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Berdina Jayne

Berdina (Dee) Marie Jayne died at home from the effects of a stroke on December 14, 2020.

She was born at home on a farm near Exira, Iowa on April 23, 1929 to Lee and Marie Frederick. Dee joined sisters, Norma Lee and Marjorie, and in the years to follow, was joined by sisters, Marcia and Marilyn.

Following her graduation from Exira High School, she obtained a teaching certification and taught in a single room country school for two years.


She married Maynard Jayne on February 20, 1949. They farmed near Audubon and then Adair, Iowa and during these years Steve, Debbie, and Jeff were born. Aside from full-time duties as a mother and farm wife, Dee was active in the community: Presbyterian Church, Adair-Casey School system where she served a term as school board president, VFW Auxiliary, 4-H, Boy Scouts, and the list goes on.

The family moved to near Rhodes and then Johnston when Maynard became employed by Pioneer International Beef Cattle. Following the move to Johnston Dee began her new career “outside the home”, working for the next 20 years as a laboratory technician for Pioneer Hybrid International. She volunteered at Iowa Public TV where she would gladly take your money during fund raising campaigns and as a docent at Living History Farms. She was an active member of St. Paul Presbyterian Church in Johnston. It was while in Johnston that Dee developed a fondness for bird watching. Her favorite was the Cardinal but she was not above engaging in friendly family competition for the sighting of the first Baltimore Oriole in spring. And somewhat incongruously, one of her favorite past-times was crocheting cat blankets which were donated to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.

Shortly after Maynard’s death in 2016, Dee moved to a town home near Crown Point in Johnston which proved to be convenient as she drove herself there throughout the week (until COVID-19 arrived) to play cards, dine, listen to programs, and to otherwise socialize with her many friends.

In addition to Maynard, Dee was preceded in death by her parents and her sisters Norma Lee, Marjorie, and Marilyn. She is survived by her children, Steve (Karen Shaff), Debbie and Jeff (Susan), her sister Marcia (Pete) Franklin, and a string of nieces and nephews.

She will be remembered as a class act: highly intelligent, a sharp dresser, caring and gracious, and giving of her time and many talents. She was a loving mother and a good friend to all around her.

Cremation has occurred in accordance with Dee’s wishes. There will be a small gathering in the near future limited to immediate family due to COVID-19 restrictions. Internment is planned for the spring of 2021 at Iowa Veterans Cemetery near Adel, Iowa where she will join Maynard.

The family would like to thank the staff at Accessible Home Health Care (in particular Vet, Katherine, Jordan, Rawnene, and Patience) and Kindred Hospice for their kind ministrations during Dee’s final days.


In lieu of flowers, it is Dee’s desire that memorial contributions be made to the Iowa Public TV Foundation or to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.