MARJORY VAUGHN HERTZ
NEVADA - Marjory Elmina Vaughn Hertz, 95, passed away on Monday, June 22, 2009, in Ames, Iowa. She was the oldest child of Arthur and Lena (Wiegman) Vaughn and was born on April 10, 1914, on the family farm northwest of Rolfe, Iowa.
Marjory had many interests and needed to be active and productive to match her energy. Those energies were focused on her family, friends and community throughout her life.
She attended the Des Moines Township School northeast of Rolfe in Pocahontas County, Iowa; where she played sports, sang in the choir, and played the cello in the high school orchestra. She graduated with a class of 12, six boys and six girls, the largest class ever to graduate. She was active in 4-H where she teamed up with her future husband, Carl, and won the county, state and national demonstration team competitions by making homemade ice cream, a new phenomenon at the time. Their accomplishments led to a trip to the national 4-H Club Congress in Chicago in 1928.
In 1930, she graduated from high school at the age of 16. She wanted to attend Iowa State College, but resources were not available. Instead, she received a scholarship to Buena Vista College, attended for two years and sang in the college choir.
In order to save enough money to attend Iowa State, her dream, she took the rural teachers' examination and taught for one year east of Sioux City, Iowa, at a one-room school with a fluctuating class size of between 27 and 45 pupils in nine grades. She led her pupils to new levels of achievement in the county declamatory, oratorical, dramatic and humorous contests; conducted the county chorus; and coached the winning boys' baseball team in the county tournament, in addition to having all four of her 8th grade students pass the county 8th grade examination - a first. She said it was a challenge and collected some dandy slingshots and hand-rolled cigarettes as souvenirs.
By the following year she had saved enough money to enroll at Iowa State College. By keeping her grades up, she received reduced tuition. Marjory lived and worked with the family of the Dean of Home Economics for room and board, and had a job in the experimental rat laboratory for 25 cents per hour. She also found time to play the cello in the Iowa State College Symphony. She graduated in 1935 with a degree in Home Economics and Nutrition.
After graduating, she felt fortunate to be hired by The Junket Food Company located in Elgin, Illinois, near Chicago, to demonstrate new foods throughout the country. (Only 16 of 500 Iowa State graduates that year found jobs during the Depression.) Her future husband, Carl, was working in St. Louis, Missouri for a farm management firm. She later was relocated to St. Louis by chance. They were married in Columbia, Missouri, on March 28, 1936. Carl was transferred to Oskaloosa, Iowa in 1937 and then they moved to Nevada, Iowa in 1940. In 1942, they purchased a farm southeast of Nevada, now known as CarMar Farms, so they could live in the country. It had the ideal combination of tillable land for Carl and timber and creek for Marjory.
Marjory helped operate and improve the new farm while Carl traveled for work until 1944, when he resigned to farm part-time to be closer to his family. Carl was then in demand as an agricultural consultant and appraiser. This required Marjory to be responsible for the farm again, so Carl could develop Hertz Farm Management which began in 1946. Marjory was an integral part in making Hertz Farm Management successful with her support and advice.
Marjory liked to plant trees, learn about old things, history, antiques and museums. She liked to cook, paint china, quilt, refinish furniture and travel. She was known for being able to put a wonderful homemade meal on the table for unexpected visitors in just a few minutes and always had something fresh and home-baked to serve to anyone who stopped by. She collected many things, but some of her favorites included hats and flow blue china. She was involved in the local, state and national federated garden clubs, where her flower arranging won awards at all levels. She became a master and life flower arranger, flower show judge and an accredited landscape design critic. Her interest in peonies led her to create an extensive peony garden on the farm with varieties she collected from friends throughout the world.
Her involvement in 4-H lasted her whole lifetime. She was a leader and mentor at the local, county and state levels, including the board of directors of the Iowa 4-H Foundation. She helped many 4-Hers, as well as her children and grandchildren, learn life skills in leadership, cooking, sewing, refinishing, woodworking, and the care of cattle, hogs, sheep and crops.
Marjory was an avid reader. She learned and expanded her knowledge until her death. She had a lifelong interest in music and theater; when she traveled, she never missed an art museum or a cultural site. In her 60's, Marjory learned a new art form and began still life and landscape painting. She painted until she lost her sight.
Marjory was actively involved in the Nevada First United Methodist Church for nearly 70 years. Her involvement included many committees, arranging altar flowers and sanctuary decorations, the church choir, teaching Sunday school, as well as being a youth leader. She was also a member of P.E.O., the Nevada Literature Club, O.D.O., the Child Study Club and the Brush Club.
Marjory is preceded in death by her husband Carl and survived by five of their six children, twelve grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren who include: Son Joel (Ann) Hertz of Monticello, Illinois and their three children Chad (Heidi) Hertz of Cedar Falls, Iowa and their children Ben, Anna, Grace and Ella; Nancy (Glen) Just of Indianapolis, Indiana and their children Tobin, Caroline and Camden; and Karen Hertz of Champaign, Illinois. Daughter Mina Hertz (Rollie) Jacobs of Fort Dodge, Iowa and their two children Steven (Linda) Jacobs of San Mateo, California and Janelle (Randy) Siders of Urbandale, Iowa and their children Grant, Haley and Tate. Son Tom (Joyce) Hertz of Ames, Iowa and their two children Jana (Pieter) Ferdinandus of Jakarta, Indonesia and Alan Hertz, DVM of Lafayette, Indiana. Grandson Paul Hertz (son of Doug) of Ames, Iowa, and his mother Carole Hertz, of Laramie, Wyoming. Son Randy (Liz) Hertz of Nevada, Iowa and their three children Gina Hertz of Baltimore, Maryland, Betsy (Luke) Wenz, of Ames, Iowa, and Sally Hertz of Nevada, Iowa. Daughter Cathy Hertz (Steve) Eldredge of Fullerton, California and their daughter Stephanie Eldredge of Fullerton, California. Two American Field Service (AFS) students, Piet Heida (Dr. Adriaan) Verbeek of the Netherlands and Nina Baeta (Kwame) Addo of Ghana, are considered members of the Hertz family. Marjory is also survived by her sisters, Doris Sawin, of Bridgewater, New Jersey, and Louise Oleson, of Ruthven, Iowa and preceded in death by her son C. Douglas Hertz, who was killed May 16, 1997, and her brother Alvin Vaughn.
Memorials may be directed to the Story County 4-H Foundation, Nevada First United Methodist Church, the Marjory and Carl Hertz Nature Preserve c/o Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, or charities of your choice. Those wishing to send an on-line greeting, condolence or memory may do so by visiting: www.hfmgt.com/marjory.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 11 at 10:30 a.m. at the Nevada First United Methodist Church, 1036 - 7th Street, Nevada, Iowa. Visitation will be on Friday, July 10 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Chet Ryan Mortuary, 708 5th Street, Nevada, Iowa.
Marjory will be memorialized in the family plot in Pleasant Run Cemetery located 1 1/2 miles south of U.S. Hwy. 30 on 650th Ave. (County Rd. S-27), approximately four miles southeast of Nevada, Iowa.