Iola Mae Cadwallader


Iola Mae Cadwallader

Iola Mae Cadwallader
August 14, 1924 – November 15, 2021
Oskaloosa, Iowa | Age 97

Iola Mae Powell Cadwallader, 97, of Oskaloosa, passed on Monday, November 15, 2021, at the MHP Hospice Serenity House in Oskaloosa. She was born August 14, 1924, in Plains, Kansas, the youngest of nine children born to James Garfield and Georgiana Conaway Powell.

Following graduation from Plains High School, Iola earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas in 1947. During college, she enjoyed writing copy and announcing at KAF Radio. After earning her degree, Iola taught Speech, English and Theatre in Osage City, Kansas.

On August 12, 1948, Iola married Warren Eves Cadwallader. Together, they raised three children, Mariann Dee, Warren Lee, and Jane Powell. Iola and Eves shared a committed, generous love that modeled joy, creativity, and love of family and community.

Shared meaningful work was a cornerstone of their ethic. There were projects on the farm for people aged two to ninety-two. Love of the land and its many fruits linked faith and work. Conservation and stewardship of the land was a central theme. Trees planted and pruned by pint-sized grandchildren during holiday visits now stand tall, offering shelter and shade, providing a living legacy of their faith in the future. Helping “Nana and Bupa” was the endless delight of their beloved grandchildren, nieces and nephews — and many friends came alongside to help while learning the skills and values that wove through Iola and Eves’ life.

Iola was an avid gardener and preserved food into her early 90’s. She loved serving meals of fresh garden fruits, vegetables and homemade bread to family and friends, be they from down the road, around the country, or the world. Their round oak dining table was a welcoming place, providing song, prayer, nourishment, laughter, listening and conversation.

Creative expression was a value and a necessity for Iola. She wrote four full length musicals, all produced in the Oskaloosa community. “Georgiana” told the story of her family growing up during the Dust Bowl. “I Take Thee, Serenity,” based on a novel by Daisy Newman, was a Quaker love story. “Heartland Song,” created for Oskaloosa’s Sesquicentennial, relayed Oskaloosa history, and “George” told the story of George Daily, an important local figure. She wrote sonnets on the Beatitudes, then set them to music. Sacred choral music was a particular joy, though she also wrote music for women’s choir and solo voice. She was finishing her final composition during her last days. Earlier in life, Iola learned about natural stains and dyes, creating a palette of colors from plants from the farm. She shared this artistic expression with many others. Iola wrote and appreciated poetry and remained attuned and responsive to her intuition and inner life throughout her 97 years.

Iola was an active member of College Avenue Friends Church. She valued this fellowship of faith, including the work of the United Society of Friends Women (International) and Faye Circle. Iola served as Director of Jack and Jill Preschool at the church for 15 years. She believed in children and families, was dedicated to the importance of early childhood education, and helped develop an experiential, play oriented curriculum that provided a strong foundation for children. For many years, she taught life skills and imparted enduring values, along with healthy doses of fun, while serving as a 4-H leader for the Harrison Zippers 4-H Club. She enjoyed involvements in many community organizations including American Association of University Women, People to People, Oskaloosa Girl’s Club, and Harrison Homemakers, among others. She and Eves were involved with, and supportive of, William Penn University. They enjoyed attending concerts, plays and community arts activities of all kinds through the decades.

Iola loved taking on a new challenge, framed life in positive terms, and was a model for life-long learning. She will be remembered for her ready smile and kind eyes, and her strong love of family, faith, education, and community.

She is survived by her children, Mariann (& Greg) Harris of Leawood, Kansas; Julie Cadwallader-Staub (Warren’s widow) of South Burlington, Vermont; and Jane Cadwallader Howe (& Geery Howe) of West Branch, Iowa. Her beloved grandchildren include: Christine Elizabeth Harris, Katherine Ann Harris; Benjamin Eves Cadwallader-Staub (& fiancée Natalie Badawy), Nora Marie (& Brett) Atwood, Mary Rachel Cadwallader-Staub (& Bradley Nicholson); Ryan Lee Howe (& Lucy Zai), and Jacob Howe (& Allison Nunnikhoven); four great grandchildren: Marianna Mireille, Lucas Everett, and Warren Jackson Atwood, and Luke Orion Howe; a sister-in-law, Warrene (Cadwallader) Webber of Oskaloosa; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Iola was preceded in death by her husband Eves; a son, Warren Cadwallader-Staub; six sisters; and two brothers.

A Celebration of Life service will be held in the spring of 2022 for Iola at College Avenue Friends Church. The Bates Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.
Burial will be at the Friends Cemetery at a later date.
Memorial gifts may be made to William Penn University for Spencer Chapel.

To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Iola Mae Cadwallader please visit the Bates Funeral Chapel Sympathy Store.

Posted by on Nov 16 2021. Filed under Obituaries. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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