The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


December 7, 2012

Mildred L. Prehn

CEDAR RAPIDS — July 19, 1918 - Dec. 5, 2012

Mildred L. Prehn, formerly of Clinton, died Wednesday, December 5, at the Hiawatha Care Center.

There will be a private family burial at Clinton Lawn Cemetery, Clinton, Iowa. A memorial service will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Monday December 10, 2012, at First Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids, IA. The Rev. Dr. Kay Slocum will be officiating. Immediately following the service there will be a luncheon at the church. The family will greet guests at that time. Murdoch-Linwood Funeral Home & Cremation Service is assisting the family with the arrangements.

Mildred Lucille Lary was born on July 19, 1918 on the family farm south of Maquoketa. Her parents were Alfred and Rose (Pauli) Lary. The family farmhouse had been the halfway house for the stagecoach between Davenport and Dubuque. Mildred remembered hitching up the horse and buggy to take fresh cream and eggs to town. She also remembered flour, sugar, and gas rationing during WWII.

Mildred walked to a country school house, which was heated by a pot belly stove. Every student drank from the common dipper in the water pail. A girl on the orphan train from the East attended country school with Mildred. Mildred graduated from Maquoketa High School in 1936. Mildred saved all her childhood money until she had forty dollars to buy a clarinet, but she arrived at the bank too late. The bank had just closed its doors for good; the Depression had begun.

In 1940 Mildred graduated with the rank of RN from Jane Lamb School of Nursing in Clinton. She earned $4.00 a month as a student nurse. After graduation Mildred could earn fifty cents an hour doing private duty nursing at Jane Lamb Hospital. She passed state boards in 1941.

Mildred became acquainted with Herb Prehn from Welton when he was attending Maquoketa Junior College with Mildred’s brother, Ben. Mildred and Herb began spending time together in 1941. Mildred and Herb were married on May 21, 1942, at the Congregational Church in Keokuk, IA. They began their journey as a married couple on Herb’s farm, south of Welton. Mildred and Herb had two daughters, Phyllis Ann and Ellen Marie. Mildred returned to private duty nursing in DeWitt, Maquoketa, and Davenport after their daughters started school.

Mildred was proud of her flowers. She had a drawer full of blue ribbons from the Clinton County Fair for her flower arrangements. She especially enjoyed her roses.

She shared her wonderful homemade breads and cinnamon rolls with friends and neighbors. Visitors to the farm were treated to bowls of fresh strawberries from the garden, homemade ice cream and homemade jams.

Mildred was a letter writer. Through personal handwritten letters Mildred kept in touch with special people whom she’d met over the years. She maintained relationships with families of former patients, folks she had met on trips planned by the American Angus Association, and people she cherished from many winters at Ft. Myers Beach, Florida.

After 32 years on the farm Mildred and Herb had a farm auction. They moved to Clinton in 1974. Mildred worked for Dr. Jensen and Dr. Wulf at Medical Associates before retiring in 1984. Mildred and Herb were members of Trinity Lutheran Church. Mildred and Herb were recognized for their 35 years of support for the Clinton High School Band Boosters. Mildred and Herb purchased a new uniform for the band boosters. Mildred was an advocate for Welton and DeWitt bands when her daughter was a band member. This enthusiasm for band music began during her own high school years at Maquoketa.

In June 2009 after 35 years in Clinton, Mildred and Herb moved to Ridgeview Assisted Living Community in Cedar Rapids. Mildred moved to the Hiawatha Care Center in July of this year.

Mildred was preceded in death by her husband, Herb; her mother, Rose (Pauli) Lary; her father, Alfred Lary; brothers, Ben, Merlin and Wilmer; sisters, infant Genevieve and Mary Eloise (Lary) Myers; granddaughter, Rebakah Caldwell; and son-in-law Gregory Caldwell.

Survivors are her daughters, Phyllis Caldwell of Lohrville, Ellen Collins, and husband, Everett of Cedar Rapids; granddaughters, Sarah Shepherd (Chris); Christina Conner (Todd); and grandson David Caldwell (Miranda). Great grandchildren are Jeffery and Kimberly Conner; Elizabeth Caldwell and Blake Shepherd; and Nathaniel and Rebecca Caldwell.

In September 1940 Mildred received her “black stripe” for her nurse’s cap which signified she had graduated from the Jane Lamb School of Nursing. This achievement was a proud moment for Mildred. She pursued her career for the next forty-four years.

To honor Mildred’s commitment to her profession, her family is requesting (in lieu of flowers) memorial funds be given to the Paul B. Sharer Foundation at Clinton Community College, 100 Lincoln Boulevard, Clinton, IA 52732. Monies will be used to help fund a nursing scholarship.

Please sign the online guest book for Mildred at under obituaries.

Death date: Dec. 5, 2012

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