Mary Elizabeth “Bess” Draegert, 76

Mary Elizabeth “Bess” Draegert, 76, of Grinnell died October 7, 2013, at her home.

Funeral services are scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Friday, October 11, at the Smith Funeral Home in Grinnell with Pastors John Epperson, Harley Schull and Ian Draegert and family friend Jeff Scott officiating. Honorary bearers are all of Bess’ friends.

Visitation with the family present will be held one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.

Burial will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Bess Draegert Memorial Fund.

Bess was born August 19, 1937, in Marshalltown, the daughter of Russell Eugene and Floreene Swearingen Innis. She was raised in Marshalltown and attended school there.

On February 29, 1956, she was united in marriage with Donald Alton Draegert in Hannibal, Missouri. The couple lived in Marshalltown, Cannon City, Colorado where they ran a meat locker for several years, and then moved to Maxwell, Iowa in 1971. She later moved to Grinnell in 1987 and was employed as a night auditor at the Days Inn for 17 years.

She was a member of the Church of the Nazarene and Christian Church in Grinnell and the Ladies Bible Study with Jan Epperson.

Bess loved spending time with her family and being with people. She was very giving and generous to family and friends; and was always willing to extend a helping hand to any animal or person. She was an overall Humanitarian. She enjoyed reading, sewing, flowers and running her dogs, two at a time. She also enjoyed volunteering to clean her church, cooking and camping.

Survivors include two children, Ian (Jamie) Draegert of Des Moines and Tanya (Donnie) Ellis of Grinnell; two brothers, Bobby Innis of Grinnell and Kenneth (Vicki) Innis of Harlock, North Carolina; two sisters Ruth (Steve) Kirby of Newburg and Dorestta Costello of Teaneck, New Jersey; two grandchildren, Jackie Means of Madrid and Jarren Draegert of Grinnell; and a number of nieces, nephews and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents, Russell and Floreene; her husband, Donald; two brothers, Buddy and Billy; and one sister, Hazel Draegert.