Eva Frances Bassett Railsback
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Eva Frances Bassett Railsback was born March 27, 1919, in Tryon, Nebraska. Eva died on October 29, 2013, in Des Moines, Iowa. She was 94. Services were held at the Tryon, Nebraska, United Methodist Church with burial in Miller Cemetery, Tryon, NE on November 1.
It was her to decision not to treat an abdominal aortic aneurysm as it began to leak. She chose comfort measures knowing that the aneurysm would end her life.
The daughter and third child of Nathan and Sadie Sager Bassett, she grew up in McPherson County, Nebraska. She skipped a grade in high school, allowing her to help create the largest graduating class at McPherson County High School. Eva eloped to marry Henry Railsback on July 16, 1938. They moved to various towns in Nebraska as Henry taught high school. During World War II, they lived in Joliet, Illinois. They moved to Phillips, Texas, in 1945, to Bartlesville, Oklahoma, in 1957, and after Henry's death in 1989 to Des Moines, Iowa, in 2008. Wherever she ended up, she created a home.
She reveled in the Nebraska Sandhills, reading anything she could find by sending her daughter to Google. Eva remained curious even as her vision and hearing failed. Through the ministry of teddy bears attached to her walker, she engaged residents and staff at 3801 Grand, the assisted living facility in which she lived and flourished. She loved it there. She enjoyed her family, any furred animal, live or stuffed, Otis the rooster, owls, flowers, books, needlepoint, swimming (holding a trophy for 500 mile swim), travel, creating clothing, and any meal that she didn't have to cook. A member of First Christian Church Bartlesville for 55 years, Eva was a loyal attendee at the services at 3801. As her sight and hearing diminished, she was not able to do the things that gave her joy. Instead, she built new joys with whatever she had, like teddy bears and new friends in a totally new city.
Eva is survived by a son, Scott, of Bradenton, FL, a daughter, Linda, of Des Moines, and a sister, Rita O'Neill, of North Platte. She was predeceased by her husband, Henry, her parents, sisters Nona Moore, Blanche Miller, and Ruby Hunt, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
When asked what she wanted for Christmas or birthday, she always said she had all she needed and to support the Animal Rescue League in Des Moines. The address is 5352 NE 22nd St., Des Moines, IA 50313. Online condolences may be shared at IlesCares.com.
Iles Funeral Home - Dunn's Chapel
2121 Grand Ave
Des Moines, IA 50312
Published in Des Moines Register on Nov. 10, 2013