Lorene Bell Robie

Honored by:Beth Wunder, Mary Kallem, JoAnne Olson, & 11 Grandchildren
Brick location:G:24  map

Lorene Bell Robie, our mother, has lived all of her life in Iowa on farms in Hamilton and Wright counties. She was born to Hilda and Joseph Bell on a farm near Blairsburg one record-setting cold day in January 1912, the eldest of six children. She graduated from high school in 1930. Education was very important to her, but the timing of her graduation during the Depression made attending Iowa State impossible, so she studied to receive her teaching diploma and taught in country schools near her home until she married our dad, Floyd Robie, in 1934.

Our parents were among the first three Wright County farmers selected in 1938 by the Farmers Home Administration to purchase their farm near Clarion under the Farm Tenant Purchase Program. That program provided many opportunities to work with ISU Extension programs over the years, including an experimental orchard. Always a strong supporter of 4-H and extension (she was one of the first county 4-H officers in Hamilton County), Mom received a diamond pin for 25 years as a leader in Wright County, served on Wright County 4-H Council, on state extension council with R.K. Bliss, and more recently on the Wright County 4-H Museum Board in Clarion.

In 1958, she was named an Iowa Master Farm Homemaker by Wallace’s Farmer. She has enjoyed the associations and friendships made is this group, and has attended numerous state and national meetings.

She was the first woman to be elected an Elder in the United Presbyterian Church in Clarion, has served as Sunday School teacher from pre-school to adult for many years, has held many offices in Presbyterian Women, and as co-chair of the church's Centennial celebration. She also held several offices in Presbyterian Women at the presbytery and synod levels, and served on several committees of the Presbytery of North Central Iowa. She represented the Presbytery as an Elder Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in 1974.

Because of her interest in family history and genealogy, she has written and published a history of the Bell family for her sisters, brothers, and their children.

All three of us, their daughters, are graduates of Iowa State. We were brought up believing that a college education was important, that being female made no difference in its importance, and that our parents would support us financially.

Even more important to her family than her accomplishments and contributions to the church and community are the values we were taught. We were raised in a loving, caring, environment where family and love of God were of utmost importance. We were taught that we are responsible for using the talents God has given us to make our community a better place to live, and that any job we undertake must be done well.

It is with love and gratitude that this brick is given in honor of our mother and grandmother from:
Beth Robie Wunder (1960)
Mary Jean Robie Kallem (1987)
JoAnne Robie Olson (1969)
Robert William Wunder, ISU, 1985
Michael Joseph Wunder, Ul, 1990
Lorene Elizabeth Wunder, Ul, 1992
Randall LeRoy Kallem, ISU, 1988
Daniel Dean Kallem, Northwest Missouri State, 1995
Jennifer Jo Kallem, Simpson College, 1997
Rebecca Olson TerHark, Wartburg College, 1995
Amy Sue Olson
Katherine Marie Olson
Annie Jo Olson
Sarah Robie Olson

Submitted on 7/1/96