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Ruth Irene Sawyer Ballou
November 6, 1917–April 14, 2012
Irene Ballou, 94, formerly of Olin, died Saturday, April 14, 2012, at Monticello Nursing and Rehab in Monticello, following a brief illness.
Funeral services were held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, April 19, 2012, at Olin Community United Methodist Church, Olin. Visitation was from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Lahey Funeral Home in Olin. Burial was in the Olin Cemetery, Olin, Iowa.
Ruth Irene Sawyer was born November 6, 1917 near Morley, Iowa, to Gordon and Belle (Plummer) Sawyer. She began school at Hazel Hill located one mile south of her parent's farm. Beginning in second grade she attended and graduated from Morley High School in 1935. There she played side center in basketball, and was active in vocal music groups.
Irene and Merle Ballou were married April 24, 1937 at the Methodist parsonage in Anamosa and lived their entire married life in Olin or on the farm they purchased west of Olin in 1952. Following Merle's death on April 14, 2000, Irene continued to live on the farm until declining health prompted her move to Pennington Square in April of 2010 and subsequently to Monticello Nursing and Rehab.
Irene was always active in her children's lives, serving as a Cub Scout den mother and 4-H leader in the Olin Ship A-Hoy club in the early 1940s and again in the 1960s. Additionally, she served for several years as a County 4-H Committee woman. An avid reader, Irene served as librarian at the Olin Library from 1970 to 1983. She was an active member of the Olin United Methodist Church and UMW, a 50 year member of the Order of Eastern Star, Hiawatha Chapter No. 394, Past Matrons, Twentieth Century Club and Westside Club.
Irene enjoyed spending a week each summer in Minnesota surrounded by her family, attending the sports and musical activities of her grandchildren and great grandchildren, listening to the Iowa Hawkeyes on radio before TV and then watching the Hawkeyes and Cubs. She also enjoyed playing cards.
Irene is survived by two daughters, Linda Rogers and husband Ronald and Pamela Patrick and husband Kyle, both of Cedar Rapids; two sons, James Ballou and wife Lana of Olin, and Steven Ballou and wife Vicki of Wyoming; eight grandchildren, Dawn (Roger) Bouzek, Stephanie (Bryan) Fickel, Rhonda (Tom) Jackson, Jaimie (Chris) Bowser, Christopher (Kari) Ballou, Travis (Kelly) Ballou, Sarah (Tim) Sines and Jennipher (Jason) Thielman; and fourteen great grandchildren, Drake, Jordan and Blaze Bouzek, Jack and Ellery Fickel, Taylor and Lydia Jackson, Annaliese and Emerson Bowser, Caden and Dane Ballou, Adam and Dylan Sines and Zach Thielman.
She was preceded in death by her husband Merle, granddaughter Debra Rogers, and great granddaughter Sydney Jackson.

Submitted by: Janet A. Brandt
Source: Midland Times, Wyoming, Iowa, 20 April 2012

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