SUTHERLAND—Lorene “Rene” May Youde Espey, 101, of Sutherland, passed away on Thursday, April 7, 2022, at Aspire Nursing and Rehabilitation, Sutherland, IA.
Service will be 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, at United Methodist Church in Sutherland, with the Rev. Dave Orthmann officiating.
Interment will be at Waterman Cemetery in Sutherland.
Visitation will be after 3 p.m. Monday, April 11, with family present 5-7 p.m., Monday, at Warner Funeral Home in Sutherland.
I was born June 28, 1920, in the big house built by my grandfather on what was later known as Group 21/now City View Farms, in Grant Township, O’Brien County, Iowa. I am the second daughter of Oscar Victor and Marie Dorothea (Jebsen) Kopp. I attended Grant Township country schools through the eighth grade and lived in Sutherland for my high school years with my aunt, Mattie Ewoldt, until graduating in 1938 from Sutherland High School. While attending high school a certain young gentleman caught my eye. Roger Dale Youde and I were married on March 7, 1942, at the Lutheran church rectory, in Royal, Iowa.
As newlyweds we lived with Rog’s parents, Guy and Zelma (Cobb) Youde, and farmed for a year before Rog enlisted in the service during World War II. Rog started his basic flight training in the Army Air Corps in 1943. After basics, I went to live with Roger at various bases within the United States. Upon our return to Sutherland in 1946, we took up farming on the Youde home place, three miles south of town, Guy and Zelma moved into Sutherland at this time. While living on the farm six sons were born. Roger passed away Feb. 17, 1968, of complications dealing with cancer. The boys and I moved to town to make our home at 505 Mason St. in Sutherland in December 1969.
In August 1972, at the age of 52, I went back to school to attain my license practical nursing certificate, graduating in August 1973. Two of my classmates were Audrey Van Overbeke and Shirley Lenhart, we shared rides and lots of laughter in those miles down to Cherokee and back. I continued my nursing career for 25 years, working at the hospitals in Primghar and Cherokee, and at the nursing home in Sutherland. I also worked briefly at the Mental Health Hospital in Cherokee and did private in-home nighttime care in my younger years of 54 to 62.
Curtis Oliver Espey came into my life while he was a patient in the Baum Harmon Hospital in Primghar in 1990. I tried to encourage him to get out more and socialize. He said he would if I would be his date. We started off going to dances, which we continued for many years, making many great friends. During our time together we cleaned up Curtis’s farm north of Hartley, hauling many loads of metal to various scrap yards. We enjoyed RV’ing, card playing, gardening and just spending time together. Curtis asked and I said, “I Do,” and we were married on March 30, 1995, at the Methodist Church in Sutherland. Curtis passed away July 5, 2010.
As a girl, I was outdoors as much as possible, I loved to run and play ball of any kind, especially baseball. I was very active in 4-H, going to state and national events. Into the early 1970s, I could still outrun my boys, in any foot race they chose to challenge me in.
I was known as a hard worker and sometimes my just plain stubbornness. I did chores on the farm growing up and after my marriage to Rog, never complaining, it wouldn’t have gotten me anywhere. During my high school years and while I followed along with Rog, during his time in the A.A.C., I worked as a waitress, cleaned hotel rooms and worked in grocery stores, doing whatever I could to stay busy and help fill the pocketbook. After Roger passed on, I could be found mowing and raking lawns, walking beans, raising and preserving huge gardens, along with the nursing. I tried to stay active during our town years in woman’s clubs, Cub Scouting, Methodist Church groups, the women’s bowling league and as the Sutherland City Assessor for 12 years. I rarely missed a KYN (Know Your Neighbor) Club meeting in the 70-plus years I was a member. I hoped I was teaching my boys that life was full of hard work and responsibility, if you stuck with it, it would be worth it.
From her family:
If you ever stopped to visit Rene, you knew she would always pull out of the freezer a container of cookies or bars, she loved baking and trying new recipes. Coffee, tea, water or juice would be on the table before you could blink. And if you weren’t careful the table would be full of sandwiches and other treats. No one ever left her home hungry or thirsty.
Rene was a conservationist before it was even popular, growing up through the Depression had taught her to save every scrap of paper for notes, every piece of foil for wrapping things up, and every plastic bag and twist tie until they were plum worn out. She never met a piece of Styrofoam she couldn’t wash and keep, along with plastic silverware. There were nails that could be straightened and reused, there were screws and bolts filling up buckets, and boards never had too many holes that they could not be useful somehow. If you needed something, she probably had it, or something that would work.
Rene moved to the Pearl Valley Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Sutherland on May 13, 2017; unfortunately, she had developed severe dementia and could no longer be in the home she loved so dearly.
Rene leaves to cherish her memory three sons, their wives and families: Robert and Linda Youde of McCall, ID, Blake, Heike, Evan and Nicholas Youde of Boise, ID; Dennis and Roberta Youde of Maple Valley, WA, Jacqueline, David, and Evelyn Francis of Madison, WI, Christina, Jeremy, Greyson and Elise Baird of Seattle, WA; Jack and Donna Youde of Sutherland, Erica, Paige (Cameron Kaltschnee) and Dane Nygaard of Wesley, IA, Shalindra, Sebastian, Rowan, Charles, Ana and Lillian Acuna of Sioux Falls, SD, Jordan Nygaard of Ankeny, IA, Colin, Heather, Mykin, Sadie and Ryder Youde of Remsen, IA; two daughters-in-law and their families: Cynthia Youde of Cedar Falls, IA, Melissa, Eric, Hannah &Santiago Aguirre, Eli and Lily Jeffrey of Fort Worth, TX, Julie, Craig, Megan, Madison and Josh Barnum of Waco, TX, Jeremy Youde and Ben Nauman of Duluth, MN, Steven, Carrie, Allyson, Sydney, Jocelyn and Maya Youde of Oak Park, CA, Emily, Markus, Ava and Aria Pendleton of Cedar Falls, IA, Christopher Youde of Waterloo, IA, Andrew, Britney and Sloane Youde of Mesa, AZ, Joseph, Kyrie, Rory, Finley and Maeve Youde of Waterloo, IA, Molly, Xavier, Noah and Israel Delph of San Antonio, TX; Mary Lou Youde of Monticello, IN. David’s children with his first wife, Tammy Bruce of Batavia, IA; Tyler and Chaella Youde of Omaha, NE, and Morae, Karl, Nolan and Landon Metcalf of Birmingham, IA; his second wife; one stepgranddaughter and her family, Heather, Mark, Shane, Emmett and Ranger Eastin of Phoenix, AZ; one brother, Marvin Kopp of Hoyt Lakes, MN; and numerous nieces and nephews; along with a host of friends and acquaintances and the Espey family.
Rene is in heaven surrounded by her parents; both husbands; three sons, Jerry Youde, formerly of Cedar Falls, IA, Michael Youde and David Youde, both formerly of Phoenix, AZ; a grandson, Jason Cody Youde; two sisters and their husbands, Mildred and Wilbert Meyer, formerly of Hartley, IA, and Doris and John Garms, formerly of Royal, Spencer and Spirit Lake, IA; a sister-in-law, Verna Kopp; along with nieces and nephews. The dancing and card playing will continue on with all the family and friends who are there to greet her. God Bless your journey Rene.