Ida Lou Witten (98 years old) died peacefully on Saturday, April 15 th in Portales, New Mexico. She was born in Jamesport, (Daviess County) Missouri on November 17 th , 1924 to Perry T.and Iva Etha (Sartain) Swofford.
Ida Lou was working as a bookkeeper and seed analyst at Reed’s Seed House in Jamesport, Missouri when a local farmer, suspiciously sent his eldest son, Vern Witten, into the seed store to take care of some family business. It was the summer of 1955. Vern had come back from his teaching job in Carlsbad, NM to help out on the farm after his father’s heart attack. After a whirlwind courtship, Ida Lou and Vern were married December 18, 1955 at her parent’s home in Gallatin, Missouri. Their marriage was one truly built on love and devotion to each other, family and friends.
After their wedding, Vern and Ida Lou started their new life together in Carlsbad, NM. They relocated to Portales in 1964. Ida Lou embraced her adopted hometown of Portales. She was an active leader in Campfire Girls. She along with Frankie King and Betty Greaves shaped the lives of many young girls. Ida Lou was an avid bowler and belonged to several leagues. She made life long friends such as Callie Wood and Adelaid Speck who all kept each other laughing for years after the bowling alley closed. Ida Lou embraced her church family at First United Methodist Church in Portales. Through her involvement with the church and Meals on Wheels, she always found a path to give back to her community. Her professional career ended with her job at RCSE Credit Union. Ida Lou and Chris Snelson ran an efficient (and fun) business. They also built a priceless friendship.
The center of Ida Lou’s life never changed, it was always on her family. Her parents, Perry and Iva Etha Swofford, her brother, Jewel Ray Swofford, and her husband Vernie Elzen Witten, Jr. preceded her in death. She is survived by her daughters Barbara (Tom) Kilburn, Mt. Pleasant, Tx., Vonna Witten, Portales, NM, Ayse (Dan) Taimuty, Bakersfield, CA, 7 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
The family would like to send a special thanks to Julia Tapia. It was a true example of a God’s Wink Moment when she came into Ida Lou’s life. She went from helper to new member of the family.
There will be a memorial for Ida Lou during the regular 9:30 church service at the FUMC in Portales on May 21 st . A tea/reception will be held at the FUMC @ 2:00 on the same day. A private family service will be held at a separate time.
Vern and Ida Lou’s ashes will be taken back to their beginnings…Daviess County, Missouri.
Since both Ida Lou and Vern both enjoyed cheering on the ENMU Women’s Basketball and Volleyball teams, the family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts be made to support both ENMU women’s teams. Contributions can be made online at www.enmu.edu/donate by adding “in memory of Ida Lou Witten” in the Comment Box or mailed to the ENMU Foundation, ENMU Station 8, 1500 S. Ave K, Portales, NM 88130.
Donations can also be made to First United Methodist Church and can be mailed to 200 S Ave C, Portales, NM 88130.
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