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Obituaries from the week of March 26, 2014

Lee Buzzell

Funeral services for Lee Buzzell of Bettendorf, who died at his home on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, were held on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at Runge Mortuary in Davenport. 

Lee Buzzell was born in Tracy, Minn., to Mark and Minnie Buzzell. He graduated from West Bend High School in 1943 and enlisted in the Merchant Marines, where he served as chief radio operator aboard ship. He married Eileen Johnson of Emmetsburg, Iowa, in 1946. The couple had 10 children.

Mr. Buzzell opened Valley Beverage Distributing Company in Bettendorf in 1955, later moving the business to Davenport. He created the consortium for Eastern Iowa Recyclers, retiring from there in 1990.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, Arthur (Marlo) Buzzell, Diana (Greg) Jones, Myrle (Paula) Buzzell, Penny Rhomberg, Robert (Lori) Buzzell, David (Jodi) Buzzell, Tracy (Charles) Keibler and Thomas (Tracy) Buzzell; his brother, Donald Buzzell; 19 grandchildren; and 21 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and grandparents; brothers, Charles, Walter, Wayne and Cecil; sisters, Corrinne, Rosie, Wilma, Dorothy, Elsie and Nona; and twin sons, Matthew and Mark.


Betty Rignell, 87

Betty A. Rignell age 87 of Rochester, formerly of Tracy, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at Cottagewood Senior Communities in Rochester.  Memorial Mass of Christian Burial was held Saturday, March 22, 2014 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy.  Burial was in Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Tracy.  Online condolences may be sent at  Stephens Funeral Service - Tracy Area Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Betty A. (Carey) Rignell was born May 29, 1926 in Salem, South Dakota to F. Vincent and Ethel (Larson) Carey.  She was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic faith.  Betty attended elementary school at a country school near Greenland, SD.   She moved with her family to Tracy, MN in 1938, where she graduated from Tracy High School in 1944.  On February 9, 1948 she married Paul Rignell at the St. Mary’s parsonage in Tracy.  Betty and Paul owned the hardware store, and this allowed them to travel to many destinations around the United States for conventions.  Betty’s faith was very important to her and she was proud of it.  Betty had the power of prayer and her prayers were always answered.  She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy where she was active in the CCW.  Betty’s favorite hobby was shopping, and she loved “bling,” or costume jewelry.  Betty loved playing cards, and over the years, she belonged to many Bridge clubs.   She was proud of her Irish heritage, enjoyed knitting, and was a great cook.  She was a very welcoming person who made everyone feel like family, and she loved to entertain her friends.  Family was a very important part of Betty’s life and she loved celebrating holidays and spending time with them.

Betty is survived by her children Paulette (Wayne) Wojahn of Rochester, Tom (Cindi) Rignell of Tracy, and Tim (Kristine) Rignell of La Crescent; 9 grandchildren; 26 great grandchildren; and 3 great great grandchildren.  She is also survived by her siblings: Vivian Fick of Woodbury and Dave (Margo) Carey of Anchorage, AK; sister-in-law Natalie Carey of Anchorage, AK; and many nieces and nephews. 

She is preceded in death by her parents, husband Paul, brother Tom, and brother-in-law John Fick.