Remembering Iowans Who Passed Away In 2019

Jan 3, 2020

In 2019, Iowans said goodbye to a number of remarkable leaders and voices in the state.

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer is joined by journalists, loved ones, and colleagues to remember the lives of several notable Iowans who passed last year.

Remembrances include:

  • Iowa Supreme Court Justice Daryl Hecht died at the age of 66 in April.
  • Iowa Supreme Court Justice Arthur McGiverin, the longest serving Supreme Court justice in the state, who died at the age of 90 in June.

Both remembered by Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady.

  • Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady died at the age of 66 in November.

Remembered by former Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus.

  • Former U.S. Representative Berkley Bedell, who represented Iowa in the U.S. House for 12 years. Bedell died at the age of 98 in December.

  • Former Iowa State Senator Dick Dearden, who served in the State Senate for 23 years, and died at the age of 81 in November.

Remembered by former Iowa Public Radio Statehouse Reporter, Joyce Russell.

  • Former Lieutenant Governor Jo Ann Zimmerman, who was the first woman to serve in the position in Iowa. Zimmerman died in October at the age of 82.

Remembered by former Iowa state legislator Jean Lloyd-Jones.

  • Rick Lewis, former manager of WOI Radio in Ames, and NPR journalist who helped launch Morning Edition and Marketplace programming. Lewis died at the age of 71 in September.

  • Lou Porter, former president and CEO of KBBG Radio in Waterloo – a station focused on African-American issues and voices in the Cedar Valley community. Porter died at the age of 83 in April.

  • Arlette Hollister, former Superintendent of the Food Department of the Iowa State Fair. Hollister died at the age of 88 in March.

  • Ottilie "Otty" Blodi, a native Austrian who shared her real life World War II love story on Talk of Iowa in 2013, Bloti died at the age of 101 in January.

  • Bill Stowe, former Des Moines water Works CEO and Des Moines Public Works Director. Stowe died at the age of 60 in April.

Remembered by Iowa Public Radio reporter and Morning Edition host Clay Masters.

  • Frank LaMere, Native American activist dedicated to fighting issues including addiction and homelessness in the Siouxland area. LaMere died at the age of 69 in June.

  •  Casey Gradischnig, transgender activist and former ACLU of Iowa board member died at the age of 57 in May.

Remembered by ACLU of Iowa Executive Director, Mark Stringer.

  • Al Haynes, pilot of United Airlines Flight 232, which crash landed in Sioux City in 1989. Haynes and other flight crew members are credited with saving the lives of 184 people on board. Haynes died at the age of 87 in August.

Remembered by Mid America Museum of Aviation and Transportation Director Larry Finley.

  • Damon Bullock, former University of Iowa running back who died at the age of 25 in March near his home in Texas.

  • Eric Cooper, Major League Baseball umpire and Des Moines native who died at the age of 52 in October.

  • Hayden Fry, Hall of Fame football coach known for reviving the University of Iowa football program. Fry died at the age of 90 in December. 

Remembered by Bruce Kittle, co-captain of the Hawkeyes 1982 rose bowl team.