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Anna Wilmath Stearns

August 28, 2015
Reinbeck Courier

Anna Wilmath Stearns, 99, of Reinbeck, Iowa, spent her first day in heaven on August 17, 2015 after passing away in her Elms Assisted Living Apartment in Reinbeck, Iowa.

A funeral service was held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 20, 2015 at the French-Hand Funeral Home in Reinbeck. Burial will be held at the Washington Township Cemetery in Morrison, Iowa. Visitation was held one hour prior to the funeral service at the funeral home. To leave a message of condolence for the family, please

Anna was born close to McKelder in Blount County, Tennessee on September 28, 1915 as the first child of John Fred Needham and Vinie Allison Needham who were 30 and 25 at the time. The family moved to Morrison when she was four. She completed the 8th grade in Morrison and worked for others and on the family farm.

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Anna married Fred M. Stearns, from Buckingham, Iowa on March 11, 1935 at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa. She was 20 and he was almost 17. They were the love of each other's lives. They farmed on the Eric McElhinney Farm in Geneseo Township for several years before they came to Reinbeck to work and eventually to buy their own farm north of Reinbeck. There they raised cattle, hogs, chickens, a garden and flowers. Their life was busy, productive and enjoyable. They loved traveling to Canada and to South Padre Island to fish and go on farm bus trips.

When Fred passed away in 1970, Anna became an aide at Grundy County Memorial Hospital. After selling the farm she started a new life in Sallisaw, Okla. She was a member of the Eastside Baptist Church, the Sequoyah Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, the Sallisaw Garden Club and the Sequoyah County Ladies Home Extension. Anna was known as a superior gardener and won the yard of the year numerous times in Sallisaw and was voted Sequoyah County Hospital Member of the Year three times. She was much loved in Oklahoma. She appreciated and enjoyed antiques and traveled with the Bawcum's to big shows in the U.S. yearly.

When her brother Jack became ill, Anna at the age of 96, returned to live in Reinbeck, Iowa at the Westview Estates in order to care for him. She was loved by many and will be missed by all.

Anna is survived by her niece Carma (Donald) Dimke; nephew Doug (Michelle) Petersen; nieces and nephews; and special friends Deborah Cheek Sparks (Jim Sparks) and Mike (Linda) Rickert. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters Virginia Petersen and Pearl Keehn; her brother Jack Needham and a nephew Jay Keehn.



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