Mardella Ione (Sorg) Summers

January 2, 1926 ~ March 6, 2018 (age 92)

Mardella Ione (Sorg) Summers, age 92, of Centerville, Iowa, passed away Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at Mercy Medical Center in Centerville.

She was born to Chester Cleve Sorg and Bessie Virona Harris Sorg on January 2, 1926 in Crosby, Minnesota.  Ione had eight brothers and sisters: Dorothy, Emery, Doris, Kenneth, Opal, Charlie, Ella, and Joe.  She married Edward Mark (Buster) Summers April 1, 1944 in Pine River, Minnesota; to this union four children were born, Helen White (Paul), Louise Douglas (Bill)(Friend, Jim Rice), Jim Summers (Vicki), and Kathy Leffler (Steve). 

After Buster and Ione were married, they moved back to Iowa where Buster was originally from.  They lived in Coal Holler near the Mock Bridge.  Buster was a coal miner.  They later farmed for themselves, as well as other people.  Ione farmed, drove tractors, milked cows, and everything else Buster did, except mining.  When Buster was doing something, Ione was his extra hand.

Ione has thirteen grandchildren: Ted, Jeri, Sandy and Jodi Douglas; Kelly and Joe White; Lynn and Amy Summers; Matt, Stacy, and Steven Leffler; Ashley Roberts and Kelsey Link; seventeen great grandchildren: Andy Summers and Katrina Thomas; Victoria White; Carter and Lindsey Petrie; Landon, Damon, and Violet Leffler; Ivy and Eli McVeigh; Hunter, Caige, Summer Douglas, and Sophie Katcher, and Hikaru White and Reina White; and Riley Roberts; Ione has two great-great grandsons, Rylan and Keegan Summers.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Buster Summers in July of 1997; her son-in-law, Bill Douglas; her parents, Chester and Bessie Sorg; her sisters, Dorothy and Opal; her brothers, Emery, Kenneth, and Charlie.  Ione is survived by her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great, great-grandchildren, two sisters, Ella Campbell and Doris Wynn; and a brother, Joe Sorg; she also has numerous nieces and nephews.

When Buster and Ione retired, they moved to Coal City and enjoyed life.  Ione was an avid fisherman.  Moreover, she fished the Chariton River with her husband Buster, where they caught a great many fish, including a large spoon bill about which stories are still told.  They would collect the fish until they had enough, and then throw a community fish fry which drew large crowds and was Coal City's event of the year.  Every year they grew a big garden and canned lots of vegetables.  They raised bees, collected maple sap to make maple syrup (The Des Moines Register did a Sunday feature article on them and the way they lived off the land in the 1970s).  They harvested berries and nuts from the wild.  Pop was an avid hunter, after he got so he could not walk very well, he would shoot the game and Mother would retrieve it.  They put in a home butcher shop with all the meat processing equipment, including a large walk-in cooler.  Buster and Ione, along with their friends, processed beef, pork, and deer.  This was a much enjoyed community endeavor.  They also made jerky and other special processed meat.  Buster and Ione enjoyed making salsas and dilly beans from their vegetables.  Ione loved growing flowers of all kinds and had lots of house plants.  She made quilts; she embroidered state bird/flower quilts for all of her kids.  Ione also made other quilts for us every year for Christmas for several years.  After Buster died, she flew in an airplane for the first time.  Ione went with her daughter Helen to visit her grandson Joe wherever he was stationed in the Navy.  She was able to fly to Washington State, Orlando, Florida (where she went to Disney World) and to Washington D.C. to watch one of Joe's Navy reenlistment ceremonies and see the sites around D.C..  Ione was known for her bread baking, she started baking bread for her large family when she was eight years old.  She did not have a recipe and would throw in a handful of this and a handful of that.  No one was ever able to bake bread like Ione did.  Buster and Ione were happily married for fifty three years and she missed him very much when he was gone.   

Funeral services will be held at 3 PM, Monday, March 12, 2018 at Lange Funeral Home and Crematory in Centerville with Pastor Reg Higginbottom officiating.  Burial will follow in the Exline Cemetery.  A visitation will take place on Monday, March 12, 2018 at Lange Funeral Home in Centerville, with the family greeting friends from 2-3 PM.  Memorials have been established to the Cross Lines Center in Moulton, and may be mailed to Lange Funeral Home, 1900 S. 18th St., Centerville, Iowa, 52544.  Condolences may be shared online at   

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