Betty Ina Linn

Betty Ina Linn

Betty Ina Linn


Betty Ina Linn died on Labor Day, Sept. 5, 2022, a fitting date for a woman who worked so hard her entire life. She was born over a hundred years ago on March 8, 1922, in Argyle, Iowa, in the very southeastern corner of Iowa. She was the daughter of Leslie Herron and Elsie Etta Satterly Dumenil. Both of her parents had taught school for a while after completing their education but had turned to farming soon after they married and started a family. Betty had an older brother, Lloyd C. Dumenil and a younger sister, Dorothy J. Dumenil Fields. She also had a first cousin, Keith Dumenil, who lived across the road and was like a second brother to her. Her brother Lloyd, who was a professor of Agronomy for many years at Iowa State University in Ames, predeceased her in 2010. Her sister Dorothy, who was a teacher for many years, survives her and resides in Phoenix, Arizona.

After growing up on the family farm near Argyle in the 1920s and 30s, Betty attended Northeast Missouri State Teachers College in Kirksville, Mo., from 1940-1942, which has since been renamed Truman State University. After completing her course of study there, she went to work as a civilian at the Rock Island Arsenal, which has manufactured military equipment and ordnance since the 1880s. She always was very proud of her service there to the country during the Second World War.

After the war ended, she married Lester Lyle Linn, who had grown up on a farm located near Rochester, Iowa, in Cedar County. Lester had served in the U.S. Army in Europe, spent some months in a German POW camp, and after being discharged when the war ended had begun attending Iowa State University. But in a hurry to begin farming himself, he left the university before graduating, and he and Betty began a lifelong partnership in farming, first by renting land near Springdale, Iowa. In the early 1950’s they moved with their young family to a farm located southwest of Tipton on Green Road where they grew row crops (corn and soybeans), made hay, and raised livestock (cattle and hogs) together for many years, including on an adjacent farm they purchased in the 1970s. After Lester died in 1987, Betty carried on the farming operation, first with her only son Harold D. Linn, who died in 1990, and then with several devoted helpers, until she finally retired in her late-80s.

Betty is survived by two daughters, Bonnie A. (Joseph) Denman of Wheaton, Md., and Shirley J. Linn (Dumont Clarke) of Charlotte, N.C. She also is survived by four granddaughters, Grace L. Denman of Wheaton, Md., LCDR USN Elizabeth Dumenil (Declan) Clarke-Glynn of Cambridge, England, Deborah McClure Clarke (Peter) Reinsel of Norfolk, Va., and Scarlet C. Linn (Cory McNeely) of Sarasota, Fla., as well as three great-grandchildren, Connor, James and Sienna. She also claimed and loved two stepgrandchildren, Tony Linn Hills and Vincent Benavente Linn, both of Iowa City, Iowa.

Betty and Lester were devoted members for many years of the Rochester (Iowa) United Methodist Church. After taking care of her chores on the farm each Sunday morning, Betty would change her clothes and race down the Snaggy Ridge Road, sometimes in her pickup truck, in a cloud of dust to attend the 8:45 a.m. service – but not always arriving on time. She had many devoted friends both in the congregation and the pulpit at the church who kept in touch with her over the years. She also had many supportive relatives in Cedar County as well as numerous friends including other farmers, farm managers, employees of the Cedar County Co-Op, suppliers and others in the community.

Betty didn’t have much leisure time available for social activity outside of farm work and church service, but she was an avid sports fan, first of the St. Louis Cardinals as a youth and then for many years the University of Iowa men’s basketball team. She received numerous cards and letters on her 100th birthday, including one from the President of the United States, but the one that may have meant the most to her was the one she received from the University of Iowa basketball coach, Fran McCaffery.

A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022 at the Rochester Methodist Church at 11 a.m. At 1 p.m., Betty will be buried in the Pee Dee Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Betty’s name may be given to the Rochester United Methodist Church c/o Cindy Stuhr, 1775 Snaggy Ridge Road, Tipton, IA 52772.

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