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Beth Erkonen

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT
Beth Erkonen

CORALVILLE, Iowa – Beth Erkonen’s soul left this earth Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013. She died after a brief, sudden battle with lymphoma. Consistent with her generous character, she donated her body to the anatomy department at the University of Iowa.

She was born May 21, 1934, in Sterling, to Isaac and Ella Mae (Renkes) Vandermyde. She graduated from Morrison High School in 1952. In 1956, she graduated from the University of Iowa College of Nursing with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. While a nursing student, she met her husband, Bill. They were married Sept. 7, 1957. Her long career in nursing included many years as a visiting nurse in Streator. For her devoted care of others, she was awarded a Distinguished Citizen of the Year award. She was a longtime volunteer at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, accruing more than 5,000 service hours. She was a member of Chapter KQ of PEO. She was a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan.

She is survived by her husband, Dr. William Erkonen; her children and their spouses, Joan of Mukwonago, Wis., Sue of San Mateo, Calif., Jane of Columbia, S.C., Sam of Plainfield, and Gwen of Coralville; her brother, Dick, of Morrison; and 13 grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Isaac and Ella Mae; brother, Don; and granddaughter, Eve.

A celebration of her life will be from 3 to 6 p.m., with sharing of memories starting at 4:30 p.m., Sunday at Brown Deer Clubhouse in Coralville.

In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established to the College of Nursing at the University of Iowa, The Salvation Army, and the Volunteer Department at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

As those who knew her can attest, Beth lived a full and charitable life. She will be missed.

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