Cover photo for Ethel Kelley's Obituary
Ethel Kelley Profile Photo
1924 Ethel 2019

Ethel Kelley

October 27, 1924 — July 11, 2019

A celebration of life for Ethel Darlene (Sojka) Kelley, 94, of Marion, formerly of Kalona and Washington, will be held Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 2:00 PM at the Prairie Flower Baptist Church in rural Washington with Pastor David Cotner officiating. Burial will be at Sharon Hill Cemetery in Kalona. Visitation will be held Monday, July 15, from 4 – 7 PM at the Peterseim Funeral Home in Kalona. A memorial fund has been established for  Hospice of Washington County. Darlene Kelley died Thursday, July 11, 2019 at Living Center East in Cedar Rapids.

Ethel Darlene (Sojka) Kelley was born October 27, 1924 in rural Riverside, Iowa, the daughter of Ray E. and Frances A. (Perrin) Sojka. She graduated from Kalona High School, received her Teachers Certificate from Iowa State Teachers College, and later received her master’s degree from the University of Iowa. On July 18, 1945, she was united in marriage to Richard E. Kelley in Harvard, Nebraska. Darlene started her teaching career in a one room Schoolhouse. She later taught at various schools, including Prairie Flower School, Washington Schools, and the Mid Prairie Schools of Kalona and Washington Township. After she retired from teaching, she worked at the Halcyon House as a CNA. Darlene was involved in many organizations, including 4H, the Idris Club in Kalona, the Retired Teachers Association, and a member of the Kalona United Christian and Baptist church.

Survivors include four children: Ronald Kelley of Cedar Rapids, Stephen (Connie) Kelley of Parker CO, Joyce (David) Weber of Marion, Coralie (Ryan) Miller of Wellman; three sisters: Frances McGaffey of Wellman, Rosamond Goodlander of Washington, Lovila Jane Rinaldo of Varna IL; eight grandchildren: Kimberly Gruemmer, Kathy Errico, Kelley Thirtyacre, Stephanie Brady, Jaimie Berger, Zachary Berger, Hannah Schveiger, Amanda Miller; and 19 great-grandchildren.

Darlene was preceded in death by her parents, husband Richard in 1996, two brothers, Raymond Sojka, and Leland John Sojka, son-in-law Mark Berger, and daughter-in-law Marsha (Geringer) Kelley.

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Recording of Service

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, July 15, 2019

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Beatty & Peterseim Funeral & Monument Services

201 B Ave, Kalona, IA 52247

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Prairie Flower Baptist Church

1909 Larch Ave, Washington, IA 52353

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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