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2022 October 16th: Evelyn Whitcher (Bobbie Riley's Mom)

Updated: Oct 19, 2022

Evelyn Catherine Whitcher, age 89, passed away October 16, 2022. Born December 27, 1932 in Parkston, South Dakota, to Mathias Christ Gau and Floranna Mary Smith-Gau. She was the oldest of 9 children. She moved to Des Moines as a young adult and on April 7, 1958 she married Richard William Whitcher in Des Moines, Iowa.

Evelyn and Richard shared their life together of 44 years on the southside of Des Moines where they raised their two daughters, Rebecca “Becky” and Roberta “Bobbie Lynn’. Their life was filled with wonderful friends and loving memories. Their favorite was spending summers and winters in Minnesota. Evelyn was a stay home mom until the girls were both in school fulltime. She then became active in their school activities, including Homeroom Mother, Playground Liaison and held several roles on the PTA. As the girls moved on in school, she began working for Northwestern Bell which is now CenturyLink. She retired in 1994. She and Richard made countless trips to visit their kids, put thousands of miles on their snowmobiles in Wisconsin, and made several road trips around the country before Richard’s passing in 2002.

Her daughters married husbands (Steve and Tim) whom she loved like sons. Becky and Steve had a daughter, Erin, she loved more than anyone truly knew. She was a mom and grandma to all though – she loved unconditionally.

For the last 20 years, Evelyn’s determination and spirit only strengthened. She was very active with St.Anthony Catholic Church where her spiritual strength fueled her. She was honored to be recognized with a Pillar of the Parish Award in 2019. She prayed for all and her prayer list could never be too long. She took every opportunity to feed anyone she could. The priests and deacons often benefited from her love to cook for others.

She was the first to admit she wasn’t perfect, but she only wanted to be loved. She had a beautiful,loving, generous heart. She lit up any room and was the life of every party. She had a passion for her family, friends and hot sausage sandwiches.

Evelyn is survived by her sisters, Darlene Campo of Des Moines, Iowa and Eileen Gau of South English, Iowa; daughters; Rebecca (Steven) Wood of Rogers, Arkansas and Bobbie (Tim) Riley of Batavia, Illinois; granddaughter, Erin Elizabeth Wood of Champaign, Illinois; and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held Thursday, October 20, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with the Rosary prayed at 7:00 p.m. at Hamilton’s Funeral Home, 605 Lyon Street. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, October 21st at 11:00 a.m. at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, 15 Indianola Avenue followed by burial at Glendale Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Anthony Catholic Church.

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