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-Betty Ogier Gifford-

Betty Ogier Gifford died December 15, 2010 surrounded by her family.  Visitation was Saturday, December 18th at the The Rendezvous, 3127 Lucas Street in Muscatine.  Visitation was from 10-11 am with the service held at 11 am.  A luncheon was held following the service.  Services are being provided by Jones and Eden Funeral Home of Washington in conjunction with The Life Transition and Cremation Center of Muscatine.  A general memorial has been established.

Betty Mentink was born September 5, 1930, to Gerald and Velma Hunter Mentink on the family farm near Letts.  She graduated from Letts High School and AIC in Davenport.  During her early years she would be seen with her father, in the garden, fields, or with the livestock.  She hated being in the house, doing “women’s” work.

She married A. Wayne “Moe” Ogier on May 7, 1949, and they lived on one of the farms that Gerald and Velma had purchased between Grandview and Wapello.  From this union two daughters were born, Diana and Danita.  During her married life she was by Moe’s side as he was a “city boy” learning about farm life.  Not only did they farm but Betty helped with “Wayne Motors” which was a business on the farm.  She also raised Shetland Sheepdogs. For a short time she worked at Thatcher Plastic and at the Elks Lodge 304.

Her garden was always a showpiece and she loved to can to help out the family through hard times.  During her marriage to Moe, it could be said, “she lived hard and she played hard”.  Betty would never turn down a new place to go to or a new experience of any kind. She loved to go-cart race, snowmobile, and an occasionally an airplane ride with Moe.
Later Betty married Harvey Gifford of Letts on September 16, 1988 and they continued to live on the farm. They were married 10 years until his death in 1998.  They spent their winters in Lakeland, Florida, where her parents also wintered.  Betty cared for her parents until their deaths and never regretted a moment.

Betty was proud of her Dutch heritage and made several trips to Europe to see the house where her grandparents were born, and in turn she was a gracious host when her overseas relatives came to the States to visit.  During WWII Betty sent clothing to the Dutch children and was finally united with the family that received her clothing.

Harvey and Betty spent their retirement years fishing almost every day.  Most would say that Betty would rather fish than eat. She was proud of the fact that she taught each grandchild and great-grandchild how to fish. She always told them, if they wouldn’t put on their own worm she wouldn’t take them.

One of her greatest loves was cooking.  She could make a mean pie and the family would all stand in line to get homemade noodles.  She was also a beautiful seamstress and was proud of the fact that she had made quilts for each of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren until macular degeneration stopped that hobby many years ago.

Betty was a collector and has one of the largest of salt sellers and Mickey Mouse collection around the area.  She and Harvey have a brick at Disney World, presented to them by their grandchildren.

No matter what happened in any of her family’s lives, she stood behind them, maybe not agreeing with them but time and time again, she would say that family is everything.  Betty was known for her outspoken personality.  However, once a friend always a friend.

She is survived by her two daughters, Diana (Stephen) Stout of Washington, Iowa, and Danita (Rick) Last of Muscatine, Iowa/Rochester, Minnesota.  Her grandchildren, Charity Lewis, Calista (Jason) Stout of Washington, Iowa, Staff Sergeant Dominique Lewis, stationed in Kaneohe, Hawaii and WO3 David Lewis, (Jennifer) stationed in Savannah. GA.  Adam Drawbaugh of Muscatine and Alex Drawbaugh of Iowa City.  She has 7 great-grandchildren, Tyler Lewis and Trevion Gathright, Kyle and Zacary Stout, Reagan Caffery, and Trinity and Gracie Lewis.  She is also survived by her “third” daughter, Mary Beth Carey. Also surviving is her sister, Inez Martz of Arizona, brother-in-law, James Gage of Letts and his sons, Larry and Gary.  Other nephews include:  Craig McCarthy of Missouri, Steven Nopoulos of Norfolk, VA. and Tony Nopoulos of West Branch.

Her family overseas included Willy and Jo Mentink Voges of the Netherlands and Arthur, Karola and Lothar Vonderthann of Bad Abling, Germany,  Moe’s son. 

She was preceded in death by both husbands, Moe and Harvey, special friend, Dale Hafner, her parents, brother-in-law, Donald Martz, sister-in-law, Wanda Gage, sister-in-law, Iris Nopoulos and her husband, Leo, nephew, Jon Nopoulos and Henk Voges.
Notes of condolence may be sent to:  Diana Stout, 702 E. 14th Street, Washington, Iowa 52353; Danita Last, 1721 Timberline Drive, Muscatine, Iowa 52761

The family would like to take this opportunity to thank Stephen Schromer MD, Andrew Ashby MD and Robin Plattenberger DO, for their care and concern in allowing Betty to make her own decisions; your professionalism will not be forgotten, to her friends that never failed to call her daily and to the Louisa County Responders and crew for your many trips.  Thank you also to Washington County Hospice for allowing Betty to die at home with the dignity that she deserved.

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