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Ellen G. Dunaway

Published: Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 11:56 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 12:10 p.m. CDT

Ellen G. Dunaway, 94, of Monroe died the evening of Nov. 8, 2012, at Taylor House Hospice in Des Moines.

A funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 12, at the Monroe United Methodist Church.  

Ellen G. Horman Dunaway was the second of 10 children born to Edward and Marie (Koorevaar) Horman on August 10, 1918, in rural Marion County, Iowa. She attended grade schools at Union Valley country school west of Monroe and Oak Grove country school east of Monroe. Because of the hard times during the Great Depression, Ellen’s education ended in the eighth grade and she worked for neighboring families to help support her family.

Ellen met Norman Dunaway, son of James and Jessie (Clark) Dunaway and they were married on February 19, 1936, in Newton. That was during one of the biggest snowfall winters in history and followed by one of the hottest and driest summers in history.

They established their home in four different homes east of Monroe and settled in their farm home adjacent to the Dunaway family farm in 1942. Ellen farmed with her husband and family until Norman’s death in 1973. She remained on the farm for several years and then moved to a home they had remodeled together in Monroe. She also assisted Norman in his carpentry business, building cabinets and a number of pieces of furniture for clients and family members.

In addition to her family, Ellen’s great love was cooking. Her fried chicken — especially those she raised herself on the farm — and her pies are something family members and Monroe Kiwanians will remember well. She cooked for the Monroe Kiwanis (service club) for 30 years, getting up at 3:30 a.m. to begin to prepare the breakfasts. She was named an Honorary Kiwanian in honor of her many years of service.

Another of Ellen’s best memories was fishing trips with her husband and, later, with her older brother, Joe. She also served the Monroe United Methodist Church for many years heading up the group that served lunches for weddings, receptions and funerals. She was first a member of Tools Chapel Church east of Monroe for many years and then when it closed, transferred to the Monroe United Methodist Church. She helped with many church bazaars, introducing them to homemade mincemeat that began with a few quarts and became a church fund-raising project of more than 100 quarts a year with some of it even finding its way to homes in other states.

Ellen is survived by four children: Jim (Rita) in Colorado, Mary Fontanini in Knoxville, Norma Nash in Pleasantville and Bob (Marvel) in Urbandale. She is also survived by 10 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and 15 great-great-grandchildren.

In addition, she is survived by sisters and brothers Jean Menninga, of Pella, Carl (Leona) Horman of Pella, Edwin (Daisy) Horman of Garland, Texas and sisters-in-law Vera (Pete) Horman of Pella, Carolyn (Larry John Horman) and her husband Denis Burke of Runnells and many nieces and nephews.

Ellen was preceded in death by her husband, Norman, her parents Edward and Marie Horman, brothers and sisters Joe Horman, Mike Horman,  Geneva Swank, Marion (Pete) Horman, Larry John Horman, and Linda Horman; and brothers and sisters-in-law Dorothy Horman, Ellen Jean Horman, Pete Swank, Setrith Menninga and Janice (Edwin) Horman.

Her family suggests memorials to two of her favorite groups, the Monroe Kiwanis Club for a project to help children and the Monroe Fire and Ambulance Department in lieu of flowers. Memorials can be left at the funeral home. Condolences may be left for the family at www.coburnfuneralhomes.com.

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