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Velva Marie (Wagner) Butler, passed away on Friday, July 27th at the Cedar Valley Hospice Home after a brief illness. Visitation will be held on Thursday, August 2nd from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Ivester Church of the Brethren, 25056 E Avenue, Grundy Center, Iowa. The funeral service will be held on Friday, August 3rd at 10:00 AM at the Ivester Church of the Brethren. Burial will follow services at the Sheller Cemetery in rural Grundy County, Iowa. Memorials may be directed to Camp Pine Lake or to Cedar Valley Hospice. Messages of condolence may be left for the family at www.abelsfuneralhomes.com
Velva Marie (Wagner) Butler was born July 20, 1932 in Sherman County, rural Goodland, Kansas. Her parents were Orval & Florence (Williams) Wagner. Velva was three months old when her parents moved to a farm in rural Waldo, Kansas. She attended the rural Victor Grade School. Her first year, everyone in class with her was her cousin, even her teacher!
At the age of 5, she began singing with her parents. That year a highlight was singing two times on the radio station, KMMJ in Grand Island, Nebraska. She continued singing all her life, including the McPherson College acapella choir and the McPherson Church of the Brethren choir. After moving to the Ivester community in Iowa, she sang in the Ivester church choir and was a member of the Ivester Noels (a trio) for 22 years with Karen Cakerice & Marlene Neher. Her favorite songs were, “He Touched Me”, “Fill My Cup Lord” and “My Lord Is Near Me All the Time”. She also sang in the Ivester church’s chorale for 10 years. A highlight was being part of a play, Alice in Bluderland. It was performed at the Church of the Brethren’s Annual conference in Milwaukee, WI, the Western Plains District Conference in McPherson, KS and many churches in Iowa. It was performed in McPherson, Kansas for that District’s Conference and many other places in Iowa.
In 1943, the family moved to a farm in the Outlook, Washington area and continued living there until fall of 1950. She joined the church when she was 11 years old. She graduated from Sunnyside High School in Sunnyside, Washington. The family moved to McPherson, Kansas where she attended college, graduating with a BA Degree in Education. She taught History, English, Girls Physical Education and coached all high school plays for three years in Canton, Kansas.
After Velva and Don’s wedding on May 19, 1957, they moved to a farm near Eldora, Iowa. She taught 4th grade in Whitten for 5 years, and later, she taught Kindergarten and 5th grade in Eldora. She always felt called to teach and loved the children she taught.
Velva enjoyed reading, working in Jr. Church Camp for over 21 years, Bible School, Sunday School and sitting with her grandchildren. She researched family history for several years. She served on the district board for 10 years, one of which she was District Moderator. She served on the Inter-church forum with other churches. She designed a Sunday school curriculum and traveled to churches in the District presenting the material to other Sunday school teachers.
For 49 years, Velva gave a ‘Cup Talk’, titled “Cups of Life”. She shared her philosophy of her belief as seen in a cup, from baby to senior citizens. Velva and Don enjoyed taking motor coach trips with their bank, after her retirement.
Velva leaves behind her beloved husband Donald, of 61 years, of Grundy Center; son David (Yolanda Grove Butler) of Eldora, IA and daughter Denise (Shannon) Hull of Waverly, IA; 5 grandchildren Daniel (Alisa) Butler, Rachel Edittu and Quinton (Grace) Butler and Keaton (Sydney) Hull and Danae Hull; great-grandchildren Blessing-Marie Edittu, Abigail Butler, Ellie Butler, Alexander Butler & Sylvia Butler; brother Irvin (JoAnn Bielefeldt) Wagner of Norman, OK; sister-in-law Eileen Butler of Hillsboro, KS; 4 nieces and 1 nephew. She was preceded in death by her parents; brother-in-law Ed (Judy) Butler; grandson-in-law Usen Edittu.