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Beryle LaVonne Thoreson
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Obituary for Beryle LaVonne Thoreson

Beryle LaVonne (Twedt) Thoreson was born on November 1, 1917, to Sadie (Thompson) and Anton Gilbert Twedt at the family home in rural Ellsworth and was baptized at Bethany Lutheran Church. She left us on June 24, 2017, early in the morning as the sun shone and birds sang at Timberland Village in Story City, Iowa, four months shy of her 100th birthday.
Beryle attended rural school and graduated from Ellsworth High School where she later participated in what was probably a record number of alumni banquets. Following high school, she worked as a waitress, saving enough money to attend “beauty school” in Des Moines. Beryle operated her own shop in Ellsworth until she married Curtis O. Thoreson on March 12, 1948. Her focus then became her family, home, gardens and volunteer work, maintaining her beautician license in order to help out in a friend’s shop on occasion and later doing weekly hair care at Bethany Manor until well into her 80’s. She was a life-long member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Ellsworth, was active in women’s organizations in the church and community, and played a key role in the Girl Scout organizations in Ellsworth and on a regional level.
Beryle and Curt raised four children and allowed each to be unique. Her support of them, from the childhood/teen-age activities to life goals was equaled by her support of Curt in his countless community boards and committees and his endless evening meetings.
Beryle was a determined woman, from her dream of opening her own beauty shop to the grit that enabled her to recover quickly later in life from several surgeries. She was an extremely competent woman, from her success as an honor student in high school and beauty school to the stylish clothes she sewed for her children to her years of capable leadership of the area Girl Scout Day Camp. She learned to knit during World War II and, to her last year, corrected anyone who didn’t knit in the efficient way she was taught by the Red Cross instructors during the war. Beryle surprised folks on occasion, as in the flying lesson she took once in her early twenties or in the progressive comments she made on sensitive social issues in her later years. Friends, volunteer colleagues and, later, caregivers constantly commented on her sweet personality and sense of humor.
Beryle is survived by her children: Shirley Stapleton of Jefferson, IA, and grandson David Stapleton of Des Moines; Arlie (Jay) Willems of Mount Vernon, IA, and grandchildren Nathan (Margaret) Willems of Mount Vernon, IA, Megan Willems (Amador) Zuazua of Denver, CO, and Spencer Willems of Des Moines; Vernon (Lori) Thoreson of Ellsworth, IA, and grandchildren Jody (Eddy) Flores of Jewell, IA, Jenny Feaker of Jewell, IA, and Jayson (Kelly) Feaker of Rockwell City, IA; and Teresa (Michael) McCormack of Rochester, MN, and grandchildren, Torin (Brittany) McCormack of Roseau, MN; Garrett (Jennifer) Schmidt- McCormack of Iowa City, IA, and Mackenzie McCormack of Columbia Heights, MN. She leaves fifteen great grandchildren: Ava, Emery and Marlie Willems; Benjamin and Sadie Zuazua; Neil and soon-to-be-born baby McCormack; Kayla, Sierra, Carissa, Mariah, and Christian Flores; Carmen Feaker; and Hallee and Kole Feaker. Beryle also leaves her brother Donald Twedt (Jeanne) of Attleboro Falls, MA, her sister Betty McClain of Hoxley, TX, sister-in-law Charlene Thoreson of Clear Lake, IA, special nieces Alice Mae Lacey, Barbara Keenen, and Vicki Smith and an army of nephews, nieces, and great-nephews and nieces.
Beryle was preceded in death by her parents, husband Curt in 1995, brother Gerald Twedt, brother-in-law Ennis McClain, son-in-law Craig Stapleton and numerous Thoreson family members, including Curt’s siblings Jesse (Viola), Ike, Bill (Selma), Ralph (Verna), Don, and Ruth (Don Barkema) as well as Twedt/Thompson cousins.
Memorials may be sent to Trinity Lutheran Church in Ellsworth, Timberland Village in Story City, or the Curtis O. and Beryle Thoreson Scholarship at South Hamilton Community School in Jewell.

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Previous Events





5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Soderstrum-Reimers Funeral Home

512 Main Street
Jewell, IA 50130





11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Trinity Lutheran Church

1629 DeWitt Street
Ellsworth, Iowa 50075





11:50 AM - 11:55 AM
Homewood Cemetery

3173 Ubben Avenue
Ellsworth, Iowa 50075


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