Bird Watching

Betty Degen, 94, Hawarden | Hawarden Independent / Ireton Examiner

HAWARDEN – Betty Degen, 94, of Hawarden, a loving mother of four, traveled to her eternal heavenly home on Sunday, May 30, 2021, to join everyone who has been there before.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 3 at the United Methodist Church in Hawarden, with the Reverend Barb Joy as officiant. Lunch will follow at the Hawarden Community Center. Porter Funeral Home in Hawarden is helping the family. Condolences can be sent to

Betty Degen was born to Lee and Fern (Anderson) Keehn on February 5, 1927 in Hawarden. She attended elementary school and graduated from Hawarden High School. She graduated from SHU at Vermillion with a bachelor’s degree and went on to receive her master’s degree.

Betty married Norm Degen on June 18, 1948, which was the first marriage in Hawarden after World War II. They farmed north of Hawarden for 33 years. Betty accepted a teaching position, which she never applied for, in 1967 at the West Sioux School District. She remained in special education and in the resource room for 22 years.

Betty was an active member of the Church associated with the bell choir, choir, and Bible study. She was also a member of PEO, Friendly Neighbors and “The Gang”. She volunteered her time at Calliope Village and was a worthy former Eastern Star matron.

Betty loved gardening, stocking stuffers for the grandchildren, needlepoint, bird watching, travel, and baking. She was known for her love of family, great hugs and was always ready to lend a hand. She took great care of her family and enjoyed many family gatherings.

She is survived by her children, Sonnie (Doug) Robbins, John (Joann) Degen, Kristi (Jim) Anderson and Joe (Dianne) Degen; grandchildren, Trent, Tami, CJ, Kara, Shonnie, Travis, Dustin and Tali Jo; and 13 great-grandchildren.

Betty was predeceased by her parents and her husband, Norm.

Her family would like to thank Hawarden Ambulance and the staff at Hawarden Regional Healthcare for the exceptional care they provided to Betty.

The family prefers that the memorials go to Calliope Village or the West Sioux Resource Room Fund.