A funeral Mass will be held at 1:30 PM at St. Cecelia's Catholic Church, Algona, on Monday, April 17, 2017. A visitation will begin at noon.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in Annabelle's name to the Cedar Rapids Sisters of Mercy Retirement at Sacred Heart Convent, 1125 Prairie Drive NE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 52402.
Annabelle Elizabeth Semon Courtney was born on December 22, 1919 in Whittemore, Iowa to Alfred Henry Semon and Esther Margaret Fandel Semon. Annabelle was the second of four daughters in an industrious and hardworking family. She had unbounded energy and throughout his life, her dad often referred to her as "Hurry Up Annie".
Annabelle grew up in Whittemore. She attended St. Michael's Academy and graduated in 1937. As a young adult, Belle worked as a waitress in cafes in Algona and Fort Dodge and in retail at Kresensky Department Store in Algona before marrying Loren Courtney on June 15, 1948. They had 3 children -Patrick in 1949, and twins Daniel and Dawn in 1951. While raising her young family, Belle was an Avon lady.
In 1959 Loren and Annabelle moved to Clarion, Iowa where they partnered with LaVern and Jo Baldus to buy the Wright County Implement business. Belle took school pictures for Mueller's Studio for many years and later was their bookkeeper. Annabelle was active in St. John's Parish, St. Mary's Parish Circle, the Catholic Daughters of America, working on many a turkey dinner and various parish events. She served on the Parish Council, the School Board, and taught CCD classes.
By a vote of her family, Annabelle was an award-winning homemaker in the truest sense of that word. She welcomed everyone she met into her life and into her home. She relished feeding people.
She was a lover of poetry and literature, often memorizing her favorites. She loved to share them with family, friends, and little kids she met. She and Loren were avid walkers and ballroom dancers. She was spunky. Terrified of water her whole life, she conquered that fear by taking swimming lessons when she turned 50.
After selling the implement business and retiring, Annabelle and Loren spent the winters from 1983-1997 in Tucson, AZ where they joined a hiking club and regularly enjoyed 7-8 hour hikes through the Tucson Basin and surrounding mountain ranges. The Courtney's sold their home in Clarion and moved back to Algona in 1984 to enjoy condo living, which allowed them to travel more. They were involved members of St. Cecelia's Parish. In 2012, they moved from Algona to an assisted living facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where their son Pat and wife Sally live.
Loren passed away on November 16, 2016. Annabelle fell and broke her hip on March 30 and passed away April 12, 2017 at the Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy in Cedar Rapids.
Those left to celebrate her life are her sisters Marie Semon (Rocky) Welp and Vera Semon (Pat) Bradley as well as Loren's brother Wilbur (Janelle) Courtney. Eternally grateful to have shared in her life are her children: Pat (Sally) Courtney and their children Justin (Catherine) Courtney of Seattle, Sarah (Justin) Kissida and son Jackson also of Seattle; her son Dan (Jeanne) Courtney of Mason City, IA and their sons Patrick (Jackie) Courtney and son Ryan of Brooklyn, NY and Jack (Melissa) Courtney and daughters Rosie and Ruby of Cedar Rapids; her daughter Dawn (John) McCormick of La Grange Park, IL and their sons Michael of Chicago and Conor (fiancée Mackenzie Miller) of Fort Collins, CO; her nieces, nephews, their families and friends.
She is preceded in death by her husband, her parents, her sister Rosemary Semon (Menno) Limberg, a baby brother who died in infancy and sister-in-law Rose Courtney; brother-in-law, Bill (Nelda) Finn and sister-in-law, Betty (Arnie) Arndorfer.
We first met your folks on 2nd floor at Keystone Cedars when they welcomed my folks (Ray and Cease Stovie) to their suite. The two couples had a lot in common with their religion, zest for life, and even the Courtney name. Dad's sister married a Courtney- there was even a Loren Courtney in that family.
We all enjoyed them very much. I couldn't wait to hear Annabelle's jokes and prose. 2 different days, she invited me in and I wrote down some of them. I memorized 'Six humans trapped in happenstance..." We laughed at her 'Ode to Your Spouse'. In fact, I'll be sharing that when we lead Date Night here at our home parish and ask other couples just how far they would be willing to go for their spouse. After watching the beautiful video as a funeral home tribute, it looks like your folks would do anything for each other- even ride motorcycles. Another special memory is Annabelle's leading a decade of the Wednesday rosary and Dad tells me she would even lead all decades sometimes. She loved polka- that's how my folks met- at a dance, so another love in common. At CCD, I have taught the students Annabelle's
' Bless, Guard, Guide and Protect' as part of their Sign of the Cross.
Thank you for sharing your special parents with us- they have blessed our lives.
Ray and Cease Stovie and daughter, Cindy Dirksen
Annabelle and Loren were good friends of my parents Howard and Bea Miller. My condolences to the family. I know she will be missed.
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