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Reva Maurcine DeBruyn, 86, of Miramar Beach, Fla., (formerly of Keokuk, Iowa, and Iowa City, Iowa), died April 5, 2012.
Reva was born Aug. 21, 1925, on the family farm just outside Argyle, in Lee County, Iowa, to Joseph Hand and Zinola Kean Hand. She graduated from Donnellson High School in 1943. On April 19, 1946, Reva married Johnny T. DeBruyn in Keokuk. Reva and Johnny had five children, all born in Keokuk - 1947 Linda Ehrsam (Henry), 1949 Johnny Jr. (Judy), 1952 Mary Ann DeBruyn, 1957 Daniel (Teresa), and 1962 Steven.
Reva spent most of her married life as a homemaker. Raising five kids as "only children" was quite an accomplishment. Reva prided herself on hanging out the whitest sheets and laundry in the neighborhood. Oh, and they were hanging out before anyone else had theirs out, too. Reva was active in the parent-teacher association while her kids grew up. She was very active in the Methodist Church and served as President of the Women's Society of Christian Service of the First United Methodist Church in Iowa City.
The family moved to Iowa City in 1962. In the 1970s, Reva started a second career as an insurance agent. She was a "people person" and loved interacting with her customers as well as her co-workers. After Johnny retired, the two of them started traveling. They loved the RV life and made many great friends. They "snow-birded" for several years and in 1992 moved full time to Destin (Miramar Beach), Fla. They fell in love with the Emerald Coast of Florida. The sugar white sand and the emerald water of the Gulf of Mexico was a constant joy to them both. It was their paradise and they never wanted to leave. Even after she lost Johnny in 2008, she steadfastly resisted any suggestion to move north. "I'm going to sit right here in my recliner with Sweetie on my lap until I go!" And guess what? She pretty much did.
Reva loved animals and as a young girl would dress up her cats in doll clothes on the farm where she grew up outside New Boston, Iowa. Her last kitty was her best friend, Sweetie.
Reva is survived by her five children; 11 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Johnny; parents Joe and Zinola Hand; and son-in-law Henry. A memorial service will be held in Keokuk at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the United Methodist Church, 214 East Jefferson St., Iowa City, Iowa 52240.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.daviswatkins.com. Arrangements and services are under the direction of Davis-Watkins Funeral Home and Crematory.
Published in Northwest Florida Daily News on April 12, 2012