Born: March 7, 1930
Died: April 17, 2018
Date: Sunday, April 22, 2018 5 – 7 p.m.
Location: Schroeder & Sites Funeral Home, Northwood
Date: Monday, April 23, 2018 11:00 a.m.
Location: First Lutheran Church, Northwood
Date: At a later date
Marybelle (Rector) Block, 88, died on April 17, 2018 at the Hospice of North Iowa in Mason City, Iowa. A visitation will take place on Sunday, April 22 from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM at the Schroeder and Sites Funeral Home, 1211 10th St South, Highway 65 South, Northwood, Iowa. Funeral services will take place on Monday, April 23 at 11:00 AM at First Lutheran Church, 309 9th Street North, Northwood, Iowa. Burial will take place at a later time.
She was born on March 7, 1930, in Odebolt, Iowa. Her parents were Charles Martin Rector and Lillian Alma (Brooks) Rector. This was at the height of the Great Depression, and Marybelle’s father said she was the only good thing that happened that year.
After graduating from Odebolt H.S. in 1948, Marybelle attended Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls (now known as UNI) and graduated in two years with a Teaching Certificate. She taught school in Renwick, Iowa, where she met her future husband, Kenneth Block. They were married in Odebolt on March 30, 1952, and recently celebrated 66 years together. They lived in California where Ken was stationed in the U.S. Air Force, then in Chicago where Ken attended the Illinois College of Optometry. In 1957 they moved to Northwood, Iowa, where Ken practiced optometry for 38 years. Their union was blessed with four daughters: Stephanie, Jennifer, Amy, and Julie.
Marybelle was a gifted musician. In high school, she played flute, piccolo, piano, and was a vocalist as well. She was ranked #1 at regional, state, and national levels as a member of a vocal trio, sextet, and as a vocal soloist. Her musical gifts were shared with her community where she sang for weddings, funerals, church services, and also played piano for various organizations. She passed her love of music on to her family. Her piano expertise and musicianship enabled her to accompany and mentor her daughters and other students at school music competitions.
Marybelle was an avid reader, bridge player, and enjoyed being active as a community volunteer with the following organizations: Girl Scouts for over 20 years (as leader, day camp song leader, trainer, North Iowa Board); General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC); New Century Study Club (50 years); Northwood Library Board (45 years); Order of Eastern Star (64 years); PEO Chapter ES (50 years); Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR); original member of the Total United Northwood Effort (TUNE) board; founded the Worth County Historical Society with Norma Thompto. She received the Northwood Community Service Award in 1979 and 2003. Marybelle was also active at First Lutheran Church where she served as a Sunday School teacher, Bethel Bible series teacher, and was a member of the First Lutheran Women Sarah Circle.
She will be fondly remembered by her family and friends for her gift of welcome and hospitality. This gift was best expressed in her abundant love and care for her family and especially for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren who will always remember her for her unconditional love.
Marybelle was preceded in death by her parents; brother Fred Rector; sister Brooks (Gladys) Rector; several sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, and other extended family members.
She is survived by her husband, Kenneth. Daughters: Stephanie (Keith) Harmon; Jennifer (Chuck) Cooper; Amy (Bill) Glassmaker; Julie Block. Grandchildren: Addie (Kris) Rugland; Joe (Brandy) Harmon; Nick Cooper; Tim (Rebecca) Cooper; Levi Horvei; Ellie Horvei. Great-grandchildren: Amaya Rugland, Max Rugland, and Bodhi Harmon. Sisters: Sue Heathman, and Nancy Bushnell; sisters-in-law Eva Steiner, and Janice Block; and many nieces and nephews.
The family suggests memorials be designated to the Northwood Public Library, or the Hospice of North Iowa (Mason City).
Schroeder & Sites Funeral Home, Northwood, 641-324-1121, www.schroederandsites.com