Overton Memories By WGS Member Lee Richard Overton
Lee Richard Overton was born Oct. 26, 1938 at home in Cumberland, Union Twp., Cass Co., Iowa. He is the son of the late Milford Lewis Overton & Marjorie Ruth Worthington Overton.
Milford was employed by Myron Hodge Funeral Home/Furniture in Cumberland. Lee’s paternal grandparents were Calvin Clyde Overton and Arminta Brindley Overton Norris Pond. Arminta was the daughter of Joshua Brindley, Jr. & Isabelle Clark Brindley of Walnut, Iowa. Lee’s maternal grandparents were Homer Lester Worthington and Minnie Engel Worthington of Cumberland, Iowa.
Milford Overton’s family moved to Wapello Co., Iowa where he was employed as a mortician in Eldon and Ottumwa, and later in Batavia, Iowa. Both Steven Milford & Bruce Allen Overton were born during this time.
The family moved to Hopkinton, Delaware Co., Iowa in 1946. Milford worked for Goetsch Funeral Homes. Their fourth son, Scott Lewis was born here.
In July of 1953, Milford & Ruth moved the family to Dysart, Tama Co., Iowa, where they purchased the D. C. Wunder Funeral Home, & later bought the furniture store. Lee joined the business in 1957 after his marriage on Nov. 2, 1957 to Marlene Fennern. (Her parents were August H., son of August R. & Sophia Castens, formerly of the Avoca /Walnut/Shelby area and Josephine Pauley, daughter of Joe Pauley & Gusta Sohl of Harlan, Iowa.)
Interesting side note: Lee & Marlene met while attending Dysart High School in Dysart, Iowa after both parents moved to the area. Lee was from Hopkinton, Iowa and Marlene, though born at Neola, Iowa, was from Vinton, Iowa; yet both have family buried in the Avoca and Walnut cemeteries.
Also, when they married, some relatives knew each other but didn’t realize they had anything in common. Lee and Marlene later learned that both have more living relatives in Cass, Shelby & Pottawattamie Counties.
Lee & Marlene moved to Traer, Iowa in Oct. 1960 when the Overtons opened the 2nd furniture store. Later they started the 2nd funeral home.
In 1970, they moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa where Lee became Manager of the Ethan Allen Furniture Gallery. In 1989, Lee worked for Smulekoffs Furniture. Later, Lee returned to the family business (Now owned by his brother Bruce).
In 1997, Lee began working for Randy’s Carpets & Interiors at the Cedar Rapids store where he is at present.
During this time, Marlene obtained her nursing degree and they finished raising four children: Mark, Diane, Ann & Mary.
“Since Marlene’s retirement, we have worked on the family tree seriously. The biggest thrill has been the many wonderful people we’ve met. The chance meetings, dumb luck and hard work could fill a book in itself. We have had wonderful help from others.
“Since joining the Walnut Genealogy Society, we have been presented with many wonderful stories, clipping, photos, and friendships. We even found out that Jim Hansen & Marlene Fennern Overton are cousins!”
Lee R. Overton