Cover photo for Beverly Skinner's Obituary
Beverly Skinner Profile Photo
1941 Beverly 2020

Beverly Skinner

December 13, 1941 — December 13, 2020

Beverly (Holden) Skinner Beverly Deann (Holden) Skinner, 79, passed away suddenly, yet peacefully, on August 19, after a long struggle with COPD.

Bev was born in Williamsburg, Iowa, to Margaret (Mumm) and Palmer Holden. The family soon moved to nearby Tipton, where she grew up riding ponies through farm fields, playing saxophone in the high school band and representing Cedar County in the 1961 Miss Iowa pageant. She attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids.

Bev married Keith Skinner, also of Tipton, in 1962 and moved to Davenport, Iowa. Bev kept busy raising three kids, selling Studio Girl cosmetics and Tupperware, and creating highly original craft, woodworking and sewing projects. For every holiday and every season, she turned the house into a wonderland, completely transforming the décor (never the same way twice). Her gifts to her children were equally creative, always including something designed to stretch our imaginations and teach us something new, along with the fun and practical.

As the 1970s rolled in, Bev joined the workforce, first at Burke Marketing Research, then in 1979 as one of the first female supervisors for John Deere. She returned to college as an adult learner, taking great pride finishing her bachelor’s degree in sociology at St. Ambrose University in Davenport and graduating at the same time as her youngest child.

In 1987, Bev retired early from Deere, moving to Concord, North Carolina, to follow her newfound passion for stock car racing. She bravely moved cross-country — without knowing a soul — to start anew, choosing to live three miles from Charlotte Motor Speedway, the epicenter of NASCAR. She worked for a time distributing the Winston Cup Scene racing magazine before joining the visual merchandising display team at Hanford’s Inc., a family-owned flower and gift wholesale company run John Hanford, older brother to U.S. Senator Elizabeth Hanford Dole. She truly treasured the lifelong friends she made while traveling the country with Hanford’s.

Bev also delighted in the time she spent with the Cabarrus County Master Gardeners and relished her role in identifying plants for their annual plant sale. Her expansive yard bloomed constantly with rare and unique varietals, many chosen because their cultivar names reminded her of someone special.

When her condition made it difficult to live comfortably alone, Bev consented to splitting her time with her son Brett and family in Kentucky and her daughter Kori and wife Maureen in California. In 2016, she landed for good in California, where she collected a boatload of new admirers through neighborhood any-excuse-for-a-holiday parties. She passed the time with near 24/7 TV and unsurpassed internet sleuthing. NASCAR, The Dale Jr. Download, late night comedy shows, Hallmark holiday movies and Lester Holt were her broadcast favorites; online she kept us up to date with the Decorah eagles livestream, craigslist and Nextdoor rants, recipe suggestions for dinner and cocktails, as well as the latest marine vessel traffic and wind direction mapping.

Adjacent to the occasion of her eldest grandchild’s high school graduation, Bev fulfilled her lifelong wish of visiting all 50 states with an adventurous road trip along the Natchez Trace to check off her last three: Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

ev collected many poems and thoughts on the meaning of life; one of her enduring favorite (mis)quotes was from “Lament” by Edna St. Vincent Millay: “Life goes on, I know not why.”

Beverly is survived by children Kerry (Leslie) Skinner, Eldridge, IA; Brett (Stephanie) Skinner, Lexington, KY; and Korrine (Maureen) Skinner, Moss Beach, CA; and six grandchildren: Cole, Jordan, Alannah, Kyle, Andrew and Savannah; siblings Janeth Peterseim of Kalona, IA; Marcy (Dave) Keppy, Sun City West, AZ; Myron (Jan) Holden, Tipton, IA; Linda (Craig Davison) Miller, Tipton, IA; Stan Holden, Fairview, TX; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; siblings Arlyn (Elaine) Holden and Jerylea Holden (Lee) Kellerhals; ex-husband Keith Skinner; niece Rene Lekwa and nephew Bart Holden.

In lieu of flowers, please plant a memorial perennial or consider a donation in memory of Beverly (Holden) Skinner to the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa. A virtual celebration of life will be held Saturday, August 29 from 2-4 p.m. Central time. Friends who would like to participate or share a story, please send an email to

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Beverly Skinner, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Virtual Celebration of Life - Central Time Zone

Saturday, August 29, 2020

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

Peterseim Funeral Home Kalona


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