Jeannie Anthony, 88, of Muscatine died from lung cancer Feb. 17, 2013, at Lutheran Homes in Muscatine.
Cremation was carried out per her wishes. A memorial service will be 11 a.m. Saturday, April 6, at Ralph J. Wittich-Riley-Freers Funeral Home, Muscatine. Interment will be 2 p.m. Monday, April 8, at Rutland Center Cemetery, Oregon, Wis. Visitation will be 10 to 11 a.m. service time Saturday at the funeral home. Memorials may be given to Muscatine Humane Society or Family Resources/Muscatine Shelter.
Eleanor Jean Anthony “Jeannie” was born July 5, 1924, in Tacoma, Wash. Named Mary Jean, she was the daughter of Izetta Crystal (Powell) and Donald Darius Lowe. Circumstances forced the breakup of the family, and in 1929, Jeannie and her sister Shirley (Dolores) Ann were adopted by two different families. Floyd Wesley and Adah Ruth (Selby) Woodhull who adopted Jeannie, gave her the name ‘Eleanor Jean’ and settled in Creston. In 1999, Jeannie and her sister Shirley were reunited after 70 years of separation.
Jeannie graduated from Creston High School, attended Drake College in Des Moines, Muscatine Community College and the University of Iowa’s writer’s workshop to study with poet Paul Engel.
Jeannie worked as a secretary, dental assistant, deputy treasurer of Union County and former assistant director of the Laura Musser Museum (now the Muscatine Art Center).
She was a 70-year member of the PEO Sisterhood, long-time member of the National League of American Pen Women, past president of Iowa Pen Women and Federated Women’s Club and an officer of Iowa Corvair Enthusiasts. She was also a member of Herb Pals of Muscatine. She was a member of Muscatine’s Artists-in-Action (AIA) Workshop and Gallery, active in AIA’s Writers on the Avenue, Tellers in Action, Iowa Poetry Association and co-chair of the former Muscatine County Literary Arts Festival.
A prize-winning poet, Jeannie earned numerous awards for her poetry, short stories, and essays. Her poetry appeared in Lyrical Iowa, Brochure of Poems, Writers Newsletter, Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest Book, Literary Arts Festival Book, Writer’s on the Avenue (Anthology I and II), PEO Record and Pen Women Magazine. She regularly won first place in the jazz category of the Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest. She conducted yearly poetry workshops for youth at Musser Public Library in Muscatine. She gave recitation programs and workshops in the Quad City area and poetry programs at Muscatine Art Center.
Jeannie is survived by her husband Eugene Michael Anthony of Muscatine; first spouse John F. Betz of Seal Beach, Calif.; sons, Alan (Lanny) Woodhull Betz (wife Colleen) of Arvada, Colo., and John Robert Anthony (Sierra DePauw) of Wilton; stepchildren, Thomas Jerome Anthony (wife Sue) of Coralville, Janice Eileen (Anthony) Willits, (husband James) of Dallas, Ga., and Carol Jean Anthony of Chicago, Ill.; grandchildren, Brooke Marin (Betz) Mutzbauer (husband Adam), Ashleigh Jean Betz, Christian Eugene David Anthony and Hunter Robert Alan Anthony; step-grandchildren, Sean Raymond Doyle (wife Dawn), Victoria Ann Baltzell (husband Tim), Dale William Willits (wife Sharon) and Jennifer Sue Haugh (husband Bradley); grandchildren through marriage, Brandon Bolton, Darci Leptien and DraKen DePauw; great-grandchildren, Logan Jacob Mutzbauer, Corbin Everet Mutzbauer, Emerson Grace Manzo and Caysen Quinn Manzo; step-great-grandchildren, John Robert Doyle, Tyler Alexander Doyle, Alyssa Nicole Doyle, Colin Michael Doyle, Alyssa Rae Willits, Emily Morgan Lake, Alexandra Suzanne Baltzell and Kaia Jennifer Haugh; nieces, Kate Lynn Line (husband Jack), Terri Strang and Carole Ann Schnebly (husband Arthur); and numerous great-nieces/nephews and cousins discovered through the reunion of Jeannie and her sister.
Jean was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Stanley Harold Lowe and Donald Lowe Jr.; sisters, Emily (Lowe), Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Agnes (Lowe) and Shirley Ann (Lowe/Foster) Richards; and nephews, Thomas Arthur Schnebly and Kevin Streiff.