Evelyn Elaine (Brown) Elwonger, 89, formerly of Cedar Rapids, IA, passed away at Salem Lutheran Home in Elk Horn, IA, on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015 due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease. She was born on a farm in Richardson County to Stacy and Myrtle (Henderson) Brown on March 28, 1926, the elder of two daughters.
She grew up on the farm, raising chickens with her sister, Dorothy. Evelyn was baptized and confirmed in the Congregational Church in Verdon. She graduated as Valedictorian of the Dawson-Verdon High School Class of 1944. On July 10, 1948 she married Byford Elwonger, and they had three children: Karen Sue, Diane Kay and John Byford. They were later divorced.
Following graduation, she worked at Richardson County Bank & Trust, Ford Motor Co. as a bookkeeper, as well as the Auburn State Bank. Later the Elwongers purchased the Palmer House Motel in Auburn. Evelyn enjoyed meeting and working with the people.
After moving to Cedar Rapids in 1967, Evelyn became active in her children’s many activities. In 1975, she began working for Midwest Food Distributors for 12 years, and later for Armstrong’s Department Store for three.
She was a member of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids, where she was active in UMW, prayer chain, and made many visits and calls to those in need. Some of her fondest memories are traveling to the United Methodist Women Grand Assemblies with her church friends.
Evelyn was an avid collector of old things, especially dishes. She also enjoyed gardening, sewing, baking chocolate chip cookies for family and friends, and traveling, including a trip to South America in 1959 for the Junior Chamber of Commerce World Convention. She would walk three miles or more daily, visiting with those in the neighborhood. She was a loving mother and was always willing to put others first.
She is preceded in death by her parents.
Evelyn is survived by her children, Karen (John) Carns, of Atlantic, IA, Diane (Dennis) Junge, of Overland Park, KS, and John (Sharon) Elwonger, of Summerfield, NC; five grandchildren and one great-grandson; sister, Dorothy (Hugh) Acton, of Augusta, MI; a niece and two nephews; special friends, Fred, Julie and Sue; and many other friends and neighbors.
Her funeral was held Monday, Nov. 9, 2015 at Dorr and Clark Funeral Home, Falls City, with Rev. John Hogue officiating. Interment at Verdon Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials be made to St. Mark’s UMW at Cedar Rapids, or Salem Lutheran Home, Dementia Unit, Elk Horn, IA.