Myrtle  Felkner
Myrtle Emilene Felkner, age 94, of Centerville, died Wednesday, September 25 2019 at her home west of Centerville. She was born the daughter of Hans Edward Koefoed, a Danish immigrant and Florence Christine Frederiksen, a second-generation Danish immigrant on April 14, 1925 near Janesville, Iowa. She graduated from Janesville High School in 1942 and later the American Institute of Business in Des Moines, Iowa. After graduation, she worked in Des Moines auditing the Iowa beer taxes and as a legal secretary. During World War II she volunteered as a pen pal to many soldiers, rolled bandages and danced with soldiers who were training at Camp Dodge. She was united in marriage to Paul Eugene Felkner of Centerville on August 19, 1945 in Janesville, Iowa.
Myrtle had careers as an author, farmer, public speaker and Christian Educator. Myrtle sold her first article to the Associated Press at the age of 12. Throughout her life she wrote hundreds of articles, stories, plays and poems which were published in Kitchen Klatter, Farm Journal, The Des Moines Register and religious publications. Her passion was writing Christian Education materials. She wrote and sold nine books, as well as creating and writing One Room Sunday School curriculum (including teachers guide, student and parent papers) for the United Methodist Church. It is estimated her curriculum reached over one million children in the United States.
Myrtle was integral to the family farm operation while growing up and since 1946 co-managed the family farm west of Centerville with her husband, Paul. Myrtle baled hay, raised chickens, helped with livestock production and checked creek gaps. She loved walking and exploring the farm. She was named a Master Farm Homemaker by Wallace's Farmer in 1967.
Myrtle became a certified Laboratory teacher in the United Methodist Church, teaching Sunday School teachers from all over the United States how to teach. She herself was a Sunday School teacher for 65 years. From 1982-1990 she taught Christian Education for a Course of Study School for Local Pastors at Garret-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Later she became chair of the Course of Study School for the United Methodist Church in Iowa; the program that certifies lay pastors in Iowa.
From 1972 to 1985 Myrtle was director of Christian Education for the Faith United Methodist Parish in Appanoose County, Iowa. As educator, she designed after-school programs, annual Bible Schools and a Day Camp for six small Methodist churches in Appanoose County, as well as FUMC in Centerville. At least a hundred volunteers helped carry out these programs, benefitting 200-300 children weekly.
From 1985 to 1995 Myrtle worked as the director of education in small membership churches for the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee. She traveled from the family farm near Centerville to every state but Maine in educating pastors and Sunday School teachers about Christian education in churches with membership of less than 200.
For her years of creative ministry in Christian Education, Myrtle was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa in 1995.
Myrtle loved life and lived it to the fullest. She learned to water ski at age 40, snow ski at age 50 and was an avid bird watcher and loved reading history and biography. She often flew with Paul in the open cockpit biplane that he built from scratch.
Myrtle is survived by three children: Barbara Gardner (Steve), Joan Felkner and William "Bill" Felkner (Natalie) all of Centerville, Iowa; four grandchildren: Dianne Ennis (Rick) of Ames, Iowa, Emily Felkner and Kyle Felkner (Morgan) of Centerville, Iowa and Stephanie (Don) Edwards of Kansas City, Kansas; six great-grandchildren: Dakota Ennis (Kasie) of Tacoma, Washington, Chance Ennis of Chicago, Illinois, Destany, Zachary and Miles Ennis, all of Ames, Iowa and Leland Felkner of Centerville, Iowa and three step great-grandchildren. Other survivors include nieces and nephews from around the United States and cousins in Copenhagen and on the island of Bornholm, Denmark and also in Norway. She was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Paul; her parents; four siblings: Paul Koefoed of Cedar Falls, Iowa, Winona Koefoed of Calexico, California, Virginia Lageschulte of Waverly, Iowa, and Ercil McWilliams of Dumont, Iowa; one great-grandchild, Dominique Ennis of Ames, Iowa and two nephews.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at Faith United Methodist Church in Centerville. Interment will immediately follow at Felkner Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 1-7:00 p.m. on Friday, October 4, 2019 with the family present from 4-7:00 p.m. at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Faith United Methodist Church or the Drake Avenue Public Library, in Centerville, Iowa and online condolences may be shared at or
Published on September 27, 2019


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Fritz and Etta Mae Mutti
Sep 29, 2019
We give thanks for Myrtle's long life and especially for her work in Christian Education for the United Methodist Church. Laboratory Education was committed to helping teacher learn how to teach in Churches across the County. We learned from her in Lab schools. Fritz says he learned more about leadership in Lab School than all the academic experiences he had. God bless Myrtle and keep in heavenly care.