Lauretta Mae Birney
Lauretta Mae Birney passed into the arms of her Lord in her sleep on April 23, 2014 What a glorious way to meet Him.
Lauretta was born to Ida Mae and Hans Peter Jessen on Dec. 22, 1910 in a small house on the banks of the Maquoketa River in Eastern Iowa. Her dad, Pete, managed the first Hydroelectric Plant on the river. She also spent many of her early years on a farm her family moved to later a few miles from the plant. She graduated from Maquoketa High School and
then went to Normal School. The following fifteen years she taught all subjects in grades 1-8 in a country school house in the rural schools of Jackson County Iowa. She often rode her horse to and from school and carried water in and kept the stove going for her students. She was a strong and resourceful woman. In 1940 she met a man named James Birney from Dewitt, Iowa at one of the many Big Band dances so prevalent in the 1940’s. He knew instantly that she was the one for him and pursued her vigorously and won her. They were married on April 12, 1941. She was a loving and ever present mother to her girls. She was a wonderful cook, Brownie Leader, Choir Robe Mother and a vital part of all of the girl’s activities. She was a devout member of the Methodist Church. She was also a devoted wife to her husband Jim who traveled every week for his job. In 1960 his job took him and the family to Omaha, Neb. where they lived until he retired. After Lauretta’s family was raised she worked for Sears Roebuck and Co. in the Ladies Dept. for many years until she retired. She and her husband Jim spent many winters vacationing on South Padre Island with all of their friends from Iowa. She was preceded in death by her husband Jim Birney, her parents, two infant children, three brothers: Leo Jessen and his wife Leona of Maquoketa, Iowa, Harry Jessen and his wife Verda of Maquoketa, Iowa and Donald Jessen and his wife Dora of Winchester, Kan. Her survivors include two daughters, Patricia Ingalls of La Grange and Judith Trimble of Denver, Colo.; one grandaughter, Samantha Leapley of Golden, Colo.; one great-grandson, Griffin Leapley of Golden, Colo., one sister Marie Finck of Santa Barbara, Calif. Her family has been blessed by her presence in their lives for so many wonderful years. We take great comfort in knowing we will see her again in Heaven
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