Edna Ellen Olmsted Heitmann
1921 - 2020
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Edna Ellen Olmsted Heitmann

Keystone - Edna Ellen Olmsted Heitmann was born August 3, 1921 in the farm home of her grandparents, George and Anna Wickersheim Koether in the little community of Giard in northeast Iowa. She was the daughter of David Neill and Charlotte (Koether) Olmsted. She was raised in the home of her parents in Giard.

She went to school in Giard #6 through eighth grade. She graduated with honors from the Monona High School in 1938. She graduated from Upper Iowa University in 1941 with a two-year Elementary Education degree. Her first job was in the rural Pleasant Hill School near Monona where she taught for one year. She then took a job as a 6, 7, and 8th grade teacher in the Keystone Public School.

It was here she met Elmer Heitmann who had just returned from service in the army. They were married on August 10, 1945 in the Methodist church in Giard where Edna was a long time member. They made their home in Keystone where Edna continued teaching for another year.

Edna continued her education and in 1971 graduated from Upper Iowa University with a BA degree with majors in English and Education at the age of 50. Edna returned to work in the Benton Community Schools from 1963-1983 when she retired.

She was a member of the Congregational United Church of Christ in Belle Plaine, where she sang in the choir, occasionally played for services, taught Sunday School, and held offices in the Women' Fellowship and other church boards. She was a sixty year member of the Keystone Ladies Literary Club, a 4-H leader, a member of Treeific Trees, American Legion Auxiliary, Kane Homemakers, Key Ladies and Resident's Advocate Committee at the Keystone Care Center. She served on Schroeder Public Library Board, Benton County Cancer Board and was a Benton County Hospice volunteer. She was Benton County's Volunteer of the year in 1995.

Edna was an avid reader and loved gardening, quilting, bowling, swimming, attending Elderhostels. She was a wonderful cook who shared her rye bread with many in Keystone. Most of all, she loved time spent with her family and friends.

She is survived by her five children, Jean (Glenn) Neely, Green Valley, AZ, Mary (Gene) Welch, Omaha, NE, Neill (Judy) Heitmann, Norwalk, Ia, Gale Heitmann, Keystone, Ia. and Alice (John) Ligouri, Camdenton, MO., four grandsons, David (Robyn) Welch, John (Megan) Welch, Will Heitmann, Nicholas Heitmann and three step grandchildren, Chris Erickson, Jeff Welch and Douglas Dunn, Edna was blessed with five great-grandchildren, Elaine, Avery, Colton, Owen and Easton Welch and seven step great children, Marty, Brandon and Sean Erickson, and Holly, Norman, Everett and Augie Welch. She is also survived by one sister Margaret Moyer of Millmont, PA, nephews, nieces and a beloved friend Helen Folkmann.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Elmer, her parents Charlotte and David Olmsted, her brother Philip Olmsted, her father-in-law Louis Heitmann, who made his home with Edna and Elmer for many years after the death of his wife Mary, and her grandson Luke Heitmann.

Memorial gifts can be sent to the Keystone Library or the Keystone Care Center.

A Memorial Services will be held at a later date.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in the Iowa City Press-Citizen from Jun. 17 to Jun. 24, 2020.
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