Vella Lower

1939 - 2020


November 25, 2020 - 9:44 AM

Vella Ann Lower, age 80, of Iola, passed away on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Lawrence.

She was born on Dec. 18, 1939, in Garnett, the daughter of D. Dale and Dema M. (Woods) Hobart. She met her future husband, Gary K. Lower, on a rural school bus when Vella started high school. The couple dated four years during their high school days, and were married on April 8, 1957, in Miami, Okla. Two children, Deborah and Gary, were born to this union. They spent most of their married life in Iola.

Vella began working outside the home when the children started school. Their children attended the Iola schools. Vella worked at Columbia Metal for two years as a clerk; Quality Packing for six years as office manager; and at Berg Manufacturing/Haldex Brake for 31 years as executive secretary and engineering secretary in charge of blueprints for the factory.

She was a member of First Baptist Church. Vella loved spoiling her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She loved flowers, shrubs and trees of all kinds. She also enjoyed dirt track racing and basketball games. Vella worked at gardening, canning and freezing foods. She always had a pet kitty or a dog. 

Vella was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Gary K. Lower; her brother, James L. Hobart; and great-grandson, Zachary Keith Shelly. 

She is survived by her daughter, Deborah Hegwald of Omaha, Neb.; son, Gary E. Lower and wife, Shannon of Iola; six grandchildren, Stacey Hegwald-Ebert and husband, Lee of Hamburg, Iowa, James Lower and wife, Jennifer of Iola, Trevor Hegwald and wife, Michelle of Omaha, Neb., Jennifer Hegwald-Anania and husband, Tony of Omaha, Kasha Lower-Bain and husband, Steven of Iola, and Gary M. Lower of Iola; 15 great-grandchildren; brother-in-law, Donald “Butch” Lower and wife, Mary Anne of Humboldt; and two sisters-in-law, Donna Lower-Nord of Iola and Judy Schroeder of Topeka. 

Funeral services will take place at 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 27, at First Baptist Church in Iola. Services will also be live-streamed. Burial will follow in the Mount Hope Cemetery, Humboldt. Vella’s family will be present to greet friends from 1 p.m to 2 p.m. Friday afternoon prior to the funeral service at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church and left in care of the funeral home. Condolences may be sent to the family at


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