Elizabeth Baker Dahm

Honored by:P. Fred and Diane Dahm
Brick location:F:24  map

Harriett Baker: (Sister) My sister Betty has always had a way with words. I can still remember when she discovered the word indubitably and how to say it with just the proper air of authority. It was a squelcher to younger brothers and sisters. I remember practicing trying to say it but it always came out more as a stutter definitely not authoritative. I believe Betty has written a little poetry for a long time but only in the last few years has she had some published. She really enjoyed the job of proofreading which she did part time for many years.

 Marge Baker: (Sister-in-law) Betty Dahm is a very empathic and caring person. The following poem she wrote for her brother my husband when he was near death conveys her capacity to provide comfort and love. A Prayer for Our Brother Lord lead him gently hold his hand on his final steps to your promised land He has loved and worked throughout his life to bless and care for children and wife. His friendship kindness and helping hand have been gladly extended to every man. Today he's in pain almost constantly and has no chance for recovery. So especially now we need for you to hold his hand and ours too.

Vicky Baker: (Sister-in-law) What a wonderful thought to honor your mother by including her name in the Plaza of Heroines at Iowa State University. She surely deserves the honor! I have thought very often of Betty's courage and deep sense of commitment to family. She exemplifies the strong support I feel from the Baker family.

Walt Baker: (Brother) My sister ... a HEROINE! The incredulity of an ornery little brother says a lot about what she has had to endure. It's not just that she's suffered the usurpation of place peculiar to the first-born or that she was prematurely thrust into responsibility for her parent's burgeoning brood or even that she's withstood the endless aggravation of testing and teasing. (To this day 60 years later she still winces when I insinuate it's her turn to do dishes). But she has persevered through everything that five siblings could throw at her. Indeed she has flourished with wit and grace and even elected to have a good-sized family of her own. More than a survivor--yes a genuine heroine. Pat (Dahm)

Flores: (Daughter) When I was 19 years old and a sophomore going to Iowa State I remember Mom's quiet bravery in the face of Dad's airplane accident. I was returning to the sorority house one day after classes during a spring semester. Mom had called that Dad had been in a small airplane landing accident. He was surviving it and able to talk and move. He was over in Mary Greeley Hospital. On going over there it was difficult to see my 44 year old father flat on his back and sedated for pain. Mom put her arms around me and gently held me. We came out of the hug knowing somehow that everything was going to be all right. Dad was terribly afraid to take a trip in an airplane for a period of time afterwards. Once again Mom's quiet way affected me. She gradually calmed his fear and they took a small jaunt in a larger airplane which enabled him to face flying. They were to come visit my family in many places after that doing many happy unforgettable things with us.

Charles Dahm: (Son) Heroines include not only those who rise to successfully meet dramatic events in their lives but also those who through the quality of their lives provide a source of admiration and inspiration. Betty Dahm has given that character through her grace her unconditional acceptance of others and her conviction in the better nature of all. Betty's favorite saying is "if you can't say something good about someone don't say anything." Through her acceptance of others and her faith in their better nature Betty has inspired her family and many friends to lead fuller and more radiant lives. Her life has inspired them and they in turn have inspired others in a chain-reaction to truly make the world a better place. For these effects of her graceful life Betty Dahm is recognized as a heroine. P. Fred

Dahm: (Son) Betty Dahm is a heroine to me in all the ways that one would suppose a mother is to her son. In particular my mother is a heroine to me because even as she raised me with her words of love she taught me her love of words. Spoken words written words read words sung words--all words have importance to my mother. Ironically she also taught me that some things cannot be adequately expressed in words. Words never could express adequately our love and respect for Betty Baker Dahm--our mother sister and sister-in-law!

Jean Gehrt: (Sister-in-law) Betty Dahm is my sister-in-law. One of the most pleasant memories I have of her is in the poem she wrote about her father-in-law, Julias Dahm (my father). I can't think of a finer tribute that anyone could give to their father-in-law.

Grandpa's Hands

Hands; gnarled and worn by a lifetime of toil; hammering, soldering, tilling the soil. Hands of a laborer; these hands, strong and deft that fit and install the sheet metal work of a fine city hall. Hands of a craftsman, these hands, the fashion and exquisite care beautifully wrought hammered copperware hands of an artist these hands kind and gentle that care tenderly, for invalid wife, faithful dog, broken tree, hands of laborer, craftsman, artist, person these beautiful hands!

Virginia Baker Shuman: (sister) My sister Betty Dahm is six years older than I. She was a good role model and I like it when people told me I looked like her. I remember a particular dress of hers that I inherited when I was in grade school. I was so proud of it and happy that she it to me lovingly. What I remember most about her is that she did not exhibit a condescending attitude towards me, her little sis, as is often done by older siblings.

Peg (Dahm) Stevenson: (Daughter) As the third born child of Elizabeth Baker Dahm, I have been a recipient of her unfailing need to teach children about life. She has given me not only bilogical life, but also the hard-learned capacity to love life, that is love of my life as well as love for all other forms of life in our world. Just like mother patiently inserts one small piece into a jig saw puzzle in order to someday create a larger, completed picture, so I am learning that most life events are really part of a bigger picture and someday I just might see the entire picture. Mother, you make a living by what you get and you make a life by what you give. your gifts are wonderful. I thank you and love you.