Evelyn Wynema Bettis was born on July 1, 1927, in Humeston, Iowa, to Earl and Neola Rickert Bellon. She attended schools in Wayne County and graduated from Allerton High School as salutatorian with the class of 1945. Venturing out into the world, she signed her first teacher’s contract for the 1945 fall term at Maple Grove School, in Clay Township, for the hefty salary of $115 per month.
On Aug. 1, 1945, Evelyn was united in marriage to Pfc. Delbert E. Vandenburg. She continued to teach until Delbert’s discharge in July 1946. To this union six children were born: Cheryl Ann, Connie Sue, Cathie Lea, Craig Eugene, Cindy Lou and Chris Edward. Delbert and Evelyn shared 36 years together until Delbert’s death in 1981. During those years Evelyn was a housewife and mother, farming partner and real estate broker when women in that occupation were not the norm.
Nov. 22, 1983, she married Frank D. Brown. Evelyn and Frank enjoyed 10 years in Carthage, Mo., where she sold real estate and was a supervisor at Joplin Workshops, Inc. Following Frank’s death, she returned to live in Corydon.
During the 1997 Allerton Alumni Banquet she reconnected with high school classmate Clem E. Bettis. They were married on March 22, 1998. They shared their retirement years traveling, wintering in Arizona and spending time with family and friends at their home in Corydon.
After Clem’s death, Evelyn continued to live in her home until 2016 when she moved to an apartment in Humeston. In June 2017 she relocated to Terrace Park Assisted Living in Leon. There she continued her lifelong love of reading books and newspapers. She was always ready for a competitive game of bingo and especially enjoyed watching the Polka Show with her neighbor and friend Virginia.
Evelyn passed away at the Wayne County Hospital on June 17, 2019, at the age of 91 years, 11 months and 17 days.
She is survived by daughters: Cheryl Goretska (Dan), Connie Newell, Cathie Hullinger (Stan), Cindy Tometich; son, Chris Vandenburg (Beverly); 22 grandchildren; 35 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; sister Wretha Rumple (Dale); sister-in-law Nancy Bellon; brother-in-law Rex Moore; and numerous extended family members.
She was preceded in death by husbands: Delbert Vandenburg, Frank Brown and Clem Bettis; son Craig Vandenburg; granddaughter Candi Prause; great-grandson Matthew Morris; her parents; brother Donnie Bellon; and sister Marilyn Moore.
Service were held June 21 at Thomas Funeral Home. Interment was held immediately following the service at Humeston Cemetery.