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Betty   R.  Foreman
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Obituary for Betty R. Foreman

Betty R. Foreman, age 82, of Council Bluffs, passed away at her home on May 21, 2018 after a courageous battle with cancer.

She was born in Council Bluffs on October 30, 1935 to the late Raymond C. and Lila L. (Hawes) Maaske. Betty graduated from Missouri Valley High School with the class of 1953 and then attended Jennie Edmundson’s X-Ray Technician Program. She retired from Bergan Mercy Hospital as a radiation therapist. Betty was a longtime member of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church where she was very active in both the church and its school.

With a baby due in the fall, Lila (Hawes) Maaske had a signal for her farmer husband, who was harvesting. When one of Raymond’s work shirts appeared outside a second-story window, he was to come immediately because the baby was on its way. Betty Rae was born the day before Halloween, 1935. Her parents had lost a son in infancy years before so she was a cherished daughter – brought up with much love in rural Missouri Valley, Iowa. As an only child, every farm animal was Betty’s friend, like the baby chicks in the brooder house. But it was her brown and white pony, Paint, who was her constant companion. She rode him bareback everywhere.

Betty went to Willow Creek – a one-room schoolhouse –across the gravel road from the Maaske homestead. She later attended Missouri Valley High and was graduated as valedictorian in 1953. She likely was the only student who typed her class notes then twisted them back into the spiral-bound notebooks.

A friend asked Betty to go with her to explore X-ray technician training and it changed the direction of her career. She graduated from Council Bluffs’ Jennie Edmundson Hospital’s X-ray program. Later, when she left to raise her children and help run her family farm, Betty kept up her skills current by filling-in for vacationing techs. After many years, she transitioned to work that she considered even more very meaningful – radiation therapy for those diagnosed with cancer. Both the patients and her co-workers loved and respected Betty so much that she was the recipient of Bergan Mercy’s Spirit of Mercy award in 1995.

Betty didn’t have to look far to find the love of her life, Floyd Dean Foreman, who was born on a farm in nearby Loveland, Iowa. He was a hard-working and slender boy with dark, curly hair. They were married in Council Bluffs on June 12, 1955, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, on Floyd’s twenty-first birthday. Their daughter, Kathy, came along the next May and she was followed in three-years by Cindy. They moved to Idaho Falls, Idaho. Floyd and Betty were the only children of their respective family’s and they wanted their children to be close to grandparents. So, the Foreman’s moved back to Iowa in 1961.

On their return, Betty and Floyd found a farm south of the Iowa School for the Deaf. Adjacent to Lewis Central School, they thought this would be a good place to raise their family. They moved to the farm in 1961, one month before the last Foreman child, Steve, was born. It is where Betty lived for the next 57 years.

Betty loved the farm. She planted ambitious vegetable gardens, flowers, shrubs and trees. She cuddled generations of barn kittens and tried unsuccessfully to keep them out of her petunia beds. Because horses were again part of her life, Betty taught her children to ride.

Almost as much as she loved the farm, Betty loved to travel. She and Floyd took their kids to almost every state in the nation. After retirement, they traveled with friends and they bought a home at the Lake of the Ozarks. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by taking a family cruise to Alaska. But what may have been their biggest travel joy came in 1973 when Karen Brady, an American Field Service exchange student, arrived from New Zealand to live under Betty and Floyd’s roof. Their “Kiwi Daughter” never left their heart and trips were exchanged. Not only did they travel to New Zealand but also to locations like Israel and Grand Cayman where Karen’s husband, Mike Johnston, was stationed.

Once Betty learned she was a descendant of the Mayflower, she took a trip to the Hawes family “home place” in Solihull, England. Here she visited the manor house built in 1576 by her ancestors and worshiped at the same church. Betty also is the descendant of a medieval saint—Queen Margaret of Scotland—who has the unusual distinction among saints of being a happily married mother. Anyone who knew of Betty’s strong Christian faith, kindness and generosity, would not find that surprising.

Betty’s greatest treasures were her grandchildren, Colleen, Joe, Elizabeth and Garrett. The first arrived in 1988 with the last born in 2006 so the joy of rocking grandbabies – seeing them play sports and go off to school – were hers for many years. Just hearing their voices lit up her face. The additional blessing of her “bonus kids” – Kathy’s husband, Dan, Cindy’s husband, Gordie and Steve’s wife, Carol – made those grandchildren possible!

Of course, Betty’s life had difficulties -- the greatest being her many battles with cancer. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996. Her friend and colleague, Dr. Soori, helped her beat it and she was cancer free for many years. In 2013, cancer returned. When it did, she faced it with determination and courage until she was gathered in God’s arms from the living room of her beloved farmhouse, with her devoted husband of 62 years by her side, on the evening of May 21, 2018.

Betty’s life was enriched by many people during her 82 years. There were wonderful friends and dear relatives. There were friends from her childhood, friends met through Floyd, friends from work, friends met through her children, through gardening and through swimming. There were friends who lived in the apartments and friends who worked the Maaske farms. And, there were her friends in faith – her church family from St. Paul’s Lutheran who sustained her for more than six decades. Finally, there were those who cared for Betty in the last days of her life as tenderly as she had cared for others. To all, she was grateful and thankful for a life filled with blessings.

In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her infant brother, Duane Maaske.

Betty is survived by her husband of 62 years, Floyd Foreman; daughters and sons-in-law, Kathryn and Dan Morrissey, Cynthia and Gordon Foster; son and daughter-in-law, Steven and Carol Foreman; grandchildren, Colleen Morrissey and her fiancée, Sean Kamperman, Joe Morrissey, Elizabeth Foreman and Garrett Foster.

A prayer service will begin at 5:30p.m. followed by visitation until 8:00p.m. on Thursday at the Hoy-Kilnoski Funeral Home. Funeral service is 10:30a.m. on Friday at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church – 239 Frank Street on Council Bluffs. Interment is in the Branson Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.

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Previous Events

Prayer Service




5:30 PM
Hoy | Kilnoski Funeral Home & Crematory

1221 North 16th Street
Council Bluffs, IA 51501





6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Hoy | Kilnoski Funeral Home & Crematory

1221 North 16th Street
Council Bluffs, IA 51501

Funeral Service




10:30 AM
St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church

239 Frank Street
Council Bluffs, IA 51503

Cemetery Details


Branson Cemetery

Loveland, IA


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