Edith (Bass) Naylor

Honored by:Jane Haahr
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I have chosen to honor my mother Edith (Bass) Naylor Iowa State University, graduate in home economics education in 1936.

Edith Naylor was born in 1914 in the farm home built by her father, Elmer Bass, in 1912, who in that same year became the first of many in our family to earn a degree from ISU. She lived in this home near Emerson, Iowa, for all but 14 years of her life.

She received the first eight years of her schooling in a one-room schoolhouse where there was only one other student in her class and the two of them completed four grades in two years. She graduated from Emerson High School, attended Red Oak Junior College, and received a bachelor's degree in home economics education from ISU in 1936, where she also did graduate work.

Mrs. Naylor taught home economics in several southwest Iowa high schools before retiring in 1974. Previously she had served two years as an extension home economist and two years as a home management supervisor with the Farm Security Administration. She also taught community college adult evening classes.

She served on the ISU Home Economics Advisory Council, which led to the formation of the ISU Home Economics Alumni Association. In 1977 she received the Service Key Award of the Southwest Iowa ISU Alumni Club. In 1981 she and her husband, Max, founded the Naylor Educational Aid Fund, a scholarship program for ISU students.

In her community, Mrs. Naylor served as president of the Red Oak Community School District Board of Education from 1961 to 1963 and was instrumental both in the reorganization of the school district in 1959 and in the passage of the bond issue in 1967 that resulted in the construction of the present high school building. She also chaired the school district's Needs Assessment Committee in 1975-76.

She was a member of the American Association of University Women, serving as president for two years. She was a Girl Scout and 4-H club leader and a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church and was active in United Methodist Women, which awarded her an honorary life membership. She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, an honorary society for women in education, and in 1977 presented a program on "Foods of the Future" at the state Delta Kappa Gamma convention. She was a member of the Christian Women's Club.

Edith Naylor was married to Max 0. Naylor, ISU graduate in dairy husbandry Class of 1939. Their two daughters, Margaret (ISU '67 English and Speech) and Jane (ISU '70 Foreign Languages), were raised in the same farm home their grandfather had built, and carried on the family tradition of graduating from ISU.

Even now when my sister and I return to Red Oak, Iowa, we frequently hear comments from our mother's former home economics students about the lasting difference she made in their lives. Upon being presented with the ISU Service Key Award, Mother's response was "I never set out to receive any recognition for the things that I did." I believe this exemplifies how our mother lived her life in ways that showed that she truly cared about others, which is why I chose to honor her by placing her name in the Plaza of Heroines.