Lynda H. Etchen, 78, Belmond, died Nov. 11, 2021 at Iowa Specialty Hospital - Belmond. Services were held Nov. 15 at the Belmond United Church of Christ Congregational. Burial was in the Belmond Cemetery. Memorial suggestions include Belmond-Klemme Scholarship Foun- dation 2, Talbot Belmond Public Library Youth Programs, and the Belmond UCCC.
Lynda, the daughter of Earl and Helen (Landon) Hinman, was born Aug. 1, 1943 at Belmond. She was raised on a farm near Belmond which had been in the family since 1873. In her school years Lynda was active in 4-H and continued her involvement as an adult 4-H leader for a time. She had also participated in the Girl’s Recreation Association during high school.
Early on, Lynda attended rural school and later Belmond Community Schools. She graduated from Belmond High School in 1962. She furthered her education as a beautician at the Thompson School of Beauty Culture in Des Moines. She was then employed at salons in Clarion and Clear Lake.
Lynda was united in marriage to Delbert Etchen at the United Church of Christ in Belmond where she had been baptized and confirmed. They moved to Glendale, AZ where Delbert was employed with Goodyear Aerospace and their daughter Cynthia was born. They later moved to Sunnyvale, CA when Delbert’s career took him to Lockheed Corporation. Son Vincent then joined the family.
Eventually they returned to the Belmond area, living on the farm with Lynda’s parents for time before moving to Roseville, MN where Delbert took a position with Control Data. After a time the family moved to New Richmond, WI where they farmed for 23 years. During these years, Lynda was a full-time homemaker, mother and partner with Delbert on the farm. Also, she kept her cosmetology license and provided services to people from her home salon and traveled to do haircuts, permanents, and other styling in the homes of her church family. She enjoyed her church family at Deer Park United Methodist Church and remained in contact with them over the years. While her children were in college, Lynda was employed as a supervisor at Hardee’s restaurants in New Richmond and Baldwin.
Following Delbert’s retirement from the farm, they moved back to Earl and Helen’s farm. The couple later divorced and Lynda moved into her home in Belmond where she has lived since.
After moving into town, Lynda was employed for a time at the Duckwall’s Store. She also was well known for her beautiful quilting, seamstress work, and her many other one-of-a-kind, meticulously hand-crafted creations. Anyone who knew Lynda knew that she poured her heart and soul into each and everything she made. She always had multiple projects going on at the same time, including at the time of her passing. Her children recall her making many of their clothes during their childhood years. Countless area residents were also fortunate enough to have her tailor and do sewing and seamstress jobs for them as well. Lynda loved to have the latest technologies of the sewing trade. She was known by many as the button lady, as she had countless collections of buttons and often made button wear that she gave as gifts.
Besides her sewing and quilting, Lynda found time and energy to maintain beautiful flower and vegetable gardens, decorate her homes, participate in food and baking competitions at various fairs, and sharing her wonderful culinary and baking skills with others along the way. She was known for her delicious homemade breads which she shared with her church families, making the bread for communion at her church homes. Her family recalls her making 400 loaves of bread for one particular event. Lynda had a strong faith and was active at the Belmond UCCC, in the Women’s Fellowship, and served on various committees. She was the last living Gold Star Sister in the area.
Anyone who knew her will recall the inseparable bond she had with her mother Helen. If you saw one of them, the other was nearby. They cherished one another immensely and often would wear matching outfits.
Lynda had a passion for young people and was always concerned for their well-being. She loved her grandchildren and enjoyed precious times spent with them. A visit from Grandma Button was one of their favorite occasions. She had done some traveling and had visited a traveling Vietnam Memorial. This was important to her as she had lost her brother Dwight to injuries from his time serving in Vietnam.
She will be remembered for her uncanny, meticulous mannerisms, her unique wit, love for conversation, devotion to her mother, her beautiful smile, sparkling emotion-filled eyes, and passion for creating and sharing her one-of-a-kind gifts with others. She had a true zest for life and battled through each obstacle that may have crossed her path, including her victory in the battle against breast cancer.
Her memory will live on in her surviving family, including daughter Cynthia Etchen of Clarion; son Vincent (Thida) Etchen and their sons Anthony and Vinchenzo of Ellsworth, WI; and her other extended family members.
She was preceded in death by her parents; and brother Dwight.