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She was born to Fred and Jessie Humphrey in Phillips, NE on April 22, 1918. She spent most of her childhood growing up on a farm near Clarinda, Iowa. She was a child during the Great Depression but stated she never experienced poverty because living on a farm she had everything she needed. She remembered her mother feeding hungry strangers at the family dinner table.
She received her degree in nursing from Research Hospital in Kansas City, MO. In May of 1941 she and some friends joined the Army Nurse Corp to see the world and several months later she was in the middle of World War II. She was a 1st Lieutenant and served in Australia and New Guinea. After the war she was stationed at the Presidio in San Francisco, CA. Leaving active duty she remained in the reserves until 1952. She attended the University of Minnesota on the GI Bill and obtained a Bachelor of Science in public health. In 1951 she married Robert Elton and they had two children, Robin and Jeffrey.
For most of her career she was a public health nurse and school nurse. She was hired by Dr. Charles Varner to be the first school nurse of the new Southeast Polk Community school district. She authored health policy for public schools at the state level and implemented health policy for the school district. She served as president of the Southeast Polk Teachers Association and Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. She was loved by students and teachers for her kind and compassionate demeanor. She helped many students and families in the district and promoted the nursing profession.
She is survived by her daughter Robin Elton Robinson of Davis, CA, son Jeffrey Elton, Des Moines, IA, nephew Dr. Michael Humphrey, Reno NV, granddaughter Jessica Cox, Los Angeles CA, grandsons: Andrew Elton, Thomas Robinson and William Robinson and many cousins and life long friends.
Fredonna and her family wish to thank Yolo Hospice, Jan McMahon, Kim Bell, Lillian Hull and Elizabeth Elton for their loving care.
Mothers and grandmothers hold our tiny hands for just a little while but our hearts forever. We were fortunate to have had such a loving and gracious mother and grandmother. Her life was one of service to others and she will live on in our hearts.
She will be buried next to her parents in Kansas City, MO. A memorial service is being planned in September at Ivy Centennial Methodist Church in Altoona, Iowa the date to be announced. Charitable contributions may be made in her name to Yolo Hospice, the American Cancer society, the Southeast Polk Dollars for Scholars or Ivy Centennial Methodist Church.
Dear Mom, I will miss you the rest of my life. I can remember being a little boy and feeling that if my mom ever died, so would I. But as I grew into adult hood I realize that all the non-judgemental acceptance and love you had for others will be carried on in my life. Both Robin and I and all the students you helped grow into adult hood at S.E.P. unknowingly thank you in that their quality of life has been improved, even saved by your works here on earth. The only thing we take with us when we die are our deeds good and bad. With all the good deeds you have done in your life mom, it is a garuntee the Lord has a place for you in heaven. Thank you Jesus, for blessing and accepting my dear mother into heaven.
Jeff Elton Aug 24 2007 12:00 AM
Robin and Jeff, I noted your mother's obituary in the DSM paper. I recall fondly meeting her and thinking of what an interesting life. Coming from a family of nurses I appreciate her accomplishments. I extend my condolences to you.
Tom Tarbox Aug 13 2007 12:00 AM
"Fred" was one of a kind! Her compassion, acceptance, understanding, and love of the students she encountered was wonderful! I loved talking with her--I learned a great deal about being a teacher and the responsibilities that goes with the profession. Her life was indeed blessed by God. . .therefore her soul is blessed for eternity. . .
Leigh Fleming Aug 13 2007 12:00 AM
Dear Robin, Although I have snail mailed my codolences I want to again share with you how much I admired your mother. She was one of the most non-judgemental people I have ever known. My life has been enriched from knowing her as has many other lives. You are to be greatly admired for your devoted care to your mother the past few years. With love, Jean Evans
Jean Evans Aug 12 2007 12:00 AM
Aunt Fredonna was a tremendous lady - she was extremely intelligent, compasionate, thoughtful & loving - I will miss her not being on earth but if there are rewards for good people she will be rewarded well. I know that she suffered from the relentless cancer and I am glad she no longer suffers. But I also know losing your Mother or Grand Mother is a more than significant loss - Robin, Jeff & family you have my sympathy & prayers. God Bless You All
Greg May Aug 9 2007 12:00 AM
Dear Robin, I have great admiration for you and for the loving care and many gifts you gave your mother in her long illness. I know it was not always easy and that you did your best. Her life of caring for others continues in you. Love, Ann
Ann Halsted Aug 9 2007 12:00 AM
Dear Robin, Your sweet Mom's let go and gone home. I know how much you loved each other and often envied that. Love and peace, Nan
Nan Clark Aug 8 2007 12:00 AM