Reprinted with permission

Farewell, Velda DeMoss, founder of a wonderful college football tradition

 / June 17, 2014

RIPPEY, Iowa, July 19, 2014 – When you think about it, this little farm town of 292 hardly seems like a place where you’d find one of the neatest events in college athletics, but I’ve long thought that is the case. And while that event will continue, every-other-year, we lost its grand matron this week with the death from cancer of Velda DeMoss, 74.  She was, in fact, one of the top characters in all of our Greene County.

The first time I met her, 10 years ago when we moved to an acreage near the neighboring town of Cooper, she introduced herself by saying, “They call me the ‘Mouth of Rippey’.”  Of course, I liked her immediately. 

She was the local chatty news correspondent (“Velda’s Varieties”) for area newspapers.  She was president of the Friends Of Rippey community booster club.  She was past-president of the Greene County Historical Society.  A mainstay of the Rippey United Methodist Church, where she was memorialized Thursday afternoon and Friday.  She was a devoted mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and friend.

And in the fall of 1986, she was the founder of what has become a wonderful tradition of the nationally-known Central College football program from Pella, southeast of Des Moines.  The Flying Dutchmen, as the Central football teams are known, are a perennial power in NCAA Division III and the Iowa Conference.  One of their yearly opponents is Buena Vista University from Storm Lake in northwest Iowa. 

After one of Velda’s four sons, Marc DeMoss, started playing for Central in 1982, the family began following the team to the Central-BV games.  Every other year when the game was played in Storm Lake, finding a good, quick meal for the Central players on the 180-mile trip back to Pella was always a challenge. 

Velda DeMoss came up with the idea of having the Rippey Methodists — who’ve always been known for their hospitality and outstanding cooks — prepare and serve Central’s team meal after their football game in Storm Lake.  Every other fall for 28 years now, they’ve served up heaping platters or bowls of roast beef or pork, ham, potatoes, gravy, vegetables, salads and more homemade pies than you can imagine.  

What small town church would dare try to feed a traveling college football squad?  DeMoss knew the Rippey Methodists could do it, and indeed they have. 

By the time of the first supper in 1986, there was another Central student from Rippey involved in the football program.  Linda Borgeson was a student manager for the team, and she also played basketball and was a softball manager for the Dutch.  So DeMoss drafted her great friend Jean Borgeson, Linda’s mother, to help with the meal.  Later Vernon and Alice Fritz volunteered to help when their daughter Alice was going to Central, and ditto for Mary and Gary Weaver when their son David was a student there.  Schyler Bardole, also from Rippey, is on the Central team now, so lots of Bardoles are helping with the meal, too.

Printed with permission

by Toni Roberts friend, fellow choir member,quilter

 Velda Josephine DeMoss was a unique, charismatic, funny person with a great ability to lead others. She carried on the Derry family tradition of support and leadership for the Rippey Methodist church in many ways--Lay Leader, Sunday School teacher, board member, choir member, Ladies Aid president, Skilled Quilter and of later years, Head Kitchen Lady!  As Chief Cook—who can forget the delicious Roast Beef dinners or home made noodles that she oversaw.  She could keep all the “chefs” happy and delegate mundane duties so well that you thought you were doing the job you actually wanted to do!  As the pro tem leader for Ladies Aid and the quilting group, she managed to keep all the organization of dinners and quilt jobs  straight without ruffling anyone’s feathers—which was no small feat!  She lent her accomplished vocal talent to the tenor section and was also sometimes guilty of contributing to some of the rowdiness in that back row section!
      She was funny!  Where ever Velda held court—her story telling ability was sure to please!  And she was not above poking fun at herself. Such as naming our water aerobics group—the Chunky Dunkers as  we actually would raise the water level several inches when the group jumped in!
     Velda and I were often mistaken for each other and when asked how her “husband’s” knee surgery went—she replied “He’s not my husband but the surgery went fine”!  Thus she became known as wife #2 and later vied with Jean who became wife #3.  Velda enjoyed the joke and all the confusion it caused!
       She was popular but not at the expense of some one else’s’ feelings.  As “Queen Bee” of the Rippey Red Hat Ladies—it soon became the Greene County Red Hat Group as everyone who knew her wanted to be a part of the same group!
     She was the instigator of the “Friends of Rippey”group for community betterment.  As its president she worked long and hard on the many projects for the betterment of her local community.  Here again she was able to handle the many duties and assuage the members to bring about the fulfillment of major projects such the Rippey Bike trail, the new Rippey Library, and the community center.  She was a faithful member of the Library Trustees board and supported all the library activities---participating in book discussions (even when she didn’t get the book read),helping at the children’s programs, always ready to bring her renown chocolate chip cheese ball  for refreshments and a fierce and cagey competitor in the annual soup contest!   She gave me the moral support I needed to face some stressful times as librarian.
       Her knowledge of the Rippey history of the former school alumni made her tenure as the secretary of the Rippey Alumni group the best ever!  Rippey history was very important for her and she was known in the county for her work with the Greene County Historical Society.  She even portrayed her great great grandmother at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery walk!
      Velda was many things to many people.  She was my friend—my BFF—as she was to many of us!  She gave a part of her “light” to all who knew her---let’s keep it shining!
 Love ya girlfriend!

Printed with permission

Across the Field:
Tribute to Velda DeMoss, 1940-2014

Across the field the house stands tall,
Surrounded by the peaks of green,
A neighbor, leader, friend to all.

A pillar of strength and love,
Welcoming friends new and old,
As we lived across the field.

Across the field generations came,
Grandparents, parents, mother and sons.
Others joined as family and friends.

Life threw some curves,
She tossed them back,
Struggling along the way.

She journeyed through the cancer maze,
With dignity and grace,
Living fully as time allowed.

Her family, friends, church and community
Will miss her humor, love, and care.
The pain and loss linger on.

Across the field and far beyond,
The lives she touched will move along,
Her memory forever strong.

Nancy Bardole Hanaman
July 15, 2014
Rippey, Iowa

Velda would have been overwhelmed at the out-pouring of kindness and support for her family and friends. As one of her friends, I thank you. Jean B.

and now.....
July 28, 2014
Rippey News

Rippey United Methodist Church News
PO Box 286, 103 West Main St. Rippey, IA 50235
Pastor:  Enna Antunez and Paul Burrow

Adult Sunday School at 9:00 a. m.
Worship Service is at 10:30 a. m.

On Sunday July 27, 2014:

Gabe Bardole received his Senior Bible during worship services   Gabe will be attending Central College this Fall.  The Bible was funded by the memorial of his great-grandparents, Paul and Mary Bardole.

Willie Lansman provided the special music for the worship service. He played his guitar and sang two favorite songs for the congregation.

August 17 will be another Rippey ME church lunch featuring Italian chicken, on a rice bed, vegetable and a brownie sundae.   There will be a charge for this lunch, children at reduced price, 12-1:30 p. m.  Details later!

Mary Hick, Sunday School Superintendent

   This years' mission project  the Rippey United Methodist Sunday School decided to support was “Books without Borders”.   The founder of this project is Momodu Karmara, originally from Sierra Leon.  He works to get books to under privileged, English speaking countries in Africa, to aid in educating the children and adults there.  Many of them do not have any books.
   Wednesday July 23, 2014 two cars of Sunday School kids and Three adults went to Cedar Rapids. When we arrived, we unloaded 22 boxes of new and gently used books on a dock, that were then taken to his work area.   We then found ourselves on the second floor of a red brick warehouse type building that had empty boxes to be packed, as well as many books that had been donated to sort and box.  We got our instructions and all six kids (ranging from 1st grader-8th grader), and three adults started to work.  We were blessed with two retired librarians and some of the kids that enjoy reading, so they were beneficial in the sorting process.  Lunch time came and they fed us sandwiches and chips!  Then, back to work for a couple more hours!  At the end of our work day, we had packed, taped and stacked 34 boxes for this project!  Before leaving we also gave them a check for $700 to help with shipping these books.  Momodu and his daughter were so appreciative of all we did for this project!  The kids worked hard and enjoyed their time helping Momodu’s project.

Rippey Public Library
Sarah Kilgore, Rippey Librarian

Rippey Summer Reading 2014 Successful!

   The 2014 Summer Reading Program at the Rippey Public Library was a huge, huge success this year! On day one, we made glow in the dark bouncy balls with borax, corn starch, glow in the dark paint, and water. It was a fun mess! Twenty patrons attended the program. The kids had a blast! On day two, the Science Center of Iowa visited the library. The presenter did cool science experiments with fire, air, oil and more. Ten patrons attended the program.
   On day three, the UNI Resources for Energy Education presented a program on wind. The kids measured their “puff power” with a Kestrel Meter and used the Beaufort Scale to discover if it was enough to power a wind turbine. Thirteen patrons attended the program.
   On day four, Jonathan May the magician presented a wonderful, funny magic show! He did a spectacular job and the kids loved it! Nineteen patrons attended the program.
   On the last day, we made Mentos and diet Coke science project. By reading a number of hours, attending programs, and finishing their packets, the kids were able to buy prizes with tickets they earned.
   The Rippey Public Library would like to give a very special Thank You to The People's Bank of Rippey for providing snacks and for being a great leader in supporting the Rippey Library. The Science Center of Iowa program and the Jonathan May program were sponsored by The Greene County Board of Supervisors. The Wind program was sponsored by The Junction Hilltop Wind Farm. Also, thanks to the volunteers who provided help and snacks during the various events.

   Steven Pearson, grandson of Dale and Nancy Hanaman celebrated his 13th birthday on July 19 in Superior, WI. Dale and Nancy joined other family members including his parents, Sarah and Benji and his sister, Elizabeth and Andrea. Matthew Hanaman and his daughter, Adyara,  from Rice Lake, WI, also shared in the birthday celebration.

   On July 12, 2014,  family members from across the country shared in the celebration at the Rollins Mansion in Des Moines for the wedding of Lindsay Bardole, daughter of Scott Bardole, Granger, IA, and Patti Bardole, Round Rock, TX to Richard Bywater, son of Pete and Marija Bywater from the Yorkshire area in England.  Dale and Nancy Hanaman and Matthew Hanaman and Adrianna, Rice Lake, WI shared in the day. On Monday following the wedding, John Bardole, Des Moines, and Sydney Bardole, Portland, OR visited the Hanaman Homestead and helped pull weeds and enjoy some of the early garden produce.

   Rick and Mary Liebich joined Dale and Nancy Hanaman for the dedication and initiation of their new fire pit, Saturday , July 26. Tommy, the cat, also joined in the event.

   Gary and Mary Weaver hosted Mary's family cousins at a belated Christmas celebration. Honored guests were Clint, and Erin Ainsley and Kennedy.They have returned to the Midwest, as Clint is now stationed near Omaha. Also attending were Jan Scharingson, and her children Jon, Kris, and Matthew; Kirsten and James Carman, Quinn, and friend John, and Hailey; Jeff, Cindy, Nicholas, and Jaden. Mike and DeAnn Scharingson were also present along with Jodi, Reagan, and Peyton. Ryan had to pull EMT duty so he wasn't able to be there. Mary and Gary's children, David, Emily and Ada attended, along with Theresa and Matt Bayse, Nathan, and Lauryn.
   Following the meal, a tradition of wearing a sombrero and breaking a piñata filled with candy was enjoyed, with Quinn, either being the strongest or being the last hitter, was once again the winner.  A tradition started with an earlier generation of building a family pyramid was made by adult cousins, and finally a second pyramid was made by the second generation cousins.
   Quinn was persuaded to tell the story of meeting Melvin Ejim on her birthday, and Mike Scharingson led all the relatives in teaching and singing a song frequently sung by his father, Carville,  during Christmas celebrations.
   The evening ended with the family members visiting and playing around a campfire.

   Recent overnight visitors in the home of Doris Brown, were her cousin and wife, Don and Karen Drake, of Chandler, AZ.  They were in Iowa to attend their 50th graduation from Simpson College.

   Saturday July  19, 2014, the Neese family met at the Rippey Cemetery for a private burial of Dale LaVerne Neese.  A group of Christian Motorcycle friends also attended.  A short service was rendered by CMA and family .
   Later in the day, family and friends gathered at the Spring Lake Shelter house for a picnic.  Bailey Inez Ovenshire, a recent graduate of Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids was honored.  Her plans include joining the National Guard. She leaves for Fort Sill, OK,  August 11th, to begin training. The gathering was also a opportunity to visit the Memorial bench in the park , in Dale’”s honor.

   Ben and Midge Vannatta attended the sixth birthday party of their great-grandson, Barrett Brown. The party was hosted by Barrett’s parents, Daren and Margie Brown, of West Des Moines.  The theme of the party was pirates. The afternoon was filled with pirate games, balloons, trying to break the piñata shaped like a pirate chest, which provided great entertainment for the older folks.  Pizza, pop and a pirate birthday cake was served on the patio overlooking the large backyard with many large trees.  Many other relatives and friends were also in attendance.

   Jean Borgeson visited in the home of David and Pam Higgins on Saturday, July 26, 2014.  She had been invited to meet and renew an old friendship with David's aunt Judy (Rose) Martin, who was in the area attending the Higgins family reunion.  The two women ate in Paton and took a leisurely ride around and through  Spring Lake, retracing part of Judy's old bus route.  The memories of being roommates in in Fort Dodge before they were married,  kept the women visiting non-stop.  It was a very pleasant afternoon.

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