LA PORTE CITY – Beloved mother Jacqueline “Jackie” Catherine Reiter passed away of natural causes, April 30, 2020, at Arlington Place in Grundy Center. She was 94 years of age. Her husband, Harold P. Reiter, preceded her in death April 21, 2015. We’re sure he was waiting for her at heaven’s gate to lead her in to be with all of her family and the saints waiting to welcome her home. Heaven has truly gained another saint.
Jacqueline Catherine Bedard was born July 4, 1925, at the family home in Eagle Center Twp., Iowa, daughter to George F. and Anna M. (Knipp) Bedard. The St. Mary of Mount Carmel Catholic parish in Eagle Center was an integral part of Jackie’s whole life. She graduated from high school there in 1942 (just 4 years after Harold). She and Harold married there Nov. 11, 1942, shortly after her graduation. All 15 of her children were baptized in that same church and attended services there each and every week, traveling in the family station wagon, just 3 miles from the family farm.
As a devoted team, Harold and Jackie farmed in the Eagle Center area while raising their eight daughters and seven sons. Jackie had the loving strength and stamina the likes of which one can only imagine. She was wife, mother, grandmother, friend and cheerleader extraordinaire. As each of her children developed their own interests, she and Harold were always there mentoring, teaching and helping each of them to pursue their individual interests, while becoming self-sufficient in a Christian home and supportive environment … but always leaving time for church, the rosary, fun, friends and relatives get-togethers, and Sunday afternoon picnics at parks. Jackie was self-taught, having lost her own mother when she was just 13. She taught all of her daughters homemaking skills, with patience and perseverance, through active participation and 4-H … always striving for the blue ribbon. The sons, having been mentored by Harold (and Jackie), took over the farming operations, all developing sideline occupations as well, including teaching, carpentry, business and coaching.
Birthdays, holidays, weddings, July 4th, anniversary gatherings at “the farm” continued to grow and expand as in-laws joined the family and Jackie was blessed with 44 grandchildren and 13 step-grandchildren. As the grandchildren became adults and started families of their own, Jackie (and Harold) became grandpa and grandma to 58 “great” grandchildren, 11 “step” great- grandchildren and two “step” great-great- grandchildren. Up through December of 2019, each and every family member was still blessed by a Christmas gift from Grandma Jackie.
In later years, when the children were all grown, Harold and Jackie had more time to travel. They spent winter months in Texas and Nevada (returning home mid-vacation to watch grandchildren participate in state wrestling and basketball tournaments). They traveled to all 50 states. The annual summer Minnesota fishing trip was a must. They were able to visit Germany, Rome, Lourdes, Fatima, Medjugorje, Canada, even volunteered for a short time at the Lord’s Ranch in Mexico.
Jackie was active in both the St. Mary of Mt. Carmel parish and the ACCW (Catholic woman’s organization) serving in a variety of capacities including a term as ACCW president. She loved her flowers, crocheting, sewing and especially playing Scrabble, Cribbage, and many other card and board games. And she loved to dance!
Jacqueline is survived by: daughters, Audrey (Dick) Young of Swisher; Elaine (Shelby) Lay of Aurora, Colo.; Beverly (Mike) Chapman of Newton; Rebecca Johnson-Stewart (John Stewart) of Dubuque; Julie (Rick) Dengler of Elkader; Wanda (David) Thackery of Mount Vernon; Georgia (Larry) Reiter of La Porte City; Pamela (Rod) Frost of Farmington, Minn.; sons, Russell (Marianne) of Hudson; Hal (Dee) of Buckingham; Daniel (Kim) of La Porte City; Leo (Jackie) of Jewell; Samuel of Ventura; and Theodore (Angie) of Faribault, Minn.; one daughter-in-law, Janet Delagardelle Reiter, of Jesup; 102 grandchildren and great-grandchildren; 26 step great- and great-great grandchildren; four sisters-in-law, Judith Corkery of Jesup; Marilyn Bedard of Waterloo; Luella Zmolek of Cedar Falls; Olivia Werner of Des Moines; a brother-in-law and his wife, Donald and Phyllis Reiter of Waterloo; three stepsisters, Patricia McKenna and JoAnn (Cletus) Phillips of Waterloo; Villanova Foss of La Porte City; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 75 years, Harold; her parents; one son, Douglas Reiter; one sister, Marlys Sinnott; twin brothers, Gale Bedard and Dale Bedard; granddaughter, Kimberly Chapman; two sons-in-law, Eric Johnson and Jim Rothmeyer; sisters and brothers-in-law, Magdalen & Ves Burk; Dorothy & Leo Bohnstengel; Chuck Werner; Don Zmolek; Robert McKenna; Glen Foss.
Jackie was a beautiful, amazing lady inside and out. Her light shown everywhere she went, and she lived her life passing on her faith. You could see it in her home, in the things she said and in her participation at church. Her faith and love was everywhere … she was just a beautiful soul. The Reiter family now has the most amazing saint watching over them as she is now dancing with Harold in heaven.
Services are being handled by White Funeral Home in Jesup. They have been adjusted due to the pandemic. If you choose to pay your respects to Jacqueline at this time, there will be a window viewing opportunity, Monday, May 4, by following in a procession in your vehicle at the White Funeral Home, from 4 to 7 p.m. The family will only be present in their vehicles as well.
A Mass and private burial with immediate family only will take place at St. Mary of Mount Carmel church. As conditions permit, a Celebration of Life, rosary, and full Mass will be held this summer.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent in Jackie’s memory to any of her family members or to White Funeral Home, 1315 Main St., Jesup, IA 50648. The donations will be shared with causes most important to Jackie’s heart.
Condolences may also be left at White Funeral Home: http:/www.white-mthope.com