Nadine Louise (Calvert) Bennett, 94, of Jefferson, passed away Feb. 4.
Nadine was born July 26, 1919 to Robert William Calvert and Eva C. Hatfield Calvert in Hardin Township, Greene County. Nadine spent her early years on the family farm before going to live with her uncle and aunt, Bob and Lilly Peacock, in the fourth grade, attending school in Dana and spending summers at home with her immediate family. She graduated from Dana High School in 1938 and while attending she was a member of the girl’s basketball team. She had fond memories of her time at Dana High School, and never missed the annual alumni reunion. Nadine headed off to Chicago during World War II and worked for an insurance firm there. Pictures reveal how “stylish” and vibrant her life must have been, but her love of family brought her back home, to Greene County. Nadine “caught” her future husband with a May Basket and after courting for a time, married James Verle Bennett, January 18, 1947. The couple first made their home at a rented apartment in Jefferson while Verle drove a truck for the Jefferson Creamery. Farming was their goal, so the couple moved to a rented farm north of Jefferson, then on to Bagley before finally purchasing “the home place” in Bristol Township. They spent a great many years farming and raising livestock together until retirement, when they moved to Jefferson. They were workers, the both of them, and they worked side by side for many years. Nadine was Verle’s “right hand man” milking the cow, tending the seeder, carrying feed and fertilizer sacks, cooking donuts for the corn shellers - besides being the love of his life. The couple had one child, a daughter, Becky Ann Bennett (Friess) and she brought them much joy. Nadine worked alongside her husband, accompanied him (with Becky Ann in tow) on many a long trucking hauls to Omaha; she was strong in the physical as well as in character. She was a member of “The Friendly Club” and various church groups at Central Christian Church in Jefferson. Nadine spent her married years as a home-maker, and she did it well. She enjoyed sewing, cooking, canning, gardening and care-taking. She and Verle took many trips together especially enjoying Hawaii, Florida, Branson, MO and fishing trips to Tuttle Lake. She was a quiet, unassuming woman with a quick wit and deep love for life and family. She could “work like a man” yet maintain the elegance of a lady. Her spirit will be deeply missed by those who knew her.
Survivors include her husband of 67 years, Verle Bennett; grand-children: Nicole Friess-Schilling, Jamie Leggitt (Dustin) all of Jefferson and Travis Friess (Lora) of Carroll; Great-grandchildren: Jack, Eliot, Ava and C. Blaise Schilling, Lydia and Helena Leggitt of Jefferson; son-in-law, Nick Friess of Ames; sisters: Maxine Dunlop (Duane), Billie Pevestorf of Jefferson; and brother Robert Calvert (Margaret) of Charles City; nieces, nephews and friends.
She was proceeded in death by her parents; her daughter Becky; brothers: Russell, Harlan and Cecil Calvert; sisters: Marguerite Weaver, Romaine Calvert, Treva Smith and Wilma Dunlop; and grand son-in-law Christopher Schilling.
Services for Nadine Louise Bennett were held 10:30 a.m. Feb. 8 at the Central Christian Church in Jefferson. Visitation with family was one hour before the service. Reverend Debbie Griffin and Pastor Julie Cornelius of the Central Christian Church provided words of comfort.
Honorary casket bearers were Nicole Friess-Schilling, Jamie Leggitt and Travis Friess. Casket bearers were Bill Calvert, Chris Calvert, Ed Calvert, Don Dunlop, Steve Smith and Jack Schilling. The organist was Monica McGregor and soloist Nicole Friess Schilling. Interment was at the Jefferson cemetery followed by a lunch at the church.
Hastings Funeral Home of Jefferson assisted the family with arrangements, 515-386-8181, www.hastings.funeralplan2.com