Author Archives: Sandy Shinn

Patricia Ann Howell

Patricia Ann Howell, 63, of Waverly, Iowa, passed away on March 31, 2020, at the Waverly Health Center in Waverly. 

Pat was born on April 20, 1956, in Waverly, Iowa, the daughter of Murel “Bud” and Josephine (Weires) Dorman. She was baptized and confirmed at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Waverly. She graduated from Waverly-Shell Rock High School in 1974 and from Wartburg College in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. She received her master’s degree from Viterbo in Lacrosse, Wisconsin in 1998. Pat was united in marriage to Mike Howell on June 30, 1979 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Pat taught second grade in the Waverly-Shell Rock Schools for 33 years, retiring in 2012. In her time teaching she touched so many lives and loved her students as her own. Her second career she was a grandma. Her true love were her grandkids, nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews. She loved reading books too them, loved snuggles, loved playing games with them and FaceTiming her kids. She also loved shopping, finding the best deals and was always ready to tell everyone about her deals.  

Pat is survived by her husband, Mike Howell of Waverly; a son, Nick (Amy) Howell of Tiffin; and a daughter, Megan (Joe) Hoskins of Waterloo; grandchildren, Nolan and Myles Howell and Norah and Hazel Hoskins; her two sisters, Mary (Bonnie) Winninger-Dorman and Susan (Douglas) Bast all of Waverly and a sister-in-law, Denise (Dennis) Book of Freeport, Illlinois. She was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers, Thomas and her twin brother, Michael Dorman.

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Military History – April 2020

Military History:  Believe it or not, but even old retired guys and younger working guys run into a time, where you just don’t catch up, therefore our Military History segment is going off center.  So “April, a month of firsts” contains some facts throughout our history that helped shape our country.  Many of them way before us or our Grandparents, but these “firsts” have had an impact on our lives and how we live, if we think deep enough.  More information on any of these can be found through Wikipedia or some key words in any trusted search engine.

April, a month of First’s

“not just April Fool’s Day”

April 2, 1792 – Congress established the first U.S. Mint at Philadelphia.  David Rittenhouse, an American scientist, was appointed the first director of the mint by President George Washington. Two lots were purchased by Rittenhouse on July 18, 1792, at Seventh Street and 631 Filbert Street in Philadelphia for $4,266.67. The next day, demolition of an abandoned whiskey distillery on the property began. Foundation work began on July 31, and by September 7, the first building was ready for installation of the smelting furnace. The smelt house was the first public building erected by the United States government. A three-story brick structure facing Seventh Street was constructed a few months later. Measuring nearly 37 ft. (11 m) wide on the street, it only extended back 33 ft. (10 m). The gold and silver for the mint were contained in basement vaults. The first floor housed deposit and weighing rooms, along with the press room, where striking coins took place. Mint official offices were on the second floor, and the assay office was located on the third floor. A photograph of the Seventh Street building taken around 1908 show that by then the year 1792 and the words “Ye Olde Mint” (in quotes) had been painted onto the facade.

April 3, 1860 – In the American West, the Pony Express service began as the first rider departed St. Joseph, Missouri. For $5 an ounce, letters were delivered 2,000 miles to California within ten days. The famed Pony Express riders each rode from 75 to 100 miles before handing the letters off to the next rider. A total of 190 way stations were located about 15 miles apart. The service lasted less than two years, ending upon the completion of the overland telegraph.

April 3, 1995 – Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman to preside over the Court, sitting in for Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist who was out of town.

April 4, 1887 – The first woman mayor was elected in the U.S. as Susanna M. Salter became mayor of Argonia, Kansas   Her election was a surprise because her name had been placed on a slate of candidates as a prank by a group of men who were actually against women in politics and hoped to secure a loss that would humiliate women and discourage them from running.   Because candidates did not have to be made public before election day, Salter herself did not know she was on the ballot before the polls opened.   When, on election day itself, she agreed to accept office if elected, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union abandoned its own preferred candidate and voted for Salter en masse, helping to secure her election by a two-thirds majority.

April 6, 1896 – After a break of 1500 years, the first Olympics of the modern era was held in Athens, Greece.

April 8, 1913 – The 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified requiring direct popular election of U.S. senators. Previously, they had been chosen by state legislatures.  The amendment was proposed by the 62nd Congress in 1912 and adopted in 1913 upon being ratified by three-fourths (36) of the state legislatures. It was first implemented in special elections in Maryland (November 1913) and Alabama (May 1914), then nationwide in the November 1914 election.

April 12, 1981 – The first space shuttle flight occurred with the launching of Columbia with astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen aboard. Columbia spent 54 hours in space, making 36 orbits, then landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

April 18, 1942 – The first air raid on mainland Japan during World War II occurred as General James Doolittle led a squadron of B-25 bombers taking off from the carrier Hornet to bomb Tokyo and three other cities. Damage was minimal, but the raid boosted Allied morale following years of unchecked Japanese military advances.

April 30, 1789 – George Washington became the first U.S. President as he was administered the oath of office on the balcony of Federal Hall at the corner of Wall and Broad Streets in New York City.


John F Raap

John F. Raap, 74, of Waverly, Iowa, passed away on Friday evening, March 13, 2020, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.            

John was born on April 25, 1945, in Brisbane, Australia, the son of Doris (Melrose) and Ralph Raap. He attended school and graduated from Oak Lawn High School in Oak Lawn, Illinois. On August 31, 1965, John enlisted into the United States Navy where he served until his honorable discharge on August 20, 1969. On April 6, 1974, John was united in marriage to Jo Ellen Daly in Chicago, Illinois. The couple moved to Waverly where they raised their family. John worked as an electrician and retired from CUNA after 15 years of service. John then worked part-time at Miller True Value in Waverly, where he was currently employed.            

John was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church and Waverly AMVETS Post #79. John loved spending time with his family and friends. He loved attending and coaching his children’s sporting events. He also enjoyed traveling with his wife Jo Ellen until her passing in 2015. Most recently he enjoyed spending time with his granddaughters in North Liberty and visiting his daughter in Grimes.            

John is survived by a daughter, Renee Raap of Grimes, Iowa; a son, Scott (Lauren) Raap of North Liberty, Iowa; two granddaughters, Lydia and Natalie Raap; two sisters, Christine Raap and Linda (John) McClenahan; and four nieces and nephews.   He was preceded in death by Jo Ellen; and his parents.             

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James “Jim” Earl Wheeler

Jim was born June 26, 1932, in New Hampton, Iowa, the son of Clarence and Jennie (Hill) Wheeler. He attended school in New Hampton for several years before moving to Waverly. He graduated from Waverly High School with the class of 1950. He then entered the United States Army and served in the Korean War. Upon his honorable discharge, he returned to Waverly where he would work for the Waverly Street Department. In 1966 he began working for Carnation and continued there for 30 years, retiring in 1996. On July 29, 1971, he was united in marriage to Karen Hoeper at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Waverly. The couple made their home in Waverly and enjoyed traveling throughout the area to casinos. Karen passed away March 18, 2015. 

Jim was very proud of his service in the Army and enjoyed time spent among his friends at the Waverly Area Veterans Post. He was a lifetime member of both the Waverly AMVETS and VFW. He was a volunteer firefighter for the Waverly Fire Department for 19 years. He loved to gamble, especially at Tama and to Mystic Lake to celebrate their anniversary. Over the past five years he enjoyed taking many trips with his son, Jason.  

Jim is survived by his son, Jason Wheeler of Waverly and several cousins. He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Karen and a daughter in infancy, Nicole Lynn Wheeler in 1974. 

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Loretta Marie Davidson

Loretta Marie Davidson, 85, of Waverly, Iowa, passed away on Thursday, February 6, 2020, at Unity Point Health-Allen Hospital in Waterloo. 

Loretta was born on February 2, 1935, at her childhood home in Cedar Falls, Iowa, the daughter of Homer Hilton and Lauramae Marie (Neuenkirk) Towsley. She attended Cedar Falls schools until she married Robert Davidson on August 11, 1952, at the Little Brown Church in Nashua. They later divorced after 30 years.  Loretta graduated from Vista High School in Vista, California in 1953. Robert and Loretta spent two years in California and returned to Waverly, IA after the Korean War. She worked for Control-O-Fax in Waterloo for 31 years until retirement in 1997. She then went to Hawkeye Tech and got a CNA license. For five years, she worked for Cherry Street Home Health Care in Shell Rock. Afterwards, she volunteered at the Waverly Senior Center at which time she was awarded the Governors Volunteer Award in 2010.  

She was a member of the Amvets Ladies Auxiliary where she served as the past president. She enjoyed her family the most, but also enjoyed reading, crocheting, gardening, playing 500 cards and bingo at the Waverly Senior Center. 

Loretta is survived by her two daughters, Debra (Erwin) Mills of Waterloo and Lorie (Robert) Huffman of Waverly; her granddaughters, Dana Heath Taylor of Longview, Texas; Lorna (Sean) Huffman Acker of Britt; Lisa Huffman of Des Moines; and a grandson, Ryan Ebaugh of Longview, Texas; six great-grandchildren, Brittany and Jacob Taylor, Ryan Ebaugh Jr., Jonah Ebaugh, and Nicholas and Lucas Huffman; and two great-great-grandchildren, Brayden and Clarity Taylor. She was preceded in death by her parents, and her brothers, Edward and Robert Pittman. 

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Marianna Trerotola

Marianna Trerotola, 92, of Edina, Minnesota, and formerly of Waverly, Iowa, passed away on Sunday afternoon, January 19, 2020, at Aurora on France Senior Living in Edina, where she lived for the last two years to be closer to her son and daughter-in-law.
Marianna was born March 21, 1927, in Cedar Falls, Iowa, the daughter of Roland and Jane (Eccles) Merner. Marianna graduated from Cedar Falls High School in 1945, attended the College of William and Mary for two years, and finished her education at the University of Iowa where she graduated in 1949. She received her Master of Education degree from the National College of Education in Evanston, Illinois in 1958. While in Evanston, Marianna met Dr. John F. Trerotola and they were married on August 14, 1965, in Cedar Falls, Iowa. 

Marianna’s teaching career took her around the country including Coronado, California, Keokuk, Iowa and St. Louis, Missouri. Her final position was at the National College of Education, where she taught in their kindergarten lab school and in the Teacher Preparation Program. Marianna retired to raise her son, John J., who was born in 1967. The family then moved to Waverly in 1972. After her impactful career, she continued her passion for travel with family or friends as well as enjoyed biking, cross country skiing, and volunteering in the community. She especially relished the time she spent with John J. and Beth in Waverly, Minneapolis and all over the globe. 

She was a longtime member of St. Andrews Episcopal Church, PEO and was a member Alpha Delta Pi in college. Because of her devotion to Cedar Falls and Waverly, she regularly supported endeavors in both communities.  

Marianna is survived by her son, John J. and Beth (Tatinski) Trerotola of Minneapolis, Minnesota. She was preceded in death by her parents, Roland and Jane Merner; her husband, John F. Trerotola; a brother, Bill Merner and many close family and friends. 

A visitation will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Friday, January 24, 2020, at the Kaiser-Corson Funeral Home in Waverly. Marianna’s burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 25, 2020 in Harlington Cemetery, Waverly. A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Waverly with Rev. Maureen Doherty officiating with a reception to follow.  

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Military History – February 2020

The earliest military action to be revered with a Medal of Honor award is performed by Colonel Bernard J.D. Irwin, an assistant army surgeon serving in the first major U.S.-Apache conflict. Near Apache Pass, in southeastern Arizona, Irwin, an Irish-born doctor, volunteered to go to the rescue of Second Lieutenant George N. Bascom, who was trapped with 60 men of the U.S. Seventh Infantry by the Chiricahua Apaches. Irwin and 14 men, initially without horses, began the 100-mile trek to Bascom’s forces riding on mules. After fighting and capturing Apaches along the way and recovering stolen horses and cattle, they reached Bascom’s forces on February 14 and proved instrumental in breaking the siege.

The first U.S.-Apache conflict had begun several days before, when Cochise, the Chiricahua Apache chief, kidnapped three white men to exchange for his brother and two nephews held by the U.S. Army on false charges of stealing cattle and kidnapping a child. When the exchange was refused, Cochise killed the white men, and the army responded by killing his relatives, setting off the first of the Apache wars.

Although Irwin’s bravery in this conflict was the earliest Medal of Honor action, the award itself was not created until 1862, and it was not until January 21, 1894, that Irwin received the nation’s highest military honor.

*Article courtesy of

Military History – January 2020

Operation Thunderbolt, also known in China as the Defensive Battle of the Han River Southern Bank was a US offensive during the Korean War.
It represented the first offensive under the new commanding officer of the 8th US Army, General Matthew Ridgway. It started less than three weeks after the Chinese Third Phase Campaign had forced UN forces south of Seoul.
Thunderbolt was preceded by Operation Wolfhound, a reconnaissance in force by the 27th Infantry Regiment ‘Wolfhounds’ that began on 15 January 1951. At this time the Chinese forces in the central sector were still in possession of Wonju and a full assault could not be made until this sector was under US control. Thunderbolt itself began on the 25 January, when troops of I and IX Corps advanced from the western sector of the front northwards towards Seoul.
This attack was heavily supported by artillery and air support, in accordance with Ridgway’s policy of attrition by superior firepower against a numerically superior foe. By 9 February, the offensive had reached the Han river with the rest of the Chinese defenders retreating to the north of Han River by the end of February.
X Corps, once again part of the 8th Army, held the central sector and moved forward as Operation Roundup on 5 February. Responding to the UN advances, Chinese forces under Peng Dehuai then counter-attacked as the Fourth Phase Campaign, achieving initial successes at the Battle of Hoengsong.
Chinese forces were later held off at the Battle of Chipyong-ni and the Third Battle of Wonju. The concentration of firepower and reliance on close air support in the face of large numbers of light infantry employed here would later become an influence on US doctrine during Vietnam.
Thunderbolt was followed almost immediately by the second UN counter-offensive, Operation Killer.
*For more on this subject see the full article for Operation Killer at

Military History – December 2019

The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory, on the morning of December 7, 1941. The attack, also known as the Battle of Pearl Harbor, led to the United States’ entry into World War II. The Japanese military leadership referred to the attack as the Hawaii Operation and Operation AI, and as Operation Z during its planning.

Japan intended the attack as a preventive action to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions they planned in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States. Over the next seven hours there were coordinated Japanese attacks on the U.S.-held Philippines, Guam and Wake Island and on the British Empire in Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

The attack commenced at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time (18:18 UTC). The base was attacked by 353 Imperial Japanese aircraft (including fighters, level and dive bombers, and torpedo bombers) in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four sunk. All but the USS Arizona were later raised, and six were returned to service and went on to fight in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. One hundred eighty-eight U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded. Important base installations such as the power station, dry dock, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section), were not attacked. Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 64 servicemen killed. One Japanese sailor, Kazuo Sakamaki, was captured.

The surprise attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters. The following day, December 8, the United States declared war on Japan, and several days later, on December 11, Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S. The U.S. responded with a declaration of war against Germany and Italy. Domestic support for non-interventionism, which had been fading since the Fall of France in 1940, disappeared..

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JoAnn Laura Ihde

JoAnn Laura (Vossberg) Ihde, 79, of Plainfield, Iowa passed away on Sunday, November 10, 2019, at the Shell Rock Care Center after an extended illness. The family will greet friends from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, November 15, 2019, at Kaiser-Corson Funeral Home, Waverly, Iowa, she will then be cremated.  Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, November 16, 2019, at First Baptist Church in Waverly, IA.  A private family burial will occur at a later date.  JoAnn was born May 7, 1940, the daughter of Clarence and Laura (Kirkpatrick) Vossberg in Finchford, Iowa.  She was the oldest sister of Bill and Betty.  JoAnn spent days with her grandparents, Henry and Clara (Jergens) Vossberg, growing up around Finchford, Waverly, and rural Bremer County.  She attended country school and graduated from Plainfield High School, Plainfield, Iowa in 1958 as the salutatorian. 

JoAnn was united in marriage to Ron Ihde on February 28, 1960. They eventually made their home in Plainfield.  Together, they had 5 daughters.  JoAnn ran the household while Ron traveled to build churches and DX stations.  After the girls were in school, they purchased the grocery store in Plainfield in 1972 and JoAnn ran the store for a number of years.  Additional work history included grocery retail, selling insurance with Ron, tax preparation, actuary, and nursing home/elder care.  JoAnn was also vital when 4 of her daughters battled breast cancer. Her other “known” profession was shopping—often times she would know how much the items in her cart cost within pennies. 

JoAnn’s other talents included sewing, cooking, baking, knitting, crocheting, cleaning, and finding just the right presents for the kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, and great-great-grandkids. She loved everything about gingerbread men and was an avid reader, especially enjoying Amish Christian novels.  She loved making fudge and always was ready with soup and cookies for everyone.  She always took time to write letters and send cards to her friends and family members.  JoAnn was a long-time member at Horton Baptist Church in Horton, Iowa and First Baptist Church in Waverly, Iowa. 

Left to cherish her memory are her husband of nearly 60 years, Ron, daughters, Elizabeth Henninger of Plainfield, IA, Gretchen (David) Nelson of Mount Morris, IL, Christine (David) Young of Shellsburg, IA, and Nadine (Douglas Johnston) of Colorado Springs, CO. Grandchildren, Ashleah (Kurt) Graves of Plainfield, IA, Lynseah Henninger of Oelwein, IA, Leevi Henninger of Oelwein, IA, Brittany (Nate) Drozd of Mount Morris, IL, Craig Nelson of Washington, D.C., Zachery Freeman of Dixon, IL, and Andrew Freeman of Platteville, WI.  Great-grandchildren,  Lacey Graves, Isabella Reints, Carly Graves, Addylan Graves, Karver Graves, Keen Graves, Paityn Berry, Mossyn Berry, Annabelle Drozd, Lauren Drozd, and Natalie Drozd.  Great-Great-granddaughter, Scarlet Phillips. Siblings, Bill Vossberg of Aredale, IA and Betty Vossberg of Prairie du Chein, WI.  And many other Vossberg and Ihde relatives and friends. 

Those who will greet JoAnn in Heaven are her parents, in-laws, Marvin and Grace Ihde, and daughter, Jennifer Fluck. The family would like to thank the kind caregivers of Shell Rock Care Center and Hospice Compassus.

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