A fond farewell to Marshalltown

As our 93-year-old mother, Verla MacCanon, moved from Embers Retirement Community in Marshalltown to Wesley Acres in Des Moines on July 15, it marked the end of the presence of the MacCanon family in Marshalltown spanning approximately 55 years. Our parents, Rev. Robert and Verla MacCanon arrived in 1959 to pastor Grace United Methodist Church until they moved to Sumner in 1970. When their daughter Jan Mitchell was hired to teach in Marshalltown High School in 1974, she and her husband Don Mitchell became local residents until their move to Des Moines in 2009. In the Spring of 1996, Robert and Verla MacCanon returned to Marshalltown where Robert died in 1998. In Marshalltown, our father brought true servant leadership to the church on local, state and national levels. He chaired the Marshalltown Ministerial Alliance during those years and helped to establish a civil rights commission here. Then and now, our mother continues to touch many people’s lives not only in Central Iowa but from coast to coast. An interfaith chapel has been named in her honor in a homeless shelter in Milwaukee. As daughters, we follow our parents’ example, contributing leadership, service to humanity and creativity within and beyond our vocations. Our family agrees that Marshalltown provided our family with a “hometown” whose culture and community nourishes visionary leadership, instills positive values and celebrates a commitment to the greater good. We bid Marshalltown farewell with appreciation and a treasure trove of cherished people and memories in our hearts.