Betty Garlock Profile Photo
1930 Betty 2024

Betty Garlock

August 16, 1930 — March 3, 2024


After a full and active 93 years, Betty Garlock of Waukee, formerly of Fonda, Iowa, died March 3, 2024, surrounded by family. A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 7, at the Fonda cemetery.


Betty was born August 16, 1930, to Elmer and Irene Herke. She was raised on a farm near Fonda, where she developed her love of gardening, flowers, animals, and the outdoors. Although a country girl, she lived in town with her grandma during the school year so she could attend the new Fonda public school, from which she graduated. 


In 1953, Betty married Dale Garlock in the Fonda United Church of Christ, where she was a lifelong member. The newlyweds then drove to Kentucky, where Dale was stationed in the Army. While he was working, she went out and, using their wedding money, found a room to rent, then gave a note to a random person on base to (hopefully) let Dale know where he could find her in their new home. That was Betty in a nutshell: independent and a “just do it” attitude. 


A bookkeeper at heart (and by training), Betty was thrust into newspaper life when Dale purchased The Fonda Times and they returned to their hometown with two young children. (Betty holds the dubious honor of giving birth to their third child in the Fonda “ambulance,” which was essentially a station wagon. As she would tell it, Dale insisted on shoveling the sidewalk in front of the Times office before heading to the hospital for a proper delivery.) For several years, she produced the “Famous Fonda Foods” feature which took her into hundreds of homes to gather recipes from homemakers. Eventually Betty took a full-time position as secretary at the Fonda Community School and, later, bookkeeper at Cargill. 


Off the job, Betty was a pro scavenger, combing ditches (“weeds” for dried bouquets), Canadian woods (berry-picking on fishing vacations), and auctions (bargains by the box full). A DIYer before it became trendy, she would refurbish cast-off furniture to help fill the big, old house her family lived in for many years. Upon retirement, she and a friend opened Love Everlastings gift shop on Main Street. 


In 2011, Betty moved to Waukee to be near family. An avid bridge player, she quickly formed a bridge group at her senior apartment complex. She continued to play, and teach new players, until her final few months. She loved having “Maddy Catty,” as she called him, curled up on her lap; insisted on pulling weeds herself from her flower and vegetable garden, which her son tended; and enjoyed baking poppyseed bread for her grandchildren or cooking a batch of dumplings, a family favorite passed down from her mother. To the end, she could spot a garage-sale sign a block away in hopes of convincing whomever was driving to stop. 


Betty (aka “Grandma B”) is survived by her children: Laurie (Tony) Longnecker, Tracy (Anita) Garlock, and Jody Garlock, all in the Des Moines metro; grandchildren Ashley (Jeff) Fuhrmeister, Megan (Bob) Baker, and Clinton, Jackson, and Abigail Garlock; great-grandchildren Emma and Aiden Fuhrmeister; and last but certainly not least Maddy Catty (who will be joining a family member).


She was preceded in death by her husband Dale, her sister Jane Madsen, and her parents.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Betty Garlock, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Cedar Township Cemetery

513 E 2nd St, Fonda, IA 50540

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