Elizabeth Ann Kamps Guess, daughter of Hartwig and Elsie (Bolt) Kamps, was born May 7, 1929, in Des Moines. She died June 18 in her own bed, as was her desire.
She lived her life to the age of 90 years, one month and 11 days.
Liz grew up with her parents and brother, Rudy, on her family farm near Polk City. Liz was proud of her German heritage and to be a first-generation American. She enjoyed playing basketball on the Alleman High School team, riding the inter-urban train to Ankeny to have her knee taped before games.
After graduating in 1946, she attended the University of Iowa, where she became a proud Hawkeye and made many lifelong friends. After graduating from the university, she worked for the YWCA in Rockford, Ill.
In 1951, she married Martin Guess and they settled in Washington, Iowa. Martin was called back into the Navy and the couple moved to Norman, Okla., where Martin was stationed during the Korean War. Liz worked for a newspaper in Norman.
When the war ended, Liz did what she never expected to do. Martin became a farmer, Liz a farmer’s wife and they settled on the Guess farm near Adaza.
Martin and Liz grew their farm and family.
Martha Ellen, John Clayton, Ann Elizabeth and Susan Lynn soon joined the couple and Liz became a 4-H leader, band parent and school board member. She was a longtime member of the Churdan Library board, working many hours to raise funds for the new library addition. Liz was a member of the Churdan Friday Club, Adaza Thursday Club, Edward English American Legion Post 198 Auxiliary, Greene County Historical Society and PEO Chapter CZ.
She and Martin loved to travel. They traveled all over the country. She and her mother, Elsie, traveled to Germany in 1987 and met family members for the first time. She traveled to Spain, France, Russia, Denmark and China to visit Susan. After Martin’s death, Liz traveled to Alaska, Australia, New Zealand and Greece. She also wintered in Texas a few times.
Thursdays were special days for many years, first for breakfast coffees in the library and then for lunch with friends at cafes and restaurants in the area.
Liz is survived by her children: Marty Hennesy, of Churdan; John (Joan), of Scranton; Ann Elizabeth (Wade) Gemberling, of Lohrville; and Susan (Drew) Cover, of Hamburg, Germany; her nieces and nephews: Karen (Larry) Schunk, Ron (Sheryl) Kamps, Steve Kamps, Leslie (Michael) Richardson, Jeff Tucker and Jim (Susan) Tucker.
Also surviving are her grandchildren: Katherine Hennesy, Nathan (Jess) Guess, Cara (Todd) Sawyer, Travis (Sara) Gemberling, Tucker Gemberling, Anna Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Ann (John) Towers, Natalie (Chance) Webb, Alena Cover and Tia Cover; her 10 great-grandchildren: Jacob, Georgia, Cru, Joanna, Waylen, Alexa, Brystle, Anna Elizabeth, Claudia and Riley; and her many great nieces and nephews.
Liz was preceded in death by her parents; Martin in 1998; her brother, Rudy, and his wife, Donna; brother and sister-in-law Norman and Mary Ellen Tucker; niece and nephew Lynn and Phillip Brown; and Katie Hennesy’s soulmate, Jason Schultz.
Liz wished to be cremated. Services will be held at 11 a.m. July 13 at the Churdan Community Room, followed by lunch with a celebration of a life-well-lived after the lunch.
Burial will be in the Highland Cemetery in Churdan.
The family asks to have memorials left to the Churdan Public Library or the Churdan Park Improvement fund.
The Guess family wishes to thank Lisa, Michelle, Brenda and the rest of the Kindred Hospice, Panora, for their help caring for their mother. A special thank you also to Taylor Rose, mom’s favorite person to ignore in her last days.
Cheers to a life well lived!
The Brown Funeral Home in Jefferson is assisting the family.