The Dirks Newsletter

April 2012

“Touched by a Rainbow from the Land of Oz”

The Dirks Newsletter is compiled monthly and mailed around the 5th. The newsletter is mailed to those who write each month and to those who are unable to write due to health reasons.  The purpose of the newsletter is to provide material for those doing genealogy research and to keep family and friends aware of current events. Please send your inputs to “The Dirks Newsletter”, 410 S. Westview Derby, KS 67037. The newsletter will be posted on the website


Edna Arends

November 5, 1929   April 22, 2010, Edna Age 89, of Wayzata, MN, passed away peacefully in her sleep April 22, 2012 at Pres Homes in Spring Park, MN. Edna was born Nov. 5, 1922 to Irene & Tjark Ihnen of Palmer, IA. She graduated salutatorian Palmer HS Class of 1940. During WWII, she worked at Nolan Drug Store. On June 16, 1946, upon his return home from service in WWII, she married Eldon Arends. The couple moved to his family farm outside Palmer where Edna assisted with the farm work while gaining a reputation as one of the best homemakers in the county. In Nov. 1963, after 17 years of marriage, Edna gave birth to their only child, Jon. The couple lived on the farm until 1987 then moved to Manson, IA. In 1998, they moved to Wayzata, MN until Jan. 2012 when Edna moved into Presbyterian Homes. Edna loved baking, dancing, traveling & sports. She was very active in the American Legion Auxiliary and at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Palmer. She treasured memories of her travels with family. Edna's favorite team was the MN Twins- her highlight was attending all four home games of the 1991 World Series. But it was family that Edna enjoyed most. She treasured her role as a mom, mother-in-law and grandma. Edna was a strong and determined individual relying on her faith. Edna is survived by her husband of 65 years, Eldon; her son, Jon (Jennifer) & two granddaughters (Madison & Jordan); sister-in-law (Mary); niece & nephews (Jeffrey, Bryan, Stephanie, Kerry & Joel). She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother (Ray). Visitation will be held May 4, 2012 from 5-7pm at the Cremation Society of MN, Edina Chapel, 7110 France Ave. S., Edina, MN 55435 (952/924-4100). Memorial service will be Sat., May 5, 2012 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 2060 County Rd. 6, Long Lake, MN 55356 starting at 11 am.



Andrew Dirks----Wichita Home School

David Dirks----Wichita Home School

Skyler Foley----Storm Lake High, Storm Lake, IA

Alanna Jean Piercy----Storm Lake High, Storm Lake, IA



Dirks, Duane & Inez                                                                               29 Apr 12

133 Archdale Drive

Kingsport TN, 37663

     OK folks, hope you are all doing great, April 15th is in the past and Uncle Obama didn't yet empty your wallets, but never fear, unless we are lucky, he will have another 4 years to finish the job! If you need to read between the lines to understand where I stand, then maybe I should use double spacing so there is plenty of opportunity.

     Other stuff-- we have sold our motor home and it does seem a lot strange, for the first time in more than 2 decades we are without a camping unit of some sort, think I am suffering “postpartum depression”. Not just yet sure what will be our next move, some thought about purchasing a pull type camper that is sized small enough to let us use our F 150 and not risk ruining the truck. Supposedly we can tow up to 9200 lbs but I would rather be about half of that.
      Had one of those late killing frosts here about 2 weeks ago and that really set a lot of plants back including our potatoes and fruit trees. Our nectarine tree had fruit about 3/4 inches long on it and they all froze, lots of vineyards in our area too and they really took a hit. Guess will have to see what the next year brings. Still working on old clocks, old mowers and old houses so have plenty to do.
     Inez is still trying to wear out those two sewing machines, not sure how many of those baby quilts she has made and donated so far but must be close to 75 (just asked, 62 finished and 9 more in the works). She has also made other full size quilts for family members and gifts. YUP, she still finds time to make meals so I am not about to starve although I am a challenge, with my diabetes, she has to pretty much rethink all that used to be normal. YOU BET, I am worth it. That should be painful shouldn’t it? [:-)

Will quit for now and wish all of the Dirks Clan good health and happiness.

Duane and Inez


Dirks, Edna                                                                                            9 Apr 12

12184 175th St W

Lakeville, MN 55044

     Thanks for sending me messages. Hope that Ruth's eyes are doing alright. Sure can stay busy with going to appointments.

      The allergies this year have really hit everyone. We are supposed to get down to 27 degrees tonight and 30 tomorrow night. I hope it doesn't kill a lot of early blooms.

Hope you all had a nice Easter. It was warm enough to be outside. Allie and Jonathan made an Easter bunny cake. They did a good job. Joanne made the cutest little chicken deviled eggs. The boys went fishing for awhile but did more tangling of the lines. They took their kites down to the park and had some fun. We had a plastic egg hunt (with quarters in them). Adults had fun, also. They couldn't remember where they hid all of them, so the search was on. It was funny!

      My sister Eva and I are flying to Tucson on Wednesday morning. Eva has a son and granddaughter living there. They tell me it is warm there.

     Tell all your family hi from all of us. Hope everything is going alright with all of them.

      Laurie brought Xiriah to see us last Tuesday. Laurie had brought Kim out to the airport. He is going back to China to finish his project over there. He is really getting tired of traveling. This should be all the traveling he has to do this year. Baby has grown so much since I seen him last. He is a happy baby. I love to hear him try to talk to us. He is so full of smiles.

      <04 May 12> Probably too late for the newsletter.  Drove up to Laurie (niece) and Clayton Lahman.  Laurie showed me around the school where she is the assistant to the principle.   It was nice to meet her co-workers and some of the teachers.  It was fun to be in a school again and see all the energetic kids.

      They farrow pigs and have chickens on their farm.  The pigs act just like kids trying to get Laurie's attention. 

      Their daughter, Sammy, is graduating from college in Crookston tomorrow.   I rode up with them for her graduation.  It doesn't seem possible Sammy is this old.  Sammy has a job in the extension office near Grand Forks.  She already has her apartment.

Love to all, Edna


Dirks, Florence                                                                                         27 Apr 12

1936 23rd St #2

Spirit Lake, IA 513560-1087

      This has been a busy month for me with doctor appointments, Circle, medical tests, condo meeting and mending for a friend.

          The farmers are planting corn. The trees are leafing, lilacs are blooming. The sun is shining and temperatures are in the 80’s.

      Darold called and said he didn’t think they would be coming to the reunion as the price of gas is too high. Here it is $3.69/gal, it was $3.89/gal. I will go it I can. Not much else is going one. I wish everyone well.

I am thinking of you all. Florence


Dirks, John & Ruth                                                                                  4 May 12

410 S. Westview

Derby, KS 67037

     The Oaklawn tornado clean up is still in the early stages, it was rated as an F3.  I don’t think the damages were excessive—but that is from my point of view. If my house was the only one destroyed then it would have been excessive, if I am the only one that was laid off then the layoffs were excessive. When I visit you in the hospital—your pains are nothing compared to mine when I was in the hospital—so you have to consider whose point of view it is.

     I have not done any gardening as of yet—last year I planted my tomatoes three time and then the heat took over so I didn’t get any. I did get one engine running for a friend.

     Been trying to clean off the desk and get ready for the onslaught of news from the families, I am trying something different---when you send me news by mail or email I will try an post it in Google Docs (DKSNEWS) and leave the latest news your wrote---the dates will be black background with red letters.  Only the letters dated after the 5th of the month will go into the current month’s news.  Hopefully you will also correct any errors I may have made.

      Working on one computer trying to get a wireless adapter working—had one but I had to continuously re-plug it in each time I woke up the computer or restarted it. The new one works great so far. I have a USB backup but it is acting flakey—but I have some relatives like that.  I know some of you will write and say they know who I am talking about.  If you don’t think God has a sense of humor—look in the mirror.  I was also was having problems with my 2WIRE wireless modem---I thought the modem was bad it is the power adapters. I found some modems today at a garage sale so I am okay in this area for a while.

      Between doctor’s appointments for Ruth and I, I do get of few days of subbing. Lately it has been science and math. Spent a day with the gifted students---I think my Special Ed classes have some of the brighter students. They put some students in gifted classes just to make the parents happy.  I asked them how many days in the week started with “T” they all said two Tuesday and Thursday--- I told them there were four Tuesday, Thursday, Today and Tomorrow.  Then I asked them how many months had 28 days and they said one, February.  I said they all had at least 28 days.  You will say these are trick questions—but remember these are gifted students. Also it is strange that when I work with Special Ed I have paras to help---guess what when I work with gifted students we have paras to help.  Isn’t life great?  When Danny was in middle school he as in Advanced Math---I was so proud so I asked what math classes there were.  There was the Advanced, More Advanced and Most Advanced. Hmmmmm-think about that. Yes they tell us what we want to hear and we hear what we want.

     We have been getting timely rains and the winter wheat is turning, some of the corn is knee high and some beans and corn are just coming through the ground. If the weather cooperates we will have a bumper wheat crop this year.

     Ruth is doing well after having a stent put in her heart and also her cataract surgery. She will go to the eye doctor to get fitted for new glasses next week.

Take care, John and Ruth


Dirks, Marvin & LaVonne                                                                      29 Apr 12

17326 590th St.

Fonda, IA 50574

      We hope everyone had a nice Palm Sunday and Easter celebration. We had 29 family members here for Easter dinner. It was also my sister Lois’s birthday and Lois and Oscars’s 50th anniversary. It was a beautiful Easter Sunday.

      I did some window washing and house cleaning this month. We volunteered to help at church with some remodeling and painting. We have more work to accomplish there.

      Marv got the potatoes planted on Good Friday and I got some garden in last week. The volunteer lettuce is great and we enjoy the rhubarb now. Strawberries are blooming too. We’ve had many cool temperatures (furnace even felt good) and we’ve had some much needed rain. Most of the corn is planted and the beans are next. It’s been too cool to put any annual flowers out. I hope to get the tomatoes out too—but it looks like a cool and rainy weekend.

      I went to a salad supper and our LCW and Circle meetings. We also hosted a funeral dinner at our church. Leann and Tom were with us one Sunday to serve coffee fellowship.

      Marv played his last indoor horseshoe game at Eldora one weekend. He has been busy with some honey-do jobs at home along with running concrete sidewalks and jobs for others.

      The grandkids are busy at school with track and golf meets and drivers education classes. Last night (Saturday) was Pocahontas Prom night for Zach and last weekend Miranda had her Prom Grand March at Newell. What a beautiful and exciting time for the juniors and seniors.  The prom times sure have changed.

      This weekend Katie and Tim will arrive Friday evening from Kansas City. Jordan will affirm is faith on Sunday with is class of 13. He will be honored with a dinner at Marvin and Dianne’s. He is also pleased to have received his drivers permit. Kerry, Sandy, Michaela, Josh to come here Saturday eve for supper and will be with us Sunday for the celebration.

      Zach is a senior at Pocahontas and says—7 more days left of school so his graduation day isn’t very far away, May 20th. He has some music concerts on his agenda.  I see him and his grandpa are busy working on his dresser for the 4-H fair in the shop now. He hopes to be busy working this summer.

      Marcella called with a few names of those who plan to come to the reunion. We hope to add many more names to the list. Please call me anytime at 712-288-5384 or email We plan to me at the Pizza Ranch in Pocahontas. Prices are: Seniors $8.66, Adults $9.62, 12 years and under 60˘ x age. Includes drinks and taxes.   Motels: Pocahontas Inn and Suites 877-335-4475, Storm Lake Super 8 712-732-3063, Storm Lake Baymont Inn 712-732-1000.

      Enjoy the month of May and flowers. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers.  Remember Memorial Day and all your special family members.

      Hoping to hear from many of you soon.

Marv and LaVonne


Foley, Jo Ann                                                                                         6 Apr 12
610 W. 6th St.
Storm Lake, IA 50588
     Spring is here! And that means tax season is almost over - yeah. I have been very busy the last few months, and business has been good. Praise God!
     It is hard to believe Skyler will be graduating high school in another month. He is planning on study engine mechanics in the fall at Iowa Central Community College (Fort Dodge). Matt is in 8th grade and doing well. He has his driver’s permit, so it has been fun (or should I say scary, lol) teaching him to drive. Faith is in 1st grade, and she is reading chapter books already. She says she doesn’t like to read, but she reads very well. She was able to participate in challenge this year and really enjoyed that.
     My dad, Ray Vring, has been cancer free and doing much better lately. He did go to the eye doctor recently and has cataracts on both eyes. He will be having surgery April 19th on one and early May for the other.
Well I have work to do, but I wish you all a great month! Take care and God Bless!

Jo Ann


Hohensee, Gwendell                                                                               10 Apr 12
3601 Calvert Suite 2
Lincoln, NE 68506
     It is another beautiful day here in Lincoln. Down close to freezing last night and the same is forecast for tonight, then we should be a little warmer. Grass is growing well. Trees are about through blooming. It has been a very colorful and early spring. I hope the low temps last night and tonight do not harm any of the fruit trees. My Cherry tree has finished blooming so may be OK. We need some rain. South of us they have been getting some rain but it is mostly missing us as it moves NE from Kansas.

      I have been busy with work at the office, playing tennis, going to my granddaughters’ soccer games, and helping assemble the bulletins on Fridays for the weekend services. Some friends from Iowa are coming next week Thursday for the barber shop quartet performances in Omaha on Friday and Saturday. A cousin from Florida will be here Memorial Day weekend. I hope to drive to Colorado after that to visit relatives in the Denver area. I enjoyed a fun day with family on Easter.

     4/22/12 Just received your weekly post. Just this morning I had to go out and buy AA batteries for my mouse. I have never had anything that went through batteries like this mouse does. Guess I will have to start turning it off when I am not using it. You spoke of Special Ed kids. My wife taught Special Ed. She had most of her students in regular classes. They got better grades than most of the regular students.

Wishing the best for all of you and yours, Gwendell


Ihnen, Kerry & Joan                                                                               02 May 12

9452 E 3300 N Rd

Steator, IL

     Hi Dirks Family, Kerry came home to Illinois Easter weekend. He caught a ride with one of the other workers so that he could ride his motorcycle back to Omaha. We spent Saturday catching up with friends, we had breakfast with one couple and dinner with another couple. Sunday morning we sang at sunrise service.

     The third week of April I spent every afternoon at church getting ready for our yearly rummage sale.

     The end of the month our 12 year old Husky Sheba passed away. We adopted her from the pound when she was 1 and we will miss her.

      I hope this finds all of you well.

Joanie and Kerry


Nelson, Marj                                                                                           27 Apr 12

11937 Aneta St

Culver City, CA  90230

      Greetings from Sunny California. It is a beautiful day today. Yesterday we had a few drops of rain and it was cloudy all day.
       My usual month of going to doctors. The doctor finally called me about the results of the MRI that I had, he said it just confirms that I have a tumor in the pelvic bone. He doesn’t know if this is a new tumor or a split off from the breast cancer or the thyroid cancer. I sure hated having the MRI, I had forgotten about all the noise and how long it takes. I am now waiting to make an appointment to see a radiologist oncologist.
       Linda is in Los Angeles on business and will be here for a week. Jessica, is flying in from Davis, CA for the weekend. We went to a Fish place for dinner Saturday to celebrate Jessica’s 30th birthday. Sunday, was a beautiful day and the neighbor down the street was out walking his cow down the street. Later, he came back with all the children and they had two pygmy goats. They were so cute and Malea enjoyed feeding them and they would lick her hand and she would laugh.
     I do the same thing almost every day, not very exciting, walk around the block or walk to the post office. Once in awhile, I stop at the market and donate a dollar to the lottery.

  Bye for now, Marj


Nomann, Larene                                                                                     23 Apr 12

906 4th Ave NW

Pocahontas, IA 50574

      Hi to all from NW Iowa. How the weather changes, last night it froze a little and tomorrow the forecast is for temperatures in the 80’s. We have had ample rain and a lot of corn is planted.

      The past two weeks I have been busy, finishing up World Relief quilts, which we pack this week. My co-worker and I tied three really nice quilts, which have batting in them, for Bible Camps, domestic abuse, etc. On Friday, 6-7 men and women assemble the monthly church newsletter and I always make the coffee and see that we have rolls are bars.

      Today I have to go to Fort Dodge to and ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT). I have to do this about every three months. I’ve had this problem for lots of years. The doctors used to flush them with water, which caused an infection a lot of the times. They use a suction instrument now.

      I am wishing a Blessed Mother’s Day to all the mothers, not only on Mother’s Day but every day. Hope this finds everyone that feeling better.

Love, Larene


Piercy, Marcella                                                                                      22 Apr 12

PO Box 6

Newell, IA 50568

      Hello to everyone. I still think time goes too fast, I can’t keep up with everything. The mowing keeps me busy one day a week. The weather hasn’t been too bad. We have had some nice rains, approximately 3 ˝ inches last week. We have also had some frost, but now severe.

      I strained my back three weeks ago, after two weeks of pain I decided to go to a chiropractor. After two treatments I was okay, it’s not pleasant when you can’t cough, sneeze, put on your socks or tie your shoe laces.

      I had a beautiful Easter, the great-grandchildren had fun with an Easter egg hunt in the backyard.

      My rhubarb had some seeds on and the stalks are big, but I have to wait until the month of May before I can use it. You are not to use fresh rhubarb in the months that have “r’sin  them.

      Mary came down today and we went to church. Then we had coffee with some of the ladies at the gas station coffee shop and from there we went to Storm Lake and shopped at Wal-Mart.

      Mary said to tell everyone “Hello” as she is working 70 hours/week at the Pantry Café. She gets really tired. She will be at the reunion.

      I can’t think of anything else to write about. Wishing everyone that is ill a speedy recovery.

Take care, Marcella


Porter, John & Diane                                                                              11 Apr 12
3605 Jolly Court
Spirit Lake, IA 51360
    Hello to Everyone-Kind of cool here this morning but the weatherman is reminding us this is "normal". Really enjoyed those warmer temp's and look forward to those 80's. Hope this spell did not ruin any of what Mother Nature has started for us.
     Seems to be activity opening up for the summer- what's really surprising is all of the businesses that stay open all year around and that's wonderful.
      John has been working outside quite a bit and has the garage cleaned (for a short time). We did windows the other day but then that's an ongoing project.
      Enjoyed Easter at my brother's house with all of the family and sometimes this is the only time we can all see each other.
      Pray for those that need extra care - that The Lord guides the doctors for their help.

Take care Dianne


Sowards, Gene & Bertha                                                                        15 Apr 12
1858 Turner St.
Springfield, MO 65803-4620
      We have had a lovely spring, can’t believe it hasn’t got cold and froze everything that has leafed and bloomed out. My peonies are about to open and that’s a month early. All the Redbuds and dogwoods were so pretty this year, they and the lilacs have been bloomed 2 weeks ago.

     We drove to Branson one day to see what the tornado had done down there. It went right down the strip. It’s unbelievable the damage they can do.
      Gene has done really well since his knee replacement surgery. Week before last we danced 4 nights, he done better than I did!
J Hope everyone else is doing as good. Only wish my brother Gene could get back to normal again, he has really had a struggle and still is.

     We have had quite a lot of rain the last few days, we were under a tornado watch until 6pm today. Well I’m going to quit this thing keeps disappearing and deletes 4 or5 lines of what I’ve typed, so hope if I get it sent it even makes sense. Love & Best wishes to all/

Gene & Bertha Irene Sowards


Unruh, James & Melody                                                                          04 May 12

2815 Silver Ridge Ct

Rosharon, TX 77583

Sorry we haven’t written lately. Life has been a bit crazy these last few months as our family has been divided between two states during tax season and birthdays and everything in-between.

We’re having a community garage sale tomorrow here in Texas, so I am trying to get rid of as much as possible. Praying the weather isn’t too hot & humid!

The Kids and I will finally join James in Kansas on the 26th. That’s also when our tenants are moving in. I’m praying this venture into being landlord’s turns out OK! They’re an Army family relocating from Ft Hood - they’ve been in military housing for 14 years, so they’ll have a bit of an adjustment.

There are still a few things to be done at the TX house to get it ready, but overall the next three weeks should be the downhill slope! (Thanks to having a full service moving company!) We’re definitely ready to have our whole family back under one roof!

           Have a great May everyone!

James, Melody, Megan and Eddie

Villwock, Jim & Pat                                                                               05 May 12

106 Lakeville Dr

Aledo, TX 76008-3925

      Our neighborhood is also doing the garage sales... but my efforts to get ready lasted only a few hours ... as I reason at this point the IRS gives me $7 for a pair of blue jeans... and the garage sale visitors thinks $3 is too much!

Glad you found modems you needed!

      Mayfest in Ft Worth this weekend...  cinco de mayo is big here.  Personally I do not like the traffic, lack of parking and 90 degree heat! 

      True to form, as if on an annual timer, rough storms tried to blow down, flood and pepper the tents set up in the city park with hail last night!

Plenty of work to do today... just need to pick one and move outta this chair! Sun is shining and outside is calling me to finish planting flower beds!



Widlund, Kathryn                                                                                   9 Apr 12

456 Richart Box 31

Palmer, IA 50571

      Hello to everyone. I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. It was early this year, a very nice day, except for a strong wind.

      Everything is growing so fast. The flowers are blooming. We have asparagus to eat now and it sure is good. I have heard of many different ways to fix it, but I like the way I do it.

      We had our last sewing day at church last Tuesday and will start again in September. We made 69 quilts and they were very pretty. It was a great group to work with.

      I think of everyone often.