Ramona Esbeck

Honored by:Norma Hensley
Brick location:K:24  map

Ramona Esbeck Ramona grew up on the family farm near Elkhorn in Audubon County, Iowa.

She was an active 4-H Club member, serving as County 4-H president. For six years following her graduation from high school she taught in the rural schools in Oakland Township of Audubon County. Ramona received her B.S. degree from Iowa State Teachers College (UNI) in 1941. She taught home economics and math for two years in Walnut, Iowa and homemaking for four years in Atlantic, Iowa. After eighteen months in home service with a gas company, in 1948 she began her 28-year career with Iowa State University Extension Service, first as a home economist in Black Hawk County, in 1956 transferring to the state 4-H office as State 4-H Program Leader and Supervisor. She received her Masters from Iowa State University in 1960.

Throughout her career of service to the youth of Iowa, she has been a member of Rural Teachers Association, Theta Theta Epsilon Home Economics Honorary, and Omicron Nu. She received the Iowa State Extension Service Outstanding Achievement Award in 1955. She was an active member of Professional and Business Women’s Club for 30 years, University Faculty Women’s Club, Iowa Home Economics Association, Epsilon Phi and National Association of retired Federal Employees. Six months into her 101st year of life, she is still an active member of Ames Women’s Club. She is a lifelong member of the Lutheran Church.

At the time she retired she was given a rosemaling kit. This set her on the path of rosemaling many beautiful items for her home, friends and family. In her retirement life at Northcrest Community, she takes significant walks every day. She is an active participant in Northcrest programs and activities. Ramona is an avid bridge player, extending the invitation to play with the Northcrest group to new residents upon their arrival.

As a 4-H Club leader, I remember Ramona from her county visits early in her career. When I arrived in Curtiss Hall in 1960 for the beginning of my ISU career, there was Ramona, since her office was then in Curtiss. During my Northcrest inspection tour as I prepared to move, there was Ramona. Now she is my close apartment neighbor and dear friend. I am one of her bridge protégés. I am filled with admiration, wonderment and thanksgiving that this dear lady has kept coming into my life.

Submitted April, 2013