Roberta Jane Witt, age 96, passed away Sunday, February 20, 2022, at Independence Village in Ames, Iowa. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, March 2, 2022, at the Columbia United Methodist Church in Columbia, Iowa with burial in the Columbia Cemetery. A luncheon will follow the burial at the Columbia Community Center. Visitation will be at the church one hour prior to the service.
The service will be livestreamed at the following link: https://my.gather.app/remember/roberta-witt
Roberta Jane Shepard was born November 22, 1925, in Chariton, IA to Ray E. and Gladys Irene (Van Arsdale) Shepard. She graduated from Chariton High School in 1943. After high school she worked multiple jobs and was proud of the fact she self-funded her education at Iowa State University graduating in 1949 with a double major in Home Economics Education and Applied Art. Roberta taught language arts, home economics, and art for a total of 30 years at various schools in Iowa including Russell, Attica, Pleasantville, and 25 years in Albia.
On June 4, 1950, she married Harlan E. Witt, Jr. at the Presbyterian Church in Chariton. They were blessed with two children, Janet Gail Witt (1955) and John Shepard Witt (1957) and lived in Columbia, IA. In 1963 the family moved to Albia, IA when Harlan began managing the Goff & Nash Auto Parts Store (NAPA).
In 1996 the Witts moved to Chariton and enjoyed retirement. They loved to travel and saw all 50 states and nearly 80 countries around the world. Some of the trips were with the Friendship Force of Chariton and Des Moines. Roberta and Harlan also enjoyed winters in Apache Junction, AZ. Even after Harlan's death on September 4, 2009, she continued going to Arizona until 2019.
Roberta was a member of NEA, ISEA, Chariton Retired School Personnel, Columbia United Methodist Church, Lucas County Historical Society, and a 50 year member of the Eastern Star. She will be remembered for her love of family and friends, played a mean game of cards, and always supporting her family especially in their educational pursuits. She also adored her six great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Ray and Gladys; husband, Harlan; daughter, Janet Marquardt (2014); daughter-in-law, Susan Gardner Witt (2011); sister, Evelyn Beebout (2018); brother-in-law, Kenneth Beebout (2013); niece,Nancy Phillips (1988); and nephew, Warren Beebout (2017).
Roberta is survived by her son, John Witt of Aptos, CA; son-in-law, Darvin Marquardt of Ames, IA; grandchildren, Ryan (Janice) Marquardt of Van Meter, IA, Amanda (Greg) Wever of Ames, IA, Derick (Maria) Marquardt of Milton, VT, Robin (Linda) Gardner of Santa Cruz, CA, Dr. Russell Witt (Dr. Lily Witt) of Houston, TX; great grandchildren. Hazel and Zane Marquardt, Ada, Quinn, and Jett Wever, and Joi Gardner. Also surviving are her sister, Marilyn Greve of Boulder, CO; brother-in-law, Gerald (Carolyn) Witt of Carlisle, IA, and several nieces and nephews. The family would like to give a special thanks to Josh Demichelis for helping Roberta live independently at home to the age of 94. Also, a huge thanks for the loving care given by the entire staff of Independence Village of Ames and Suncrest Hospice.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the Columbia United Methodist Church, Columbia Community Center, or Chariton's Milestones Area Agency on Aging.
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