JoAn A. (Lent) Skyrme, 88, Belmond, died Nov. 11, 2020 at the Rehabilitation Center of Belmond. A memorial service was held Nov. 14 at the Belmond United Methodist Church. Burial was at the Belmond Cemetery.
JoAn Audrey was born Dec. 29, 1931 in a small house on the west side of Highway 69, a little over a mile south of Belmond. Her parents were Ethel Magnolia (Hedges) Lent and Claude Arthur Lent, and she joined sister Marilyn. When she was two, the family moved their house to Belmond, settling on 8th Ave. in the Berry Addition.
Eventually brothers Ralph, Charles and Virgil were born, all in that small house. When JoAn was four, she and Ralphie had pneumonia. His was complicated by a throat infection, and he died at age three. Virgil contacted rheumatic fever at age two, had a return of the disease when he was ten, and with an enlarged heart and edema, died at 19. Five months after Dad and Uncle Pete (Mom’s brother Ralph) went on defense plant work in the early 40’s, Mom gave birth to twins at the Belmond Hospital. Clair Dean and Claudia Jean joined the family in the fall of 1942, and when the men returned soon after, Uncle Pete bought a farm south of Burchinal, and the family moved there to farm it while he returned to teaching.
JoAn graduated from Swaledale Consolidated School in 1949, and having earned a Farm Bureau scholarship, attended Iowa State Teachers College at Cedar Falls for two years. She taught at the Floyd Consolidated School for two years, and then at Rockwell for a semester. She then moved to Albuquerque, NM for seven years. She attended the University of New Mexico, worked several clerical jobs, and played piano and sang in cocktail lounges. She spent some time back in Iowa, and then moved to Cheyenne, WY, where she continued office and piano work.
Returning to Iowa in 1964, she was secretary to the plant manager at the Oliver (White) manufacturing plant in Charles City, lost her father to a heart attack, and following the Charles City tornado, moved to Denver, CO for a short time. Returning to Iowa, she married Wayne Skyrme and they lived in Mason City where she was a house parent for the Cerro Gordo County Juvenile Home, and then became a secretary, first at the United Church of Christ Congregational, and then at First United Methodist Church in Mason City.
From there she sensed a call to ministry, and pursued studies with the United Methodist Church in 1976. After serving the church in Charles City for three years, she was appointed to the Lamont-Aurora charge in Buchanan County for over seven years. Following four years with the Lake Mills and Thompson churches, she was appointed to the United Church of Rowan, where she served nine years.
Retiring to Belmond in 2001, she was reacquainted with old friends and childhood classmates, and met new friends who welcomed and included her in various activities and responsibilities. She was active in the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, and Trinity Lutheran Church choirs; served on the Belmond Planning and Zoning Commission and the Friends of the Library board; and was a member of the Belmond Hospital Auxiliary. She also served as secretary of the Rowan Lions Club and Matinee Musicale Club of Mason City, and as chaplain of P.E.O. Chapter LV in Belmond.
JoAn left this life for a rest and her new life on Nov. 11.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers Ralph and Virgil Lent; sisters Marilyn Parker, Claudia Jean Boutchyard and Rosalie McCoy; and nephew Jeffrey Scot Boutchyard.
Surviving her are sons James Robert (Joanne) Skyrme of Manchester, England and Gerald Arthur Skyrme of Northmoor, Missouri; grandchildren Kaitlyn, Christopher, Meghan and Jillian; great-grandchildren Cassidy, Tuckyr, Alexzander and Sebastian; brothers Charles (Carol) Lent of Florida and Clair Dean Lent of Alaska; nieces and nephews Mary, Thom, Jaime, Rodney, Richard, Steven, Michelle, Eric and Lisa; and many friends for whom she was most grateful.