and used cars and trucks.  The  location is at 1705 N. Lincoln (hwy 14).  Congratulations Steve and best wishes with the new company.

Ottumwa Courier headline story July 20, 2012 Front Page on Lovilia Ranch

The DeCook family bought the farmland west of Lovilia and are raising buffalo there.  Mike DeCook says they want to protect the land and seed native prairie plants there.  The buffalo are raised as grass fed organic bison and they currently have 80 head. The first bison came there in December 2011. Currently bison meat commands a higher price than beef and the bison eat less than beef so it makes good business sense.  There are 800 acres of pasture. Many of the fences have been removed to have more open space but there is electric fencing to keep the herd on the land.  Drive by and you will most likely see them grazing.  A new thing for our area of the state.


Jack Shelford Funeral Mass July 27, 2012

August 1st, 2012

Jack’s mass of Christian burial was at 11:00 a.m. at St. Peter’s Catholic church, Lovilia, Iowa. Officiating was Father Patrick Lumsden. Music was furnished by Julie Bettis. Pallbearers were: Bill Slofkosky, Ross Shelford, Mark Murphy, Zeke Murphy, Bill Murray, and Austin Peterson. Memorials were directed to Hospice of Monroe County.  Military rites after mass were led by American Legion of Albia, Lovilia, and Melrose.  Jack will be cremated and burial will be at a later date.

Jack Dale Shelford was born September 7, 1932 in Melcher, Iowa to Rube and Minnie (Lemonds) Shelford.

Jack was a graduate of Lovilia High School.  He enlisted in the United States Army in 1952.  He was a Prison Guard at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and also a dog trainer at Fort Carson, Colorado.

His marriage in 1952 to Doris Baker was blessed with four boys: Steve, Greg, Tony, and Michael.

Jack worked for John Morrells meat packing company for 22 years and then worked for Albia Rural electric until he retired in 1984.

He married Donna Slofkosky in 1981.  Jack was a member of the Catholic Church in Lovilia, the American Legion in Albia, and he was an avid mushroom hunter, fisherman, and hunter.

He is survived by his wife Donna of Lovilia. And his son Greg of Knoxville as well as Greg’s wife and their children KayLee and Ross.  He is also survived by his stepchildren, his brother Don of Lovilia, and many step grandchildren and step great grandchildren.  He is preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, children:  Steve, Tony, and Michael, brother Dean Shelford, and sister Joan Loncarich.

May you now rest in eternal peace, Jack


Martha Sweem Retires as Lovilia Post Mistress

Last Friday was Martha’s last day to serve at the Lovilia office.  She had worked faithfully there serving the customers for 23 years.  She was always helpful to answer questions and did an efficient job.

I always liked to see what the stamp choices were so she would have to dig out five or six choices for me so I could pick the new cool stamps.  She very patiently did that for me the “picky” person who found the flag stamp fine but I wanted something new.

S he would say,” Could you tell that company/ person that your address is a PO Box not a street address, please?”   I  can understand that would speed sorting time.

Some of us would talk her leg off since she was a captive audience.  We didn’t have to buy a beer at the tavern or pay a counselor so we benefited and she patiently put up with us.  Her advice was always encouraging.

Martha, we wish you a relaxing and healthy retirement.  Don’t forget us!  We won’t forget you.

60th Wedding Anniversary Today

July 19th, 2012

Gerald and Beverly Sofranko are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary today, July 19, 2012.
May you celebrate the day with lovely family memories. Happy Anniversary!!

Weller Picnic August 4, 2012, Saturday

July 18th, 2012

The Weller bunch will meet at Weller 11am-5pm. Lunch served at 11:30am. Menu: pork loin, brats, side dishes, soda, iced tea, and lemonade.
There will be live country and Irish music as well as Traditional Irish dancing. Bringing your own lawn chairs is essential or if you prefer a blanket to sit on. You are welcome to bring your own coolers too. Everyone is welcome!!

Rain Dances Welcome

We are seriously in need of rain in Lovilia and on the farms of our area.  If you know the fabulous footwork to bring the rain drops down like cats and dogs, we welcome you to start the dance now if not sooner!!  I pity my parents who were kids in the nineteen twenties and thirties when there were no ice cubes and no refrigerators.  I think I will start hugging my frig every morning.  And thank the good Lord and the electric company for keeping it humming.  Remember to be thankful for the good stuff-  it could always be worse.

Rita Kathleen Fowler Betts Died July 8,2012

July 17th, 2012

Rita was born in Lovilia, Iowa on September 23, 1932. Her parents were Charles and Nelle Fowler(deceased now). Her older siblings (all deceased now) are Charles, Lois and Jeri.
Rita graduated from the University of Iowa and served as a Registered Radiologic Technologist for forty years. She married Robert Betts and they made their home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They were blessed with three children: James, Julie, and John. She has seven grandchildren and one great grandchild. Besides her family she enjoyed bridge, bowling, and jazz music. In lieu of flowers, memorials in her name would be appreciated for the St. Benedict the Moor Parish, Meal Program, 1015 N. 9th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233.

May she now rest in peace.

Lovilia Class of 1962 Celebrates 50th Reunion

July 12th, 2012

The Lovilia High School class of 1962 celebrated their 50th year class reunion on Saturday, June 30, 2012 at the Lovilia Community Building. The original class of 20 was the last graduating class from Lovilia High School and to date, has only lost one classmate-Ronnie Jones.

Fourteen classmates with spouses or guests attended. Also attending were friends from other schools who were a part of the early high school roster for this class. Lots of getting caught up on each others lives, recalling memories of our school days together, and a great sit-down-meal were the highlights of the day… and a great time was had by all!

These attending were: Rose(Hull)Stuchel, Barbara (Robinson) Fick, Sherry (Blomgren) Clark, Sheila (Crall) Sager, Betty (Tierney) Ballalatak, Judy (Weldon) Conner, Bonnie (Gullion) Purdy, Joyce (Lowry) Jones, Jerry Blomgren, Bill Ballalatak, Elaine (Plum) Podnar, Don Etcher, Judy (Franzen) McGinn, and Mark Waters.

Other classmates not attending are: Shirley (Jones) Yenger, Armadine (Waters) Schmitt, Betty (Burk) Woollums, Carol (Bunch) Belzer, and Wendell Dunkin.


Does Anyone Have Contact Information for John Betts?

One of our blog readers said John’s mother was Rita Fowler Betts and she died at age 80 apparently not too long ago.  If you know how to reach John, let me know by email and I will tell this reader.  Thanks for any help on this matter.


Joe Barron Celebrates 75th Birthday

June 29th, 2012

Joe, who grew up at Weller and went to high school in Lovilia graduating in the class of 1954, recently celebrated his 75h birthday. Family and friends helped him celebrate his big day. He currently lives in Bentondorf, Iowa. Congrats Joe!

Blood Bank did a Blood Draw at Lovilia on Monday

One family from Lovilia has four donors. Does any other family have more?  I think it is great that they participate in such large numbers!  This is Bob, Loita, Sadie(she is married but of course still their daughter), and Katie Williams.

As an aside, their son Christian has moved to Pella where he works at VerMeers.  We miss you here at Lovilia but wish you well in your new place!

Lovilia Family Has Artists, Poets, and Photographers

Emily Plum who grew up in rural Lovilia the daughter of Joe Plum and Juana Plum, after receiving a bachelors degree at Central College in Pella and a masters of fine arts degree at Ames, Iowa is a very creative writer and artist.  To learn more read through her blog Emilylupitastudio.com.  She has paintings, prints, jewelry, etc. with unique designs that show the influence of her world travels and her long visits to Mexico and Japan.  She now resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband.

Her brother, Asa, has a degree from Ames, Ia. also.  He lives in Arizona with his wife and daughter and has a career as an architect.  He has a special interest in photography and you can see his work at studioasap.com.  The photos are composed with an artist’s eye.  He likes to capture the details of architecture and he has some beautiful landscape photos too.

Their father, Joe Plum, is a poet and his works can be found on joeplum.com. He has had poetry books published and performs at poetry readings.  Joe still lives in rural Lovilia area.

Juana, (Jane), now lives in Oskaloosa and works at Clow mfg. in the safety dept.  The kids artistic eye comes from her it is clear to see.  Her love is painting in water colors or acrylics.  One subject is her specialty and that is the detail closeups of flowers.  She will make a custom piece for you too.  You can contact her at juanaswatercolors.com.

Kraber Family Reunion

June 23rd, 2012

The descendents of Ed Kraber recently held their annual reunion at Lovilia Community Building. Family members attended from Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois. Next year’s reunion will be May 4, 2013.

The grandfather, Ed Kraber, came to the USA at the age of 14 from Germany in 1882. He lived in Illinois, Kansas, and Nebraska before settling in Iowa. After putting down roots in Iowa, he married and this union was blessed with eleven children.

Lindsey R. Smith Becomes a Realtor

Lindsey, after much study and preparation, has passed the exams to be a realtor.  She has been hired to work full time in Knoxville at the Prudential First office.  Her employers are Rich and Joni Bailey. Congratulations Lindsey on your success with the exams and your new job.

Lindsey is the daughter of Joan Ford of Lovilia and Ron Paulsgrove.  Her grandparents are Mary Slofkosky and the  late Albert Slofkosky.

New City Councilman is Sarah Lang

She was appointed to fill out the term of Bob Beary who has moved to Albia.  She will hold office until the next election.  She is the wife of Justin Lang. Her parents are David and Linda Kraber . Her Lovilia grandmother is Marilyn and the late Charles Kraber was her grandfather.  Thanks for agreeing to serve your Lovilia community in this position.

Lovilia United Methodist Bible School Held June 11-15

A member of Methodist mobile missions conducted a Bible lesson and led the children in music daily.  The kids then went to Paster Dale or Rev. Ray Doser’s classrooms for more study. Lola Ivens led the craft making sessions and Judy Conner was in charge of the lunch each day.  Members of the congregation generously donated the items for the lunches. One day Casey’s sore donated pizza and beverages for the meal.   Helpers for the classes were Angie Kimball and her daughter.  Enrollment was 28-32 children each day.

Larry and Beth Shelford Have Shuffled Houses

Larry and Beth have placed a new home behind their former home on North E Avenue here in town.  Now the old home has been removed and the site cleared.   The new home now sits back farther from the street than the old and the yard is spacious.  It is a nice addition to the town.

Nine Kinds of Salt at Norway, Iowa Coop

My salt is generic white or the white ” when it rains, it pours” salt.  I was surprised to read that you can get pink, black, etc. You can get it from Himalayan mountains, Hawaii, Washington, Pakistan, France, etc.  You can check this out at Frontier Coop.com.

The town of Norway is about the size of Lovilia, so a town our size could have a business if we came up with the “Eureka idea” for one.  Congrats to Norway, Iowa.

This coop also sells bulk spices, tea, and other organic products and some are fairtrade too for those of us who want to support workers that way.  Check them out.  It is an easy site to navigate and interesting to see it whether you purchase anything or not.

I was telling my husband about this Himalayan pink salt which they claim has an earthy taste and not like sea salt.  My husband says it just tastes like regular salt.  I said how would you know that.  He said he had tasted it.  I was of course incredulous.  Where?  Here is the surprise punch line and it is true. He is a truck driver and found this pink salt on a bottle on his table at the Dodge City Petro Truckstop in Alabama off exit 299 from Interstate 265.  Truck stops serving gourmet salt from an Iowa coop? Truth is stranger than fiction every time!!  I am still shaking my head in disbelief.

1917 Lovilia Press newspaper prints article from Fremont Gazette Giving Fremont’s opinion of the Lovilia Merchants Problem

“The merchants of Lovilia, Iowa, have served notice on all customers that accounts will not be carried longer than ninety days, and settlement will be expected by cash or note at the expiration of a ninety day period.  All of the merchants have entered into the same agreement.  They should have made it thirty days. ”

Do you remember walking into a store and saying, “Just put it on my account”? That was before credit cards and debit cards.  A few…………years back.