Betty Louise Koehnk Runkle, the daughter of Otto and Anna Bielfeldt Koehnk was born November 24, 1926 in Clay County, Iowa. She was raised on a farm southwest of Everly, graduating from Everly as valedictorian of the class of 1944.
She attended Iowa State Teachers College in 1945, taught at Merrill, IA and in 1946-1948 at Moneta, IA.
Betty married Curtis Runkle January 25, 1948 at the Hope Lutheran Church in Everly. She then was home eleven years helping raise her family before returning to teaching. She taught, in Spencer from 1959-1965, Hartley 1965-1968 and Everly 1968 until her retirement in 1988.
Betty attended college at night and summers, receiving her BA from Buena Vista in 1965 and Master’s Degree from the University of South Dakota in 1968.
Betty loved teaching. In addition to Junior High reading and math at Everly she taught night classes of Bridge, Speed Reading and Cards Las Vegas Style. She taught all of Buena Vista’s counseling and psychology classes at the Spencer Center for seven years. She was a volunteer Golf Coach for Jr. High and High School girls for 5 years.
Betty was on the Zoning and Planning Board in Everly and on the Library Board for many years. She was president of the N.W. Unit of the Iowa American Contract Bridge for 13 years and received two national honors for the Charity Award and Goodwill Award.
Betty enjoyed golfing at Hartley for over 45 years, and held many Ladies League offices.
Betty was an avid reader and enjoyed playing cards like Bridge, Gin Rummy, Blackjack and Poker.
Upon her retirement she traveled extensively overseas to over 26 countries with her daughter Sharon, a United Flight Attendant. She said Sharon gave her wonderful trips and Linda gave her wonderful grandchildren.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents, her beloved son Tommy, aged 3 years and 9 months, her grandson, Jonathan James Wieseler on April 23, 2017, sisters: Hilda Petersen, Wilma Froehlich, Jeannine Klett, brothers: Melvin, Otto, Walter and Raymond.
Betty is survived by her husband, Curtis of Spencer; daughters: Linda Wieseler of Sioux City, IA and Sharon Vander Meer of Fort Lauderdale, FL; granddaughter, Jennifer Stokes of Sioux City, IA great grandchildren: Brittney and Zachary Stokes; sister-in-law, Alvena Koehnk; other relatives and many friends.
Memorials may be directed to Hope Lutheran Church, 206 N. Washington, P.O. Box 299, Everly, IA 51338 or the Spencer Public Library, 21 East Third Street, Spencer, IA 51301.
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