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Mitchellville

Lola Jean Stravers, 84, of Mitchellville, Iowa passed away Thursday, November 12, 2020 at her home. She was born in Anita, Iowa on November 4, 1936 to the late Bessie Murphy. She spent most of her childhood and graduated from high school in Wiota, Iowa.

Lola worked at Northwestern Bell Telephone Company in Des Moines for several years. Her sister and roommate, Pat, fondly recalls Lola’s love of high-heeled shoes, and that she had 21 pairs in her closet at the time! In 1956, Lola met her husband, Gary, at the Iowa State Fair dance. They married several months later. After raising her kids, Lola worked at Odyssey Travel Agency, H&R Block, and for an independent accounting firm preparing tax returns.

Lola was a devoted wife and a caring mother to her children and grandchildren. She was ever-present for her family, attending birthday parties, sports events, celebrating milestones and welcoming new spouses and babies. She took great pride in watching her family grow and change. Best of all were the holidays with family, especially Christmas. Lola loved decorating her house and shopping for everyone. In the summers, she was an avid gardener growing all sorts of vegetables, flowers, and rhubarb. She enjoyed watching and feeding the birds. Her favorite color was purple, as was evident in her flower garden and home – both filled with lilacs and lavender as well as potpourri and candles. She was super smart and organized, eager to learn new things, and had a laugh that would light up the room.

Lola enjoyed spending time at home, watching her favorite house remodeling shows and movies from the Hallmark channel. She was a self-taught designer of trellises and shelving for her garden. Likewise, she enjoyed dabbling in photography - especially landscapes, and took some amazing photos during some of her favorite trips to Colorado, Hawaii, Alaska, and Canada. She was self-taught at piano, wood-working, and home repairs. Lola was a big fan of singers Andy Williams, Neil Diamond, and Elvis. She and Gary attended many Andy Williams concerts in Branson, Missouri. Lola admired artist Thomas Kinkaid; in fact, if you asked what she wanted for Christmas each year, she was sure to mention a Thomas Kinkaid calendar or puzzle. Lola challenged herself with sudoku, word puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, board games and chess.

Lola was devoted to her family. She instilled in her children the value of hard-work, honesty, standing up for yourself, and of taking responsibility. She was strong and meticulous - and a firm believer in being thorough. Her husband Gary most admired and appreciated the care and support that she gave to everyone, always selfless and worrying about others instead of herself. Her son Kyle, as a young kid, remembers that his mom often helped him out on his newspaper route deliveries on bad weather days. Daughter Cheryl remembers her mom’s planning the family car and camper vacations to St. Louis, attending Cardinals games, visiting Mt. Rushmore and the Mackinac Islands on Lake Huron. She fondly remembers her mom sewing drill-team outfits and homecoming dresses. Greg remembers his mom as caring and comforting and a great cook! Also, Lola always carried gum and Kleenex in her purse – for emergencies.

She was an enthusiastic fan of the Hawkeyes - never missed watching a basketball game. She loved to bake and serve chocolate-chip cookies and her famous chocolate sheet cake. Friends remember Lola’s recipe for homemade rhubarb cake. The kids appreciated Lola’s great cooking. Lola’s favorite restaurants were Panera Bread, Palmer’s and The Red Lobster. She loved pies for dessert – particularly and of late, Heath Bar Crunch, and all-time favorite, cherry cheesecake.

She was a lifelong member of the Disciples of Christ Church where she taught Sunday School, and served as a Deacon and treasurer.

She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Garth (Gary) Stravers; her sister, Pat Drottz; her brothers Mike Murphy (Linnea), Dave Murphy (Cindy); her three children, Kyle Stravers (Liz), Cheryl Tucker (Don), Greg Stravers (Angie); her seven grandchildren Andy Stravers (Christina), Ellie Stravers, Adam Huddle (Kassi), Alyssa Stoner (James), Katelin Brees (Micheal), Abbigail Brenner (Cody), Isaak Stravers; five great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held at Hamilton’s Altoona Funeral Home on Thursday, November 19th from 6:00 until 8:00 pm.

A graveside service will also be held on Friday, November 20th at 2:00 pm at The Mitchellville Cemetery.

Service Details

Visitation:
Thursday, November 19, 2020
6-8 pm
Hamilton's Altoona Funeral Home
105 Fourth Street SW
Altoona, Iowa 50009
(515) 967-4272
Service:
Friday, November 20, 2020
2:00 pm
Mitchellville Cemetery
Arrangements:
Hamilton's Altoona Funeral Home
105 Fourth Street SW
Altoona, Iowa 50009
(515) 967-4272

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