Iona's Story

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Iona Ann (Gomel) White, 84, passed away on Sept. 10, 2015, in Rockford, Ill. She was born July 1, 1931, to Frank and Hazel (True) Gomel in St. Joseph, Mo. Iona moved with her family to the Atchison/Holt County area where she attended King Grove School in Maitland, Mo., and later Fairfax High School, where she graduated in 1949. Iona loved horses and was a skilled rider. She went on to attend Platt College of Commerce in St. Joseph, graduating in March of 1950. She held several secretarial positions including those at Fairfax Community Hospital, University of Missouri - Columbia, and Liberty School System, Liberty, Mo. Iona Ann married her high school sweetheart, Richard Reed White, on Sept. 2, 1951, at Fairfax Presbyterian Church, where she continues to hold her membership. They had two children, Roxanne (White) Bodwell and Joseph Richard White. At the time that Richard passed away on June 30, 2015, they had been married almost 64 years. Iona and Richard moved to Knoxville in 1969, at which time Iona became a school bus driver for the Knoxville Community School System. She held this position for almost 20 years. During these years, Iona was also a 4-H leader passionate about sharing her knowledge with future generations. Iona was a member of William White DAR of which she held many different offices throughout the 40 year period of her membership. Iona was an avid genealogist and was instrumental in helping many friends successfully research their ancestry. In 1995, she was awarded the Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award for her work in restoring the Competine Cemetery. Iona Ann was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Hazel Gomel, as well as her husband, Richard. She is survived by her brother, Vernon Gomel of Warsaw, Mo.; daughter, Roxanne (White) Bodwell and her husband, K.D., of Roscoe, Ill.; son, Joseph Richard White and wife, Vickie, of Craig, Mo.; grandchildren, Jessica (White) Reeder of Ashland, Mo., Joseph Lee White of Rossville, Kan., Nathan Bodwell of Rockford, Ill., and Summer Joy (Bodwell) Hayward of Dresden, Maine; as well as great-grandchildren, Ad-am White, Logan, Ian, Ryan, and Faith Bodwell, and Joseph Edward Reeder; and foster great-grandchild, Makai. Visitation will be held at Schooler Funeral Home in Fairfax, Mo., on Sept.17, 2015, from 6:30-8 p.m. Services will be held at Fairfax Presbyterian Church on Sept. 18, 2015, at 2:30 p.m. with graveside service at Tharp Cemetery to follow. Online condolences and guest book are available at www.delehantyfh.com.
Published on  October 1, 2015
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