Iva Mae Sagert, 91, formerly of Linn Grove, passed away peacefully at Lantern Park Rehabilitation and Care Center in Coralville on May 4, 2017.
She is survived by her son, William Keith Maas Jr. of Concord, Calif.; her two daughters, Beth Grimm of Benicia, Calif., and Barbara Mortier of Santa Fe, N.M.; and many close friends in Iowa City.
Iva Sagert was born in a small town in northwest Iowa in 1926. She joined the cadet nursing program at 19 to move to "the big city," where she remained the rest of her 71 years. She was not about fanfare, but was about getting the job done and setting a good example. She was a take-charge woman right up until the very end. She lived her life "driving the bus," taking all those around her on a good long ride, providing what was needed when it was needed, whether it was strength, mentoring, words of wisdom or love and support.
Speaking of wisdom, she imparted much. A few of her favorite phrases were: "When considering fault, it's six of one and half a dozen of the other." When discussing painful mistakes or losses of money, "chalk it up to college tuition." When teaching responsibility, "Were you born in a barn?" and "You don't need to be frivolous to be happy."
One proud accomplishment, although she found it hard to be celebrated, was breaking the glass ceiling at Busby Realty in the early 1960s to become the first woman Realtor in Iowa City. She literally and figuratively took many other women with her from the proverbial "back of the room" to the front in their own lives. She was not one to stand quietly and be oppressed, suppressed, distressed or too easily impressed. She picked herself up by the bootstraps many times and moved forward when challenges arose. She was a kind and excellent friend and a great mother.
Besides all other accomplishments, she ran a property rental company in Iowa City with a friend, called Rentals By Ivette, combining the name of Iva and Annette Schlaegle for about 25 years, retiring in her late 60s to travel extensively with husband Carl Sagert of West Branch, who has since passed.
To sum it up, Iva was a pioneer, generous, respected, moral, a good example, a tower of strength, a loving mother to her children and "Grandma Great" to her four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, who are scattered from coast to coast. She leaves behind many good friends.
A celebration of life occurred through visits by family and friends at Lantern Park on her recent 91st birthday. Whenever anyone needed anything, they knew that they could call on Iva. She will be fondly remembered by those she touched in life.
In keeping with who Iva was, in lieu of flowers for any memorial or celebration, the family asks that donations be given to The Birdhouse at http://www.hospicehomejc.org/; 8 Lime Kiln Lane NE, Iowa City, IA 52240; (319) 499-1882; which is a hospice house that was created by former St. Mark's Methodist Parish nurse and longtime friend Carol Tippe and others.