Betty Lou Key, 77, of Eldora, Iowa passed away on Thursday, February 8, 2018 at the Bickford Assisted Living in Marshalltown, Iowa. Visitation will be held on Monday, February 12, 2018 from 11:30 a.m. until time of funeral service, 12:30 p.m. at the Eldora United Methodist Church. Burial will follow the funeral service at the Eldora City Cemetery Memorial Addition. Memorial may be directed to the Eldora Methodist Church.
Betty Lou was born to Roger and Ruth Harper in Washington, D.C., on March 10, 1940. She was the 2nd child, and only daughter, of her parents who happened to grow up as next door neighbors in Burnham, Pennsylvania. Betty spent her earliest years in Washington, D.C. During that time, their family attended the Union Methodist Church. It was there her faith in Jesus, as her Lord and Savior was ignited... a firm foundation for her future.
In 1954, she moved to Chicago. Betty attended Rich Township High School where she was a stellar student as well as a member of the high school marching band. As a shy, freshman brunette she played the glockenspiel and batted her brown eyes at the tall, handsome junior trombonist across the stage, Jimmy Key. It wasn’t long until the two were going “steady”. They attended church together and shared a growing love for the Lord and for each other. On August 30th, 1958, Betty & Jim married at 18 and 20. Their adventure began, spanning nearly 56 years, building their family, growing their faith, and serving in ministry.
Betty’s time, heart and love were poured out into their family. They had 3 children: Dan, Deb and Rob. Betty enjoyed being a mom. From newborn, to teenager, to young adult and beyond, her love permeated each of their lives. When money was scarce she knew how to stretch a dollar to meet all their needs. She supported their individual interests through her presence. When her children’s hearts were broken, so was hers. Disappointments and failures happened, yet she unwaveringly believed in each of them and in the God that entrusted them to her care. Her love never faltered.
Betty was blessed with 12 amazing grandchildren. She generously loved each of them with her time and her presence. There was nothing she enjoyed more than spending time with them. They were indeed her “crowning glory” (Proverbs 17:6).
Betty voluntarily supported and served along side Jim at several churches and ministries over those 56 years. She played the piano or organ for services, taught Sunday School, visited shut-ins, delivered meals, led a service club for girls, served on the Board of Trustees and supported many ministries.
Betty was reliable, conscientious and served with a strong, quiet faith, not wanting to draw attention to herself.
Her faithfulness prevailed.
[First Baptist Church of Valparaiso, IN; First Baptist Church of Centerville, IN; First Baptist Church of Indianola, IA; Union Community Church of Union, IA and United Methodist Church of Eldora, IA
Protestant Ministry on the military bases of Fort Knox, Kentucky and White Sands Missile Range, NM;
Chapel at the Iowa State Boys Training Center & Toledo Home;
Veterans Home in Marshalltown, IA]
Betty’s first job was working in the office of her high school as a junior.
More than decade later, when her children were all in school, Betty worked as a librarian at Indianola High School. Her last job (and favorite) came not long after moving to Eldora. She was the secretary to the superintendent of the Eldora-New Providence School District. She loved serving the community through her work. She was meticulous, efficient and honest, while greatly enjoying working with her colleagues.
From family to ministry to work, Betty was a good steward of all God blessed her with. Her legacy of love for God, for family and for others lives on through her children and grandchildren.
Preceded in death by: her parents, Roger & Ruth Harper and her husband, James Key.
Survived by: Brother, Edward Harper & wife, Mary Kay & their children, David, Kathy & Will along with their families. Son, Daniel Key & wife, Kathrin,
Deborah Rood & husband, Rob, Robert Key & wife, Gail.
Grandchildren: Aubrey Turner (David), Anna Key, Simeon Key, Jayden Key, Kaleysha Key, Brenna Key, Justin Norman, Wesley Norman, Tyler Norman (Emily), & Wade Norman, Brian Rood (Rachel), Brett
Great-Grandsons: Cooper Norman & Henry Rood