Betty Jean Roberta McElhaney, 90

Betty Jean Roberta McElhaney, age 90, of Clarksville, Iowa, was born the daughter of Ernest “Virgo” and Margaret (Rahn) Jacobsen on November 14, 1932, in Denver, Iowa.  Betty graduated from Maynard High School in Maynard, Iowa. She then attended two years at Gates College.

On Easter Sunday, April 5, 1953, Betty was united in marriage with Richard Leo McElhaney at First Lutheran Church in Maynard.  After their marriage, the couple lived in Waterloo, Iowa, then Elk Run Heights, Iowa. In 1961, the couple moved to Clarksville. Betty worked in the office at the Rath Packing Company in Waterloo. After moving to Clarksville, the couple worked as custodians for three churches in Clarksville.  They also had a bait shop out of their home.

Betty was a member of the St. John Lutheran Church in Clarksville. She was also part of the WELCA Church Circle and the Rebekah Lodge. For several years, Betty worked with Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts.  She enjoyed painting, drawing, making flower arrangements and collecting horse statues. Betty loved listening to country music, eating out, being outdoors and seeing the sunshine. Betty’s greatest joy was taking care of and spending time with her family.

On November 17, 2022, Betty died at Shell Rock Healthcare Center.  Betty is preceded in death by her parents, Ernest “Virgo” and Margaret Jacobsen; two brothers, Ernie and Gordy Jacobsen and a sister, Margaret Jacobsen.

Betty is survived by her husband of 69 years, Richard McElhaney of Clarksville; seven children, Linda (Duane) Griffin of Waseca, Minnesota, Jeanette (Dale) Henry of Vinton, Iowa, Roberta McElhaney of Clarksville, Brenda (Steve) Verno of Taravas, Florida, Bruce (Debra) McElhaney of Grand Prairie, Texas, Laura (Victor) Padrön of Pueblo, Mexico, Paul McElhaney of Pullupa, Washington; nine great grandchildren and many great-grandchildren and other family members.

Funeral services were held at 2:00 p.m., on Wednesday, November 23, 2022, at St. John Lutheran Church in Clarksville, with Pastor Charlie Underwood officiating. Organist was Sharon Leerhoff and she accompanied the congregation as they sang “Just A Closer Walk With Thee”, “In The Garden” and “Amazing Grace”.  Burial was held at Lynwood Cemetery in Clarksville, with Cliff Hartama, Leo Kane, Dick Lohr, John McElhaney, Scott Holdiman and Aaron Griffin serving as Casketbearers.  

Visitation was held from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, at the Redman Funeral & Cremation Services, Clarksville Funeral Home, and one hour before services at the church.  Memorials may be directed to the family.  Redman Funeral & Cremation Services in Clarksville was in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be left at



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