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Betty (Southern) Atwood

Betty (Southern) Atwood was born September 7, 1923, to Russell and Treva (Eatwell) Southern. She was born in Mingo, Iowa and graduated from Mingo High School in 1940 at the age of 16. She attended UNI (formerly Iowa State Teachers College) for two years and received her teaching degree.

With World War II raging on, both her brothers left to go for military duty. Betty took a teaching position in Mingo, where she could help and support her parents. She taught there for five years and then taught 4 years at Emerson Hough in Newton, Iowa. Every summer she spent at college working on her degrees. She got her BA in 1952 and her MA in 1957.

Her next job was in Primghar, Iowa where she was County Elementary Supervisor for O’Brien County. In 1957 she was Elementary Supervisor for Polk County and ended her career in education as a curriculum and staff development specialist for eleven county areas for Heartland Area Education agency. She spent 45 years in the education field.

Betty comes from a very patriotic family. Her father was a veteran of WW I, her husband James was a veteran of WW II, her brothers Lowell and Deane were both killed in Italy during WW II.

She held numerous district and state offices. She was president of Mingo auxiliary, State education chairperson, delegate to three national conventions. She was a life member of the National Education Association, life member of Iowa Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Betty was the past President of Tau Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma and member of Phi Delta Kappa Honorary Education Societies.

Betty was preceded in death by her husband James, parents Russell and Treva, brothers Lowell and Deane and many other family members and friends.

She is survived by her cousins Bob, Deanna and Bill Lewis, Mary Ann Chrisman, Mary Kay & Don Cummings, John and Wanda Eatwell, Rowena Nelson, Linda Porter, Mark Menaer and Mary Beth Cavert and numerous friends from throughout her life.

Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 11, 2024, at Merle Hay Chapel, 4400 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines, IA, with visitation at 10:00 a.m. Interment will be at Chapel Hill cemetery following the service.




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