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Marjorie Rouse reacts to being named the Vinton Women's Club 2014 Woman of the Year.

Retired Vinton teacher Marjorie Rouse has been named the Vinton Women's Club 2014 Woman of the Year.

The Club surprised Marjorie, who also taught at Garrison and Brandon, with the honor on Tuesday evening during its annual spring dinner.

When asked on Wednesday morning for her thoughts about the honor, Marjorie was still feeling the excitement.
"Oh my, oh my," she said. "I'll tell you, I don't know what word to use.. flabbergasted."
The club, as always, kept the award a secret until the participants of the traditional skit announced that Marjorie was the honoree.
The best part of the evening, says the new Woman of the Year, was seeing people she has not seen for years.
Many friends and relatives shared memories from Marjorie's life.
"It sure was an exciting time," she says.
Life story

Marjorie arrived in Vinton in 1947, where she and her husband, Harold moved into a remodeled schoolhouse north of town. The couple farmed until Harold died of cancer in 1958; that year Marjorie began her second career.

She attended the State College of Iowa (now UNI) in Cedar Falls and began teaching fourth grade in Brandon in the fall of 1958. She then taught in Vinton from 1962 until 1970, while earning her bachelor's degree with a major in upper elementary education and a minor in math.

From 1970 until 1973 (when the school furnace broke down), she taught in Garrison. She returned to Vinton in February of 1973 and taught at Lincoln Elementary until retirement in 1982.


The audience at the banquet on Tuesday evening at the Vinton Country Club learned much about Marjorie's life and childhood.

She was born on her grandparents' farm near Jesup, on Sept. 16, 1917. Growing up, she preferred books to paper dolls. She began school in Jesup at age 6; her favorite subjects were math, reading and spelling. Childhood chores at home included doing dishes, milking cows, and feeding livestock.

Marjorie was a Camp Fire Girl; her favorite book in 4th grade was "Heidi."

After graduating from Jesup in 1935, Marjorie received a NYC Tuition Award and decided to begin college with the goal of one day becoming a teacher. She had her first teaching job at age 20, at Lime Creek Country School near Brandon. She married Harold Rouse on Jan. 14, 1939. The Chivaree (wedding celebration) included friends removing the mattress from their second-story window, tying it to a tree and pouring water on it, which quickly froze.

The couple farmed near Independence, then rural Walker. They welcomed their daughter, Margaret, in 1946.

Marjorie is a long time member of the United Methodist Church (first in Brandon, now Vinton). She is a member of the Martha Circle and is active in Mission Stitchers. She also makes quilts, and likes to crochet booties, caps, baby blankets, afghans and prayer shawls. which are donated to shut-ins, shared with family or given to charities.

In her spare time, Marjorie enjoys crossword puzzles and enjoys keeping in touch with friends and family via Facebook and e-mail. She has more than 10,000 names in her genealogy program.

Yet, what she likes best, she says, is visiting with family and friends, many of whom were there to celebrate her Woman of the Year honor.

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Comments (3)

A wonderful and very deserving honor for an amazing lady! Congratulations!
By: Jan McLeod on April 22nd 10:42pm
Good choice. Such a wonderful role model for so many years. Bless her Heart.
By: Shirlee Jessop on April 23rd 1:05am
Love this picture!! Someone really captured a great moment of joy. Congratulations Mrs. Rouse!
By: Becky Geiger on April 24th 5:01am

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