In Memory of

Betty Louise Runkle

November 24, 1926 - December 11, 2017
From: Spencer, IA
Betty Louise Runkle

Betty Louise Runkle

Born: November 24, 1926
Died: December 11, 2017
Age: 91

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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.

Memorial Services will be held at 10:30 A.M., Thursday, December 14, 2017 at Golfview in Spencer.
Pastor Dan Taylor
Family will be present to visit with friends one hour prior to the Memorial Service at Golfview in Spencer.
Lone Tree Cemetery
Everly, Iowa 
At A Later Date


Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 3:02 PM
“Betty “Mrs Runkle” was my 2nd grade teacher @ Jefferson. She was my FAVORITE teacher. I have many wonderful memories of her class. I liked the story & my subsequent drawing of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. I remember not sleeping well one night, & I was so tired in class that I fell asleep in the afternoon. When I woke up all the other kids had gone home, but Mrs. Runkle stayed there with me. She just said it looked like I needed to sleep so she didn’t wake me. I never forgot that simple kindness. It showed me how much she cared. ”
- Laurel Furst-Johnson
Thursday, December 21, 2017 at 3:15 PM
“Betty was always a happy person. When my mother would visit, it was assumed she would play bridge with Betty. My condolences to the family. May you cherish many wonderful memories.”
- Janice Thompson, Daughter of Autumn (Kerr) Thomas
Monday, December 18, 2017 at 8:15 AM
“Dear Curt, Linda, Sharon and family, Betty was an exceptional woman, mother, wife, sister and aunt. She pursued a lifetime of education and teaching and impacted positively everyone she met in her 31 years of teaching and 91 years. Betty was a kind and generous soul who always thought first of those around her. She and Curt were of immense help and comfort to our mother and father in their later years as their health suffered. Betty never stopped calling and writing to inquire about the health and well-being of our children and grandchildren. Her life was a gift to all those whom she encountered. "Say not in grief that she is no more, but say in thankfulness that she was." Hebrew proverb. HOPI PRAYER of The Soul's Graduation:

Do not stand at my grave and weep

I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight

On the ripened grain.

I am the gentle Autumn's rain.

When you awaken in the morning hush,

I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry.

I am not there.

I did not die.

My Spirit is still alive…”
- Rick and Elyse Froehlich, Benjamin, Jenn, Gage, Jaxson and Greyson Froehlich, Matthew Froehlich, Jolene, Leah, Zachary and Al Steele
Monday, December 18, 2017 at 8:15 AM
“So sorry for your loss. I always enjoyer Betty. She had such spirit!!!”
- karen Buchholz
Friday, December 15, 2017 at 12:44 PM
“I’m so sorry I never got to meet such an active, selfless woman. Sharon, you certainly have lots of your mom’s attributes. Now if you’d just learn to golf! Love you sweetie and again so sorry for your loss. ”
- Alda Tedeschi
Thursday, December 14, 2017 at 11:51 AM
“Jim and I were so sorry to hear of the passing of a wonderful person. When my mom and dad passed, she always wrote such nice and funny things in the cards. When I saw her at the bank, I could not call her Betty, it was always Mrs. Runkle. It is always hard to lose a parent. Your families are in our thoughts and prayers.”
- Jim & Barb Meyerdirk
Wednesday, December 13, 2017 at 4:46 PM
“To Betty's family, I enjoyed caring for your Mother, Wife, Grandma, Aunt. I will miss her. My sympathy to you all.”
- Dawn Feucht
Wednesday, December 13, 2017 at 11:34 AM
“So sorry for your earthly loss! She will be missed by many! God bless you at this time of healing!”
- Nancy and Jim Hartmann
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 4:17 PM
“We are so sorry to hear of Betty's passing. Our heartfelt condolences to Curt and the entire Runkle family. Betty was a wonderful person, and we have many fond memories of her.”
- Friedrichsen Family
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 4:17 PM
“Dear Curtis, Sharon and Linda ~ I am so sorry to hear about Betty. She was such a favorite of mine and such a lovely lady. She will be missed by so many. We all loved it when she used to come in the library. My sympathy to all of her family.
Rita Nuebel”
- Rita Nuebel
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 3:19 PM
“Our sympathy to Curt, Sharon, and Linda in the loss of Betty our dear Aunt. We have many great memories of the parties and holiday get togethers hosted by Betty and Curt over the years. Betty was always there to help mom and dad when they were going through their health issues. We will miss Betty and pray for her family in their grief. ”
- James and Beverly Koehnk
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 3:19 PM
“Paul and I have many great memories of Betty. She always had a quick warm smile and loved to have fun. She will be missed by many. Our sympathies to her loving family.”
- Paul and Nancy Eick
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 7:55 AM
“My sympathy to Betty’s family. ”
- Deb Wilcox
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 7:55 AM
“I have such fond memories of Betty's endearing help as I took over her teaching in Everly after she retired. She was so very kind and patient with showing me just the best way to continue her caring legacy with the students. For many years after, there will be times that people talk of Betty's teaching. She is in the hearts of so very many people. All my prayers and hugs to her loving family.”
- Diana Koppen
Monday, December 11, 2017 at 5:32 PM
“My sympathy to Betty's family. I enjoyed her at Longhouse. She was always so thankful when I would bring her a special treat on the days I worked.”
- Tammy Gillis
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