Elaine Reynolds

Obituary of Elaine Reynolds

Elaine Evelyn Vanourney Reynolds

Parents: Leo and Ethel Vanourney

I was born in Swisher, IA on August 6, 1936 and was the 4th of 6 children. In the 1940’s my family purchased a home in North Liberty.  However due to my father’s declining health (asthma) under medical advice we moved to a small town in Arizona. We considered this our grand adventure. My mother worked as a cook and waitress to supplement my father’s railroad pension. Although it was an adventure it was also a time of great loneliness for me as I dearly missed my older sister Irene and her new family in Iowa.

I was 11 at the time of my father’s death from complications from asthma and we moved back home to Iowa. My mother bought a home in Oxford, IA where she lived until her death. My mother’s strong will and preservation has been a big influence throughout my lifetime.

In the summer of 1952 I met Gene who had just completed his tour of duty in Korea. We fell in love and were married in a small chapel in Iowa City on August 26, 1952.

We lived in Iowa City until the spring of 1959 when we moved into a large farmhouse south of Solon with our young daughters: Bonnie, Debbie and Kathy. Finally 2 and ½ years later our family welcomed Tim and then Chris and our family was complete. We raised hogs, chickens and tended three gardens. We were able to can and freeze all of our food and lived there for 18 years.

When our youngest child was in school and with the older girls help I was able to work part time and evenings at Mercy Hospital Nursery for three years. I took a full time job as a secretary-receptionist at Wayne Feeds in Coralville, where in 21 years I worked up to Procurement and Distribution Manager.

We were able to build a new home in Solon in 1977, just before our 25th anniversary.

After heart bypass surgery in January 1990 I took early retirement. In the fall of 1993 I went back to work part time in the Payroll Department at Mercy Hospital until I decided to retire fulltime with Gene.

I volunteered at Mercy Hospital in November 1990 and joined the Mercy Hospital Guild. I became a life time member and served on the Guild board for 4 years.

My enjoyments were my flowers, birdwatching (especially my cardinals), my clocks and gardening. I always preferred to be outside tending to flowers rather than cleaning. I also loved needlework, leaving many needlepoint projects and doilies I have crocheted. Gene and I loved camping and fishing. Whenever a home project needed doing, Gene and I worked side by side to its completion.

To close, I am grateful to God and my wonderful husband, Gene; for giving me a full and happy life. To my mother and father for teaching me how to be strong for my family.  To my five children, who have given me more love and support than I probably deserved.