15 Minutes


Resides: Marshalltown for 20 years.

Hometown: I was raised on a farm near Aviston, Ill. – approximately a one hour drive from St. Louis.


Family: I am fifth of seven children born to Martha and Edgar Litteken. They all still live near Aviston. Husband Tom and I are blessed with one daughter, Christine and her husband, Dan, who share our most talented grandson, Connor. We have four sons: Joel is married to Anna and they live in Fort Collins, Colo. Philip also lives in Fort Collins. Ben, a senior, and Jonathan a junior, are at Marshalltown High School. Living with us is Yohann, a foreign exchange high school student from France.

Hobbies and interests: I enjoy people most.Nature, travel and music are good too.


Occupation: I am an aquatics exercise instructor and lifeguard at the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA.

What that means: I have the wonderful opportunity to exercise and get paid doing it.I enjoy four to five classes of varying intensity three times per week with people who also believe exercise is important for better quality of life. I also lead a free-of-charge exercise class at Marshalltown’s Senior Center. I discovered the MSC is a fine place to hang out. Life-guarding at the aquatic center is stimulating and enjoyable – all while seeing people having fun.

Tenure: I’ve been at the YMCA-YWCA 10 years.

If I could change jobs I would: I enjoyed working in health care facilities prior to moving to Marshalltown. Working at the hospital, in addition to my present job, could be enjoyable. I’m exploring working with Jennifer Daniel and her horses at Marshalltown’s Wolfe Ranch.


Best part of living here: Many of my friends live here. The Marshalltown YMCA is an amazing facility. The high school has much to offer my boys. The theater and community auditorium provide quality entertainment. Marshalltown’s many churches work well together for the good of many.

Most influential person: My parents gave me a firm foundation. High school friends were fun and caring. College friend, Beth, helped me get outside of the box. Husband Tom gives me security by our commitment and accepts me.

Local involvement: I am president of Marshalltown’s Tuesday Musical Club. Additionally, I have been in several Marshalltown Community Theater musicals held at the Martha Ellen Tye Theater. It saddens me to see the beautiful Tye Theater not fully sold out for every performance after the casts have put extensive time and energy into the productions. Member, St Rita Club, I help lead music at Marshalltown’s St Henry Catholic Church.

Advice on life: Note how amazing life is … from the smallest bug, flower, and snowflake to the vast outer space to human beings. We need to accept death is a part of it all; not to fear but prepare and embrace it. Before then, happiness happens when we enjoy life inside and outside of ourselves and share it.