Waunita W. Hobbie, 95, of Mt. Pleasant, died Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at the Henry County Health Center in Mt. Pleasant.
Born July 5, 1925 in the Burlington Hospital, Burlington, IA, she was the only child of Otto H. and Fredericka (Wick) Hobbie.
Waunita grew up on the family farm in Canaan Township. She walked a mile to Center School, a one-room country school that had also been attended by her parents and a number of aunts, uncles and cousins. In 8th grade, she started to school in New London. Waunita graduated as the valedictorian of the New London High School class of 1942. She graduated Cum Laude from (then) Iowa Wesleyan College in 1946.
From 1946-1959, Waunita worked as a private secretary to Charles C. Sowers, General Manager of the Mt. Pleasant plant of the W.A. Sheaffer Pen Company. From 1959-1979, she was a partner in the Sowers Insurance Agency with Charles C. Sowers and from 1979-1982, she worked part time as an insurance agent in the Shook Insurance Agency.
Waunita was appointed to the Mt. Pleasant Public Library Board on July 1, 1968 and served until July 1, 2010. She also served on the Henry County Health Center Board (January 1, 1967-January 2005), acting as secretary for 32 years and then as Vice-Chair and Chair. Waunita served Iowa Wesleyan as a member of the Alumni Association Board from 1983-1996 and as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1986-2003, then becoming a Life Trustee/Trustee Emeritus. She wrote a column in the Iowa Wesleyan alumni magazine, The Purple and White, from 1987-1995. Because of her dedication to the institution, Iowa Wesleyan conferred Waunita with an Honorary Doctorate in 1998.
In 1959, Waunita was the first woman in Henry County to be licensed by the state of Iowa under the new law requiring insurance agents to appear in Des Moines and pass examination in the lines of insurance to be sold. She was licensed in all lines of insurance. In 1964, she was president of the Henry County Association of Independent Insurance Agents, the only woman president in Iowa of such an association that year. In 1971, she was elected President of the Mt. Pleasant Public Library Board of Trustees, the first woman president since the establishment of the City Library in 1901. Waunita was awarded the Edna Epperson Brinkman award as an outstanding alumna of Alpha Xi Delta in Iowa. Iowa Wesleyan awarded her an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 1992. She was honored in March 2007 as a candidate for inclusion in the Who’s Who in America. On March 26, 2015, Iowa Wesleyan proclaimed Waunita as one of the first recipients of the inaugural Arabella “Belle” Babb Mansfield Award.
Waunita was a member of the Alpha Xi Delta alumnae, Chapter NZ of P.E.O., Scribblers (since 1958), 4th Tuesday Book Discussion (founding member), Coterie, Sans Souci, Wednesday Club and Tuesday Study Club, and First United Methodist Church. Her special interests were reading – especially mysteries and nonfiction, traveling (including all 50 states of the U.S., Canada from coast to coast, Mexico, Caribbean and Mediterranean cruises, 14 European countries, Venezuela and Israel. She also enjoyed writing and photography.
Waunita is survived by cousins and her many friends. Her parents precede in death.
The funeral service for Waunita will be held at 1 PM on Friday, June 4 at the First United Methodist Church, 309 N. Main St., Mt. Pleasant. Pastor Jeffrey A. McPheron will officiate. Burial will be on the family plot at Forest Home Cemetery, Mt. Pleasant. Open calling hours will be from 12 Noon to 8 PM on Thursday, June 3 at the Kimzey Funeral Home, 213 North Main Street, Mount Pleasant. In lieu of flowers, Waunita chose memorials for the Mt. Pleasant Public Library, Henry County Health Center and Iowa Wesleyan University.
The funeral will be livestreamed on the church’s YouTube channel. Online condolences may be left at www.kimzeyfuneralhome.com.
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