15 Minutes


Resides: Marshalltown

Hometown: Oelwein


Family: Husband, Gene; daughter, Adelle Pattinson, R.D., with husband Mike, and granddaughter Ella Joann in Rochester, Minn.; A son, Dr. Darin Neven and wife Stacee Anderson, P.A., Spokane, Wash.

Pets: A Schnauzer, Brandy.

Hobbies and interests: Crafts, sewing, a water exercise class at the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA; Taking photos; Family scrap-booking; Collecting aprons, old and current calendars and salt dips. I’ve presented programs on the “Evolution of an Apron” and “What is on Your Calendar?”


Occupation: I am a retired educator in Family and Consumer Science and a communication aide with a Speech and Language Pathologist.

What that means: At Cherokee high school, I taught family and consumer science one year; I was employed as Plymouth County extension home economist, 4.5 years; Later I was a AEA 6 communication aide specializing in the articulation and language needs of children, 15 years.

Tenure: 20.5 years

Best part of the job: Helping students and families be good consumers, develop skills to live independently, and have good relationships. Additionally, helping children articulate sounds so they are understood.


Movies: “Gone with the Wind,” directed by Victor Fleming and “Lincoln” directed by Steven Spielberg.

Books: I am presently reading “Mrs. Lincoln’s Seamstress” by Jennifer Chiaverin. I recently read “Winds of Destiny” by Jayne Bullock of Marshalltown.

Foods: Cheese cake, chocolate and vegetable beef soup.

Sports: I follow the University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State University.


Best part of living here: The friendly, resourceful people who have an interest in the welfare of this community. Having lived here for more than 46 years, one realizes the philanthropic and volunteer efforts so many people have shared in education, health, and culture.

Most influential people: My parents, who encouraged life-long learning, who advocated one to taking responsibility to do their work 110 percent and to help others. My high school family and consumer science teacher set an excellent example of promoting the field of family living as a career opportunity.

Local involvement: Hope United Methodist Church member; Member of Binford House board of directors, the Early American Glass Club, P.E.O. Chapter LT, the Orpheum Guild, Twentieth Century Club, Central Iowa Sewing Guild; Impressionist Art docent.

Advice on life: Develop one’s talents and interests and share them with family, friends, and community.

15 Minutes is a Saturday feature about central Iowans. The question and answer format lends itself be completed or read in 15 minutes or less. To submit a name for consideration, or to participate, contact Times-Republican Staff and Features Reporter Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or mdonahey@timesrepublican.com