Reta Mae (Vogel) Mullen (1921 - 2017)

2 entries
  • "Sympathy to the family. I liked to visit Reta to learn..."
    - Shirley Simmer
  • "I can remember the enjoyable visits to Harry & Reta's home..."
    - jennifer malone (formerly James)
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Reta Mae (Vogel) Mullen, 95, of West Des Moines, formerly of rural Villisca and Stanton, died on Thursday, April 20, 2017.
Born to John and Ina Vogel in rural Adams County on Sept. 22, 1921, she graduated from Nodaway High School in 1939. She met Harry Mullen at a Nodaway Corn Carnival while she was in high school. They quietly eloped in Maryville, Mo., in 1941. During Harry's four years of service in the U.S. Army during World War II, including 19 months in France and Germany, Reta worked at several jobs back home, anxiously awaiting his safe return. Their only child, Robert, was born in 1949.
Reta and Harry bought his parents' farm in the early 1950s. A devoted farm wife known for her delicious home-cooked meals and immaculate home, she was an avid listener, along with the other farm wives of southwest Iowa, of KMA Radio's Kitchen Klatter program. Without fail, she would tune in to Leanna Driftmier, Florence Falk and all the rest as they shared their family stories and favorite recipes.
Reta was also a beautiful seamstress, made perfect pastel mints for wedding receptions, and was a lovely letter writer. She was employed for 25 years by Union Carbide Corporation in Red Oak, where she had many life-long friends.
In 1988, Reta and Harry sold their Century Farm and built a home in West Des Moines to live near their son and family. They enjoyed playing cards and many other games with their grandchildren. Reta and Harry became avid mall walkers, and even after Harry died in 1994, Reta continued to meet their friends at Valley West Mall to walk and talk.
Living by herself in her own home until age 93, Reta always was up on the current events of the day and loved to chat with neighbors and email friends and relatives. She took pride in mowing her own yard until in her late 80s.
Later, when health issues required her to move to an assisted living facility and then to skilled nursing, she was always a favorite of the nurses and other caretakers because of her positive spirit, sense of humor, and kind attitude.
She is survived by her son, Robert (Tracy) Mullen of West Des Moines; her grandson, Bradley (Lindsey) Mullen of Paradise Valley (Phoenix), Ariz.; and granddaughter, Kelly Mullen of London, England; and many nephews, nieces, and cousins with whom she kept in contact.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Harry; her parents, John and Ina Vogel; and a sister, Laura, who died at age 4.
A private burial will take place at Arlington Cemetery in rural Villisca.
Published in The Red Oak Express on May 2, 2017