Obituaries for Monday May 22nd

Richard “Dick” Wright, 88, of Burlington, died Friday, May 19, 2023, at Addington Place in Burlington. Just a week after celebrating his 88th birthday.

Born May 12, 1935, in Burlington, he was the son of Lucille Kampschneider and Beauford Wright.

He worked as a bank teller while attending SCC and remained employed at First National Bank (now US Bank) his entire career. He eventually earned his banking degree from the University of Wisconsin and gained a reputation as a stickler for accuracy.

Dick loved a good joke and made us laugh (or groan) often. He also loved sports and was a fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes and St. Louis Cardinals. He gained attention as a baseball and basketball player while attending Burlington’s catholic schools and continued to earn accolades as a star basketball player when he attended SCC. He remained involved in sports until he began to lose his vision in his 70’s. As a young adult he officiated baseball, basketball and football. Dick believed in community service and worked 25 years for Catholic Charities as well as volunteering on the zoning board of adjustment and city planning commission. He was a member of the YMCA board, Knights of Columbus, Jaycees, and SCC Alumni. He also enjoyed golf, handball and especially tennis. Dick was the 1st certified USRSA racquet stringer in Iowa and ran Shoquoquon Tennis Club for several years after retiring from USBank.

Survivors include wife of 62 years, Mary Kay (Spading) Wright of Burlington; daughters, Rita (Gary) Willkinson of Peachtree City, GA, Teresa (Fred) Cowens of Naples, FL, and Linda (Joe) Coen of Newton, IA; his six grandchildren, whom he was very proud of; and his sisters, Robin Wright Langston and JoAnn Bryan.

Cremation has been entrusted to the care of Prugh Crematory.

A celebration of life for Dick will be from 4:00PM until 7:00PM, Thursday, May 25, 2023 at Addington Place, 5175 West Ave. Burlington, IA 52601.

In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established for Divine Mercy Parish or St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Prugh Funeral Service is in care of the arrangements.

Condolences can be sent to the family by visiting Richard’s obituary at

Janet June Sherer, 84, of Burlington, died on Friday, May 5, 2023 at Hospice House in West Burlington.

Born on June 29, 1938 at her parent’s home near Oakville, Iowa, she was the daughter of Oscar and Zella (Swise) Youngman. Her family moved to Winfield and raised on the family farm. She had many fond memories of life in a small town where she would eventually meet the love of her life. On July 26, 1958 she married Richard Neale Sherer at Grace Methodist Church in Burlington. They remained in Burlington, Richard’s hometown, to raise their family. Richard passed away on May 16, 1999.

Janet was a 1956 graduate of Winfield High School and the Burlington Business College. For 15 years she worked as an engineer technician for IRC/TRW. After the company moved operations to Texas, she worked at Bangert Computer Systems. Later, she owned and operated Jan’s Computer Secretarial Service before retiring in 2000.

Janet was a woman of many passions and interests. Her green thumb was evident in her beautiful gardens, where she spent countless hours nurturing vibrant flowers and plants, always making sure the local birds and deer had a safe refuge.

An avid collector, Janet had a keen eye for antiques and enjoyed the thrill of the hunt. She delighted in discovering hidden treasures and adding them to her growing collections.

Another passion of Janet’s was genealogy and family history. She meticulously researched their ancestries, piecing together the stories of their relatives and preserving their legacies for future generations. Her dedication to uncovering their family’s roots was truly admirable and will be built upon for generations to come.

In the kitchen, Janet’s culinary skills shone bright. Her cooking and baking talents delighted family and friends alike. She knew how to feed a gathering, which was especially showcased for many years when family would be hosted for Christmas Eve gatherings. Her creations were made with love and enjoyed by all.

Beyond her hobbies, Janet possessed a deep passion for politics. She followed current events closely, engaging in meaningful discussions with family and various friends she made across the country while advocating for causes she believed in.

Janet truly left a legacy that her family will carry on in her memory. She will be deeply missed but forever remembered.

Survivors include her children, Kim (Jeff) Royer, Kurt (Jill) Sherer, and Kelly (Jon) Brice, 10 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren (soon to be 19), one sister, Gwen Rodruck, one brother, Larry Youngman, many nieces, nephews and dear friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, brothers Myron and Melvin Youngman, one sister, Eleanor Evans Davis, sister- and brothers-in-law, and niece Peggy Reneau.

Richard and Janet will be reunited on their 65th wedding anniversary. The private family graveside service will be July 26th at Aspen Grove Cemetery with a celebration of their lives to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations be made to SE Iowa Regional Hospice or Special Needs Foundation in Janet’s honor.

Dewain Allan Wixom, 61, of West Burlington, died Thursday, May 18, 2023 at his home. He was born June 11, 1961 in Burlington, the son of Francis and Betty Joan McCabe Wixom. He married Kathy Norton and they later divorced.
He graduated from Morning Sun High School in 1979 and enlisted in the Air Force in 1980. He served five years as a communications expert. He returned to Burlington and worked as an electronic technician at GE for the next 33 years, retiring at 59. He enjoyed target shooting, woodworking, building computers, playing with electronics, and especially his pets.
Dewain is survived by his mother of New London; three sons, Chad Wixom of Muscatine, Daniel (Jenna) Wixom of Mt. Pleasant, and Cody (Bambi) Wixom of New London; grandchildren Delania, Troy, Savannah and Izabelle; three brothers, Gary (Darcie) of Morning Sun, Roger of Burlington, and Jeff (Tina) of Tucson, Arizona; and four nephews. He was preceded in death by his father.
Graveside services will be held at 2:00 PM, Wednesday, May 24, 2023 in Burge Cemetery, New London. Pastor David Mixon will officiate with Military Rites presented by the Henry County Honor Guard. Visitation will begin after 9:00 AM on Wednesday at the Elliott Chapel, with the family greeting friends from 1:00 – 2:00 PM, followed by a procession to the cemetery. A memorial has been established to the Des Moines County Animal Shelter. Online condolences may be left at

Linda Joyce Romkey, 77, of Muscatine, died Thursday, May 18, 2023, at her residence.
Born April 30, 1946, in Iowa City, Iowa, she was the daughter of Raymond and Ruth (Corman) Genth. She married Michael Romkey on August 3, 1968. He died November 20, 2021.
Linda was a 4th grade teacher for most of her working career and a stay-at-home mom.
She is survived by her daughter, Rebecca (Rick) Caskey of Muscatine; three grandchildren, Jonathan Caskey, Joshua Caskey and Jessica (Timothy) Cable and five great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents and husband.
The graveside funeral service and interment for Mrs. Romkey will be 11:00 a.m. Monday, May 22nd at Aspen Grove Cemetery.
Lunning Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements.

Ronald Francis Shumaker, age 98 of Mt. Pleasant and formerly of Salem, Iowa passed away May 18, 2023 at Silver Palms Assisted Living in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Born on May 2, 1925 in rural Jackson Township, he was the son of Iliff and Gladys (Hallowell) Shumaker. On December 7, 1945 he married Kathleen Morrison in the parsonage of the Cedar Creek Church north of Salem. She preceded him in death on May 22, 2014.
After graduating from Salem High School, Ron was drafted into the military and volunteered for the U.S. Marine Corps on September 10, 1943. He attained the rank of sergeant while serving our country during World War II participating in the Pacific Theater which included the Mariana Islands, Western Caroline Islands and the Iwo Jima operations. He was honorably discharged on November 27, 1945. Ron worked at various crafts starting as a freshman in high school for his uncle Charles Dietrick at the Blue Star Woodwork Shop and for The Furniture Mart, both in Mt. Pleasant. After returning from the war he resumed his employment with The Furniture Mart and also started Ron’s Upholstery in Salem. He worked at Sheaffer Pen Company in Mt. Pleasant for three years and then for six years he owned a home repair/construction business. In 1957 he and his wife operated the grocery store in Salem. In 1958 he found his calling and for the next 30 years he worked in industrial general maintenance, first for Advance Ross Manufacturing in Burlington and Washington, then Iowa Industries and ESP Battery in Burlington. He retired from Goodyear Hose Plant in Mt. Pleasant in 1988.
Ron’s memberships include the American Legion Post #94 in Salem, Forty & Eight Voiture #661, VFW Post #15016, Iowa member at large and Henry County AmVets Post #44. He was also a charter member of the Henry County Honor Guard and served until his health would no longer allow him to do so. He had also been a volunteer fireman with the Salem Fire Department.
Over the years Ron enjoyed fishing, hunting, hiking, bird and animal watching. His interests in Salem history, cemeteries, and ancestry also occupied much of his time researching and documenting. He had participated in sports in high school and enjoyed watching his grandchildren’s athletic events. He also enjoyed watching the St. Louis Cardinals and the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Survivors include two daughters, Connie (Dale) Schau of Altoona, Iowa, and Marilyn (Dennis) Schroeder of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa; son-in-law Paul Moeller of Salem; grandchildren Lori (Mike) Wall, Mike (Tiffany) Moeller, Monte (Kim) Moeller, Kit (Alissa) Schroeder, Ski (Ashley) Schroeder; eleven great-grandchildren, five great-great-grandchildren; three sisters, Gwen Foss, Darlene Owens, and Charlotte Bailey. He was preceded in death by his wife Katie, daughter Jeanne Moeller, and a sister Joyce Van Dorin.
Visitation will be held Tuesday, May 23 at Elliott Chapel, New London beginning at 9:00 AM, with the family greeting friends from 1:00 – 2:00 PM. Immediately following the visitation, there will be a procession to Salem East Cemetery for a 3:00 PM Graveside Service. Senior Vice-Commander Karl Shaeffer will officiate with Military Rites presented by the Henry County Honor Guard. A memorial has been established to the Salem East Cemetery. Online condolences may be left at

Grace M. Mellinger, 98, of Burlington, died Sunday, May 14, 2023, at the Southeast Iowa Regional Hospice House in West Burlington.

Born May 29, 1924, in Louisa County, IA, she was the daughter of Russell and Alice Cover Mehaffy. On October 3, 1942, she married DeVon “Mel/Vonnie” in Kahoka, MO. He died on November 27, 2014.

She worked at IAAP, Burlington Instrument Co., Ross Manufacturing Co., Sylvania and Eklunds Ladies Fashions.

Grace was a member of Eastern Star #545 for many years and attended West Burlington United Methodist Church. She enjoyed traveling and boat trips with her husband up the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers. She also enjoyed bird watching, especially the hummingbirds and gold finches. She was very fond of angels, chocolate and the color red. Grace was very classy, and was known for her elegant wardrobe and amazing style.

Survivors include one sister, Faye Fraise of West Point; two brothers, Ronald (Patty) Mehaffy of Burlington, and Donald (Carol) Mehaffy of Mt. Pleasant; and several nieces and nephews.

Besides her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, one brother and two sisters.

Cremation has been entrusted to the care of Prugh Crematory.

The Graveside Committal Service for Mrs. Mellinger will be 3:00 pm Wednesday, June 14, 2023, at Aspen Grove Cemetery

A memorial has been established for the Special Needs Foundation.

Condolences can be sent to the family by visiting Grace’s obituary at

Betty Anne Graber, 78, of Burlington, Iowa died Tuesday, May 16, 2023 at the Southeast Iowa Regional Hospice House in West Burlington.
She was born November 29, 1944 in Hannibal, Missouri at St. Elizabeth Hospital. She was the daughter of Rostron E. and Mary Anna Williams Juett. August 1, 1992 she and Daniel D. Graber were married at Lowell Church by Pastor Ian Armstrong.
Betty was a 1962 graduate of Burlington High School. She attended Southeastern Community College and graduated in 1964 with an Associate Degree. She then attended Northeast Missouri State Teacher’s College in Kirksville, Missouri and graduated in 1966 with a degree in elementary education.
Following graduation Betty returned to her hometown, Burlington, and was hired to teach fourth grade at Washington School. She taught fourth grade at Washington School for the next 36 years. Following that, Betty taught Title 1 math at Corse School for 3 years. After that she retired from teaching for the Burlington Community School District. Feeling she was not done with teaching, she spent the next 9 years substituting for Burlington, teaching all the way from preschool to 5th grade. In 2015 she retired again, after teaching for nearly 50 years. Working with children, teachers, principals, and curriculum was her pride and joy.
Mrs. Graber asked Jesus into her life at the age of 11 and was baptized at Oak Street Baptist Church. She also taught for 50 years in various churches telling children’s stories, teaching children’s church, teaching vacation Bible school, and camp counseling. She also played the organ and piano at various churches.
Mrs. Graber loved her animals, having 7 dogs from time to time. She camped with her husband and both were members of Good Sam’s Wapello County camping club. She and her husband were avid antiquers and had many collections.
Attending many bluegrass concerts was a highlight.
She loved being with her family. She has one brother, Alfred (Lek) Juett having retired in Las Vegas, Nevada and moving to Thailand; one sister Helen in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is also survived by two nieces Amber (Brian) of St. Paul, Minnesota and Heather (Scott) in Roseville, Minnesota. To Heather and Scott three children have been born and were the apple of their great aunt’s eyes. They are Charlotte, Felix, and Nathaniel.
She loved playing games with family and friends, especially cards. She enjoyed cross-stitch.
Every Sunday evening she ate at Mazzio’s with her church friends. Their group had been together for over 25 years.
The memorial service for Mrs. Graber will be at 1pm at Lunning Chapel on Tuesday, May 23rd with Steve Parker officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Inurnment will be in Green Mound Cemetery rural Trenton.
According to her wishes, cremation has been accorded and entrusted to the care of Lunning Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established for the Des Moines County Humane Society.
Online condolences may be made by visiting