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Beryl E. Wellborn

October 22, 1924 October 7, 2018
Beryl E. Wellborn
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Obituary for Beryl E. Wellborn

Beryl E. Wellborn, 93, of Grinnell passed away on October 7, 2018, at the Mayflower Community Health Care Center.

A memorial service has been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Thursday, October 11th, at the Carman Center of the Mayflower Community with Rev. Christine Tinker, Spiritual Care Coordinator, Mayflower Community, officiating. Pianist will be Dr. William T. Tinker. Burial will be held at Hazelwood Cemetery in Grinnell at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be designated to Mayflower Community Human Needs Fund or The Beryl E. Wellborn Commitment to Excellence Scholarship Fund at Iowa Valley Community College.

Beryl was born on October 22, 1924, on a farm in Scotland County, Missouri to Stacy “Tom” and Ferol (Eggleston) Wellborn. He was one of four boys and they were brought up on two different farms and attended country school in Scotland County during the midst of the Depression. In 1936, his family moved to a farm near Cantril, Iowa where his father had a grocery store.

Beryl graduated from Cantril High School with the class of 1942. While in high school he was active in the band (playing trombone), choir, and school plays; he also participated in baseball and basketball. During the summer following graduation from high school, he attended Parsons College, where he received his teaching certificate. He was 17 when he started teaching at a country school where his oldest student was in 8th Grade, a fourteen-year-old.

After serving two years in the United States Army with the 19th Replacement Depot in France, Beryl completed his education at Iowa State Teacher’s college and Northeast Missouri State Teachers College, graduating in 1956. He earned his MA Degree from the University of Iowa in 1959. He taught school in Cedar Rapids, Mt. Vernon, Cantril, and was Principal at Marion Rural (Linn Mar).

In 1958 he was appointed to the Department of Education at Grinnell College where he served for 28 years. While still at Grinnell College he began 20 years of service on the Board of the Iowa Valley Community college, (IVCC), part of that time serving as the Board’s president. After Grinnell Iowa Valley Community College was completed he considered it his “Field of Dreams.”

Beryl served on the Stewart Library Board, the Grinnell-Newburg School Board, the S.E.E.D. Committee, and the State Board of Trustees for Community Colleges. When he retired from IVCC he was presented with an Honorary Doctorate Degree, and the Commitment to Excellence Scholarship was established in his name. Beryl was recognized for his volunteer work by Iowa’s Governor Branstad in 1984.

He and his first wife, Dorothy Bowen were married in May of 1949, and raised two children together, Kevan and Annette. Dorothy preceded Beryl in death in August of 1979, after a 12 year struggle with MS.

Beryl and Deena (McKim) were married on February 14, 1980, in Grinnell, following the death of their spouses and have a blended family of five children, including Kevan Wellborn of Grinnell, Annette Candland of Tony, Wisconsin, Jeff McKim of Des Moines, Lori Adams of Cedar Falls and Scott McKim of Henderson, Nevada, several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Also surviving is one brother, Max Wellborn of Keosauqua and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; and two brothers, Bert and Paul Wellborn.

Beryl and Deena moved to the Mayflower in retirement, living first in Edward’s Building, and then Montgomery Building where Deena continues to live. Beryl was very active in life at Mayflower serving on the Log, as president of the Lyceum Committee for 6 years, and took on stewardship of the “Secret Garden” in the Montgomery Courtyard for many years. Beryl loved to write poetry and was a member of the Grinnell Poetry Club, and was an avid reader.

Beryl battled with great courage, Parkinson ’s disease, when his health failed he was admitted to the Health Center on August 13, 2018. He was a true and gracious gentleman and gained the love and respect of the staff. He will be missed!


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