Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Veryl Evelyn (Christgau) Detwiler, 98, of Iowa City and Mesa, Ariz., died peacefully in her daughter’s Iowa City home on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 of complications due to multiple myeloma.
Veryl was born March 10, 1911 to Edwin Gottlieb Christgau and Nellie Hudson Christgau in Grand Meadow, Minn. Veryl attended grade school in Grand Meadow and was sent to high school in Austin at age 14. In Austin, she lived at Mrs. Terry’s rooming house with several other young women. At Austin High School she met Baird Detwiler and together they appeared in school plays, operettas and musical productions.
Following high school graduation, Veryl attended the University of Minnesota, where she majored in music education and was affiliated with Pi Beta Phi sorority. She left the university to work for her uncle in Washington, D.C. at the Anti-Saloon League for a short period of time.
On May 12, 1934 Veryl married Baird Edward Detwiler in Minneapolis. They lived in Austin for a number of years before moving to Janesville, Wis. While in Janesville, their two children were born: Joan Hudson and Stephen Baird. In 1950, the family moved to Iowa City for Baird’s insurance business.
Veryl first served as secretary for her husband’s business and later was secretary to Dr. Spence, chairman of the psychology department at the University of Iowa from 1961-64.
In 1968, Baird and Veryl moved to Mesa, Ariz. where Baird continued his insurance business and Veryl was secretary to the vice president and dean of the graduate school at Arizona State University in Tempe for 10 years. She retired in 1977, but continued volunteer activities.
Veryl is survived by her daughter: Joan Jehle, brother: Maynar (Judy), grandchildren: Susan Jehle (Chris Dautremont), Scott Jehle (Kelly), Jeffrey Detwiler (Jay); great-grandchildren, Lynn, Ryan and Erin Jehle, Ayden Detwiler; and many nieces and nephews and their families.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Baird, in 1974; son, Stephen, in 1976; parents, Edwin and Nellie; brother, Ronald, and his wife, Ellen; sisters-in-law Esther and Borghild; and brother-in-law, Douglas.
A memorial service will be held later this fall to celebrate the lives of Veryl, Baird and Stephen Detwiler. Graveside services will be held in Oakwood Cemetery in Austin in the Detwiler and Baird family plot. Memorials may be given in Veryl’s name to: The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, The Baird and Stephen Baird Detwiler Memorial Fund of the Iowa City Public Library, Iowa City Hospice, Caring Hands & More of Iowa City, Mercy Hospital Foundation for the Cancer Center of Iowa City or LEAF Fund-Friends of Hickory Hill Park.