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Retha Ness

Retha Jean Ness, daughter of Ray & Hazel (Davenport) Middleton, was born December 4, 1934 at home near Mount Ayr, Iowa. Retha grew up at Mount Ayr and she graduated from Mount Ayr High School in 1953. Retha was baptized into the Community of Christ Church as a young lady. Her relationship with her Lord was always an important part of her life.

Retha graduated from the nursing program at Southwestern Community College as an L.P.N. This began a long and rewarding career as a nurse. She was the charge nurse at Lamoni Nursing & Rehab and at the Mount Ayr Health Care Center. She worked for several years at the Ringgold County Recovery Center and finished her career at the Focus Program for Children in Leon. In addition to the nursing, Retha was a care-giver to many people over the years.

On March 5, 1971, Retha was united in marriage to Harold Ness, Sr and they enjoyed 43 years of marriage.

Retha was a kind and compassionate lady who lived one day at a time. She had a bright smile and will be remembered for her infectious laugh. She was a beautiful lady both on the inside and outside. Retha dearly loved her family and she considered herself blessed by them. Retha considered birthdays, anniversaries and other occasions special by sending cards with a personal note and smiley face to those closest to her. She was happiest when the family was together; whether for the holidays, camping or just getting together. She was an avid reader and had transitioned over to Facebook for keeping up on people. Retha was a strong-willed lady that faced adversity and crisis with a calm personality yet was strong-willed when needing to be. Retha was a four time survivor of cancer and never gave up.

Retha passed away on Sunday, March 27, 2016. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Harold on March 31, 2014; grandson Brett Fricke; son-in-law Perry Fricke; brothers-in-law Linden Drake and Joe Ness; sisters-in-law Jeannette Mills and Mary Pierce; nephews Rodney Drake and Joe Ray Ness.

Those left to cherish her memory include her children Harold (Linda) Ness, Jr of Des Moines, IA, Cherie (Lonnie) McGlynn of Urbandale, IA, Ed (Jolene) Hiebing of Leon, IA, Susan D. Hower of Clearfield, IA, Nena Fricke of Mount Ayr, IA, and Ronda (Gene) Thurman of Hatfield, MO; several step children including step-son Scott (Amy) Ness of Salisbury, MD; grandchildren Charrissa Lewis, Bryce Hower, Michelle Milam, Stephanie Cooper, Quillan Hiebing, Denim Hiebing, Dexter Hiebing, Shyler Hamilton, Lacey Richardson, Cory Thurman, Brian Thurman, and Jessica Fricke; many great grandchildren; sister Donella Drake of Mount Ayr; several nieces and nephews including special nephew Randy Drake of Mount Ayr; other relatives and friends.

A memorial fund has been established in her name to be decided later.

  • Open Viewing

    April 01, 2016
    2:00 PM to 8:00 PM

    Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home

    205 West Monroe St
    Mount Ayr, IA

  • Family Will Be Present

    April 01, 2016
    6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

    Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home

    205 West Monroe St
    Mount Ayr, IA

  • Funeral Service

    April 02, 2016
    10:30 AM

    Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home

    205 West Monroe St
    Mount Ayr, IA

  • Burial At A Later Date

    Rose Hill Cemetery

    Hwy 2 & 169
    Mount Ayr, IA


To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Retha Ness, please visit our flower store.



Guestbook

I am just Devistated about the loss of Retha...I''m sure going to miss her hugs...love you sweet angel

Posted by Diann Gephart - Mt.Ayr, IA - Friend   March 31, 2016

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

I am just Devistated about the loss of Retha...I''m sure going to miss her hugs...love you sweet angel

Posted by Diann Gephart - Mt.Ayr, IA - Friend   March 31, 2016

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

So sorry to hear about Retha, such a sweet, sweet lady. Thinking of all the family at this time.

Posted by Lois (Todd) Ibbotson - Tingley, IA - Friend   March 31, 2016

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

You will be missed, I enjoyed talking with you on FB. R.I.P. Retha. Love Addie

Posted by Adrianne Townsend- - Mount ayr, IA - Friend   March 30, 2016

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

To Retha''s Family, I am so very sorry to hear of Retha''s death! I first met Retha when I joined the Hughes Treatment Center team in Mt Ayr in January 1988. Our birthdays were one day apart and we never ever missed sending each other greetings every year! Our relationship was one that wherever and whenever we saw each other, we picked up where we had left off the time before! Retha was a gentle spirit, a faith-filled woman, and a genuine friend! Her laugh was contagious and her heart welcoming to all. Rest in peace, my dear friend! You will be missed. And I will send you a birthday greeting in heaven on Dec. 4!!!

Posted by Mary O''Riley - Creston, IA - Friend   March 29, 2016

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

I wonder if you have any idea how many lives you touched, and how many hearts you lifted. You always had compliments and that beautiful smile that said "I accept you just as you are." The goodness in your heart just spilled over and spread happiness to everyone around you. Your strong faith got you through some pretty rough times but not once did you doubt. I am going to miss you my dear friend and our talks. One thing I know for sure is that my life wouldn''t be as rich if you wouldn''t have been in it. I know someday we will meet again and I know I will be able to find you easily because I will track down that unique laugh of yours. Love to you always.

Posted by Paula Rychnovsky - Rippey, IA - Friend   March 28, 2016

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM