Rita Willson

December 2, 2017

Rita Willson, Mother Of Classmate Steve Willson

Des Moines – Rita A. Willson passed away on Tuesday November 28, 2017 at Trinity Center in Des Moines, Ia at the age of 84.

Rita is survived by her sister Kay and her husband Larry Unkrich of Fairfield; her children Steve Willson of Des Moines, Bruce Willson and his wife Tracey of Las Vegas, Eric Willson and his wife Cindy of Des Moines, Colleen Willson and her husband Kent of Iowa City; her grandchildren Shane Schrek and his wife Michelle, Cody Wade and his wife Ashley, Cali Wade, Alec Willson, Hillary Willson, Myles Willson, Cole Willson and Willson Benedict; her great grandchildren Braydon, Bella, Lincoln. Jaydon, Colton, Willa and Wyatt.

Rita is preceded in death by her mother Eldena her step father Milo Clark of Stockport and her husband L. Donald Willson.

Rita was born on December 11th, 1932 on in Fairfield, Ia to Eldena and Tom Scarborough. Rita graduated from Parsons College in 1954 . Rita married L. Donald (Don) Willson on December 19, 1954 in Fairfield. Rita and Don moved to Des Moines in 1963 where they raised their children. Rita began working for Meredith as a home typist then at 10th street location. Rita continued to work at various locations under Merdith, Neodata and EDS until 2009. When not working Rita enjoyed reading, attending various plays and musicals, cooking and playing games with friends.

A Celebration of Life is scheduled for Saturday December 2, 2017 at Croatian Fraternal Slavic Center located at 6575 Indianola Ave in Des Moines from 1 to 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers send a donation to the Animal Rescue League or Fairfield Arts and Convention Center or Des Moines Performing Arts or Iowa Culinary Institute.
Published in Des Moines Register on Dec. 1, 2017



Reunion In Fall 2018

August 27, 2017


The elite Reunion Committee is busy planning a 45th year class reunion to be held on or about Fall of 2018.  We’re changing up the venues so don’t expect it to be in the same places.  You can check here for updates.

In the meantime, keep an eye on your mailbox for a Yellow Mailer, which will trickle out to the class over the next couple months.  Your mission is to fill out that Yellow Mailer with a fury and send it back to me with all speed.  Just get it done.

If you have not received a Yellow Mailer by Halloween, contact me.  You don’t want to be left out.

Craig Hines

May 21, 2017


Craig Hines
1954 – 2017

A Celebration of Life Visitation for Craig Harold Hines, 62, who passed away at home in Indianola, will be held 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 25, 2017 at Overton Funeral Home.

Craig is survived by his children, Curty (Mary) Hines, Shannon Hines; grandchildren, Jacob and Chey Hines; great-grandchild, Justin Hines; sibling Terry (Stan) Sherwood, Doug Hines, best friend, Dave Swartslander and several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, Marjorie and Bud Hines.

Memorials may be given to the family in his name. For a complete obituary or to submit an online condolence visit our website at http://www.overtonfunerals.com.
Published in Des Moines Register on May 22, 2017
– See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/desmoinesregister/obituary.aspx?n=craig-hines&pid=185519520&fhid=13655#sthash.jjrm4gyk.dpuf

Born: September 8, 1954
Place of Birth: Des Moines, IA
Death: May 20, 2017
Place of Death: Indianola, IA
Occupation: Construction

Celebration of Life
Thursday, May 25, 2017
5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Overton Funeral Home
501 W Ashland Avenue
Indianola, IA 50125

– See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/desmoinesregister/obituary.aspx?n=craig-hines&pid=185519520&fhid=13655#sthash.jjrm4gyk.dpuf

Franklin Roy Tate

April 30, 2017

1955 – 2017

East Lansing, MI

Franklin Roy Tate will be remembered by those who loved him for his warm heart, creative mind, and activist spirit. He passed from this world on April 25, 2017.

Frank was born on June 13, 1955 to Dorothy (Springer) and Lloyd Tate. He grew up on the Southside of Des Moines, Iowa, a place that remained dear to his heart. After graduating from Des Moines Lincoln High School in 1973, he enlisted in the Navy in 1975, and was trained as a naval photographer in Pensacola, Florida. He also served on the USS Nimitz, and later in New London, CT. (He once quipped that his headstone should read, ‘I’d rather be here, than on the USS Nimitz’.) He was honorably discharged in 1982 after 6.5 years of service.

He attended Rochester Institute of Technology, receiving his BA in Audiovisual Communication in 1986. Subsequently, he moved to the Lansing, MI area with his first wife, Kate, where their two sons, Dylan and Ethan, were born. Frank worked in the field of educational technology at Michigan State University, retiring after 25 years. Additionally, he earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Technology from MSU in 2006. Frank particularly enjoyed his final years at MSU working to design and develop online courses.

Frank and Mary Bremigan met and fell in love in 2008, and the two were married in 2010. For several years they lived large, travelling and embracing life, despite his diagnosis with kidney cancer. Frank was an avid golfer, and a gifted photographer and designer. He was a dedicated activist for civil rights and peace. He loved his sons beyond measure.

Franklin is survived by his wife, Dr. Mary Tate Bremigan, sons Dylan Lloyd and Ethan Richard Tate and their mother Kate (Anderson) Tate, sisters Linda (Denny) Waterman and Patricia (Robert) Welty, brother Richard (Patricia) Tate, nephews Jeff (Jenny) Waterman and John (Angela) Tate, nieces Brandy Tate, Kathie (David) Cunningham and Cheryl (Darrin) Glover, several cousins, and grand-nieces and nephews.

Memorial Services will be held both in East Lansing and Des Moines. In East Lansing, a service at the Peoples Church, 200 W Grand River Ave., will take place Thursday May 4, 2017 at 3:00pm (visitation at 2:00pm).

In Des Moines, a service at Park Avenue Presbyterian Church, 3120 SW 9th St, Des Moines, IA 50315 will take place on Monday May 8, 2017 at 3:00pm (visitation at 2:00pm). In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Veterans for Peace 1404 North Broadway, Saint Louis, MO 63102 http://www.veteransforpeace.org or Hospice of Lansing, Stoneleigh Residence 3411 Stoneleigh Dr., Lansing, MI 48910 http://hospiceoflansing.org/our-residence/.


April 20, 2017


March 19, 2017


Marilyn “Darlene” Griffith

March 4, 2017


Marilyn “Darlene” Griffith

Des Moines

Marilyn “Darlene” Griffith, 86, of Des Moines, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at Iowa Methodist Hospital. Darlene was born on December 18, 1930 in Ogden, Iowa to Luella and Edward Nelson.

Darlene enjoyed sewing, teaching others to sew, quilting but most of all she treasured time with her family and friends. She loved traveling and wintering in Texas. Darlene was the matriarch of her family and she will be greatly missed.

Those left to cherish her loving memory are her sons, Bob (Diane), Tom (Melanie) and Jim (Kathy); eight grandchildren; twelve great-grandchildren; brother, Don (Judy) Nelson; and many other loving family and special friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Gail in 2003 and her brother, Dean Nelson.

Visitation will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 5, 2017 at Hamilton’s Southtown Funeral Home, 5400 SW 9th Street. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, March 6, 2017 at Christ Lutheran Church, 6411 SE 5th Street. She will be laid to rest at Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the American Cancer Society in memory of Darlene.

On-line condolences may be expressed at


Published in Des Moines Register from Mar. 3 to Mar. 5, 2017 – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/desmoinesregister/obituary.aspx?n=marilyn-griffith-darlene&pid=184310026&#sthash.o7hoFA67.dpuf

Mrs. Griffith is the mother of classmate Tom Griffith.




Beverly Carroll Dinnen-Campbell

March 3, 2017


Beverly Dinnen-Campbell

Des Moines

Beverly Ann Dinnen-Campbell, 61, was peacefully called to heaven on February 28, 2017 at Mercy Hospice in Johnston. Per her wishes, her body has been cremated and a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Beverly was born July 31, 1955 in Des Moines to Leo and Glada (Houser) Carroll. She graduated from Lincoln High School in 1973. Beverly retired from Mercy Hospital in 2016 where she had worked in the IT Department for 28 years. She had a “Green Thumb” and spent lots of time working outside in her garden. Beverly cherished time spent with her ten grandchildren.

Beverly is survived by her loving husband, John Campbell; the boys, Travis (Brandi) Dinnen, Jake (Caroline) Dinnen, David (Jen) Dinnen, Michael (Denise) Campbell and Joshua (Sara) Campbell; mother, Glada Carroll; and her siblings, Phil (Janie) Carroll, Dan Carroll, Tim (Ann) Carroll and Rita (Cliff) Dawson.

She was preceded in death by her father and her sister, Linda Day.

The family would like to thank Mercy Cancer Center, Brian Freeman, M.D., John Martens, M.D., Chest Infectious Diseases, Daniel Barth, D.O. and most of all, Dona Van Berkum RN, OCN Nurse Navigator.

Condolences may be expressed at http://www.HamiltonsFuneralHome.com.
Published in Des Moines Register from Mar. 2 to Mar. 5, 2017
– See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/desmoinesregister/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=184296731#sthash.WLmQp9fK.UH6ciHQC.dpuf

Marcia Zarley Taylor

March 3, 2017

Marcia Zarley Taylor

Sag Harbor, New York

Marcia Zarley Taylor, 61, of Sag Harbor, N.Y., formerly of Haddonfield, N.J., passed away Feb. 19, from breast cancer.

Taylor was born March 10, 1955 in Des Moines, Iowa. She was an internationally recognized agribusiness journalist. She was executive editor of DTN/Progressive Farmer and previously worked as an editor for Farm Journal and Successful Farming magazines. She was a former president of the American Agricultural Editor’s Association and was set to become North American Agricultural Journalists Association’s new president this spring.

She was a 1973 graduate of Des Moines Lincoln High School and graduated summa cum laude in 1977 from Iowa State University with degrees in journalism and agronomy. During her 40-year career, she won nearly every agribusiness award for news, feature, and editorial writing, including the AAEA Oscar in Agriculture, AAEA Writer of the Year, and two-time NAAJ Glen Cunningham Writer of the Year.

Taylor was a champion of family-owned farms and led the nation in covering the looming financial and personal pitfalls of farm families working to create workable estate plans for their farms. She was the first journalist to recognize the issues the current Affordable Care Act caused for many rural farm families.

In the 1990s, she was the first American journalist to venture into the wilds of Brazil to report on farmers, both Brazilian and American, who were challenging America’s position as the world leader in commodity grain production.

She is survived by her husband John; sisters Debbie Beres and Lori Lawson and their husbands James Beres and Dave Lawson; brother Craig Zarley and his wife Debra Durchslag; sister-in-law Mary Manley and her husband Patrick Manley; brothers-in-law James Taylor and Herb Taylor and his former spouse Jina Taylor; and three nieces and five nephews.

She was preceded in death by her father Guy Zarley and mother Marjorie Zarley Wallace.

Marcia was a loving wife, beloved aunt, avid gardener, reader, traveler, and active in her parish and women’s education. Services will be February 24, in Southampton, NY. A memorial service will be held in the spring in Philadelphia. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Marcia’s name can be made to the P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education (PCE), Old St. Joseph’s Historic Preservation Corporation (Philadelphia, PA), the Sag Harbor Partnership, or another charity of your choice .
Published in Des Moines Register on Feb. 23, 2017
– See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/desmoinesregister/obituary.aspx?pid=184216354#sthash.bmVW0Crs.dpuf

Marcia Zarley Taylor

March 3, 2017


DTN/The Progressive Farmer Executive Editor Marcia Zarley Taylor’s career in ag journalism spanned four decades. (DTN photo)
This week, farmers lost one of their most intelligent, steadfast journalist supporters. Agriculture journalism lost one of its true giants.

Marcia Zarley Taylor, DTN/The Progressive Farmer Executive Editor and 40-year agricultural reporter, passed away Feb. 19 after a brief illness.

Taylor’s importance to the DTN/PF team, and to agriculture, is best summed in the title of her online blog, “Minding Ag’s Business.” That is what she did throughout a four-decade career: Taylor tended to, wrote about, worried about, and led others’ thinking about, the business of agriculture.

“She changed DTN,” said DTN Editor Emeritus Urban Lehner, who hired Taylor in February 2007. She came to this staff with a large resume, most recently as chief editor of Top Producer Magazine. Taylor was instrumental in Lehner’s efforts to expand the DTN/Progressive Farmer operation into the most powerful, most award-winning newsroom in agriculture.

This week would have been her 10th anniversary at DTN/The Progressive Farmer.

Taylor helped set the tone for news and feature coverage that focused on the information farm business owners needed to make some of their most important decisions on land, capital investments, banking and navigating complex farm programs.

Throughout her career, she championed the business of modern commercial-scale agriculture not with hollow platitudes, but with solid business knowledge that challenged the industry to be better.

While she did not grow up on a farm, the native Iowan took to the industry quickly, and saw in it a fitting match for her business-reporting skills. After graduating summa cum laude with a degree in journalism and agronomy from Iowa State University, her byline was soon a familiar one on the pages of Successful Farming, Farm Journal and Top Producer, the latter where she became editor-in-chief in 1990.

Taylor was always reporting and listening, and those skills kept her constantly on the cutting edge of agricultural trends. She was among the first to begin referring to the group of bold, professional, rapidly expanding farmers as “young tigers,” in the early 1990s. She brought the stories of their aggressive, sometimes risky, farm business successes and failures to her audience without apology.

Taylor was tenacious, yet tender. Hers was perhaps the most difficult beat in business-to-business journalism: Getting farmers, bankers, economists and politicians to open up and share their most intimate business knowledge, their strategies, their wins and their losses.

These were the type of articles where even a slightly less-sensitive approach would get the story, but burn the source. Yet Taylor had the innate ability to get her subjects to open up their ledgers and their minds to the world, and left them eager to share again.

She also was among the first to realize the path to being a successful “tiger” was a lonely one. Her story subjects, especially the most successful, were often shunned in their local communities. Coffee shop talk was often about them, it rarely included them.

Her stories were the impetus for some of the most influential professional farmer networking groups in modern times. The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers (TEPAP) and its related group, AAPEX, the Top Producer seminars, and DTN’s own Ag Summit, were either created by, inspired by, or furthered by Taylor’s constant drive to help professional farmers help themselves.

“Our mission and objectives couldn’t have been better matched,” said Danny Klinefelter, who started TEPAP. “We were both targeting the very business oriented; continuous improvement agricultural producers that we knew were going to be the future of U.S. agriculture.

“Marcia and I both recognized that the traditional ‘one size fits all’ type of education was a thing of the past for this group of producers,” Klinefelter said. “I’m going to miss her and so is agriculture.”

She also personally moderated a peer group of farmers from across the U.S. who met to share, critique and support each other’s enterprises. She was working with that group in late January when she fell ill.

Taylor didn’t only focus inside this country. She was the first U.S. agricultural journalist to venture into the wilds of Brazil in the 1990s, and introduced U.S. farmers to the “cerrado,” and places such as Mato Grosso, people such as Blairo Maggi. She told the stories of the farmers, both Brazilian and U.S. born, who were challenging America’s position as the world leader in commodity grain production.

More recently, she led the nation covering the looming financial and personal pitfalls of farm families working to create workable estate plans for their farms. She was the first to recognize the issues the current Affordable Care Act caused for many rural farm families, and she navigated the constantly changing waters of crop insurance programs. Many a crop insurance adviser has said, “I first want to see what Marcia Taylor writes, then I know how to advise my customers.”

“Marcia was the ultimate professional, a tough editor who demanded the best from everyone,” said Gregg Hillyer, friend, colleague and editor-in-chief of The Progressive Farmer. “She was a person you didn’t want to disappoint.”

One of those people, Jeanne Bernick, now with K-Coe Isom, began her career as Taylor’s news intern, then became a writer and eventually followed Taylor’s footsteps as chief editor of Top Producer.

“Oh, the red ink that marked my copy,” Bernick said of her early days. “I remember getting into a taxi one night outside the headquarters in Philadelphia and crying on my way home as I stared at the amount of red on the pages of my story. Every editing mark, however, was made with intent to improve my writing for the reader.”

Taylor was both a great mentor to agricultural journalists and a leader in the profession. She was a former president of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association and was set to become North American Agricultural Journalists Association’s new president this spring. Either individually, or as leader of reporting teams, she won nearly every award there was to win for news, feature and editorial writing, including the AAEA Oscar in Agriculture, AAEA Writer of the Year, and two-time NAAJ Glen Cunningham Writer of the Year.

In 1988, she took an editorial sabbatical to be the “Professional in the Classroom,” teaching agricultural journalism courses at the University of Missouri. It was a time she often reflected on throughout her career.

She is survived by her husband, John; sisters, Debbie Beres and Lori Lawson; brother, Craig Zarley; brother-in-laws, Jim Beres and Dave Lawson; sister-in-law, Debra Durchslag, and a niece and five nephews.

“Marcia was one of the preeminent ag journalists of her generation,” said Lehner. “Her contributions to DTN/The Progressive Farmer — as a writer, an editor, and the editorial leader of the Ag Summit — were enormous. And she was a wonderful friend and a wonderful person. To say she will be missed is a massive understatement.”

She changed DTN. She changed agricultural journalism. She changed modern agriculture.