Vera Harlene Church, 94, of Newton, died Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, at MercyOne Hospice in Johnston. A funeral service will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6 at the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory. The family will greet friends from 10 a.m. until the time of service at the funeral home. Memorials to the Newton Christian Church, MercyOne Hospice or the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital may be left at the funeral home.
Vera, the daughter of LeRoy and Ella (Davis) Brain, was born Jan. 29, 1925, in Mystic. She grew up in Newton and graduated from Newton High School in 1942. Vera was united in marriage with Irving M. “Irv” Church Nov. 20, 1943, in Newton. She worked as a secretary for the Newton Community School District at the school administration building. Vera was a member of the Newton Christian Church, Chapter K-EN of TTT, Common Threads at Newton Village and the Skiff Hospital Auxiliary. Vera and her sister, Charlotte, just last year at the ages of 93 and 98, knitted mittens to donate to every child in her great-granddaughter’s third-grade classroom in Des Moines. Vera loved her family beyond measure and would do anything for them. She was a lady of integrity and honesty. Vera had a beautiful smile that went along with her huge heart.
Vera is survived by her children, Steven M. Church of Richardson, Texas and Joyce (Gary) Bagnall of Johnston; four grandchildren, Cassie (Brian) Crummett of Pella, Kim (Rob) Douglas of Ankeny, Amy (Dave) Van Blair of Ankeny and Kristi (Steve) Sterling of Ankeny; her nine great-grandchildren, Alexis, Brianna, Anna, Katelyn, Chase, Preston, Isabella, Rosalyn and Benjamin; sister, Charlotte Auten of Newton; sisters-in-law, Carol Brain of Newton and Carlene Tesch of St. Ansgar; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Irv in 2016; sister, Madge Keith; and brother, Byron Brain.