Georgia E. Lortz Warner died Monday, July 22, 2019, at the English Valley Care Center in North English at the age of 96 years.
Georgia was born Aug. 8, 1922, in Millersburg, Iowa. She was the daughter of Mabel Montross Lortz and George Alfred Lortz. She grew up during the Great Depression on the family farm south of Millersburg. She graduated from Millersburg High School, where she participated in athletics, drama and music. She excelled at presenting humorous oral recitations while in school.
She attended Iowa State Teachers College to prepare for her teaching degree. She taught school in a one-room schoolhouse nicknamed Brush College. She was beloved by her young students and enjoyed not only teaching academic courses but serving as the gym, art and music teacher of her tiny school. She was also responsible for stoking the potbellied stove that warmed the school.
She was united in marriage to Bruce N. Warner on Jan. 1, 1942, in Kirksville, Mo. During World War II when Bruce was in the Army, Georgia lived in Aberdeen, Md., and Louisville, Ky., where she assisted her brother-in-law in his medical practice.
Following the war, Bruce and Georgia moved back to North English where they made their home. They were married for 59 years before Bruce passed away in 2001. They were blessed with two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth. Georgia was a devoted wife and mother. She raised her daughters to be accomplished pianists, which brought her much joy.
Georgia also was devoted to her church and community. She was a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church. She belonged to the United Methodist Women, led the youth group, taught Sunday school and Bible school, sang alto in the church choir and founded and directed the junior choir.
She was a proud Democrat serving as a county and state delegate. She was a passionate advocate for civil rights and world peace even when this was not a popular view. She enjoyed her time as a Girl Scout leader touching the lives of many young girls in the community. She especially loved singing around the campfire. Her love of gardening resulted in a beautiful perennial garden and immaculate yard around her lovely red house and white fence. She was an excellent cook known for her award-winning lemon meringue pie and her Swedish tea rings.
She loved to play bridge and pepper and enjoyed biking, golf, tennis, and especially a raucous game of keep away at the swimming pool with the children. Georgia traveled the world, but her favorite spot was on the Florida beach with her sister, Kathryn.
Music played a huge part in Georgia's life. Her home was always filled with music. She had a lovely alto voice and harmonized easily with other singers. She sang for many weddings, funerals and community events. She loved entertaining at the history, community and care centers, and was still tap dancing at the age of 90.
Georgia made friends wherever she went. She developed a close friendship with her neighbor, Charlotte Smith, in her later years. The neighborhood children loved her, too. Her greatest joy in life was her children and their families and the love they all shared.
Georgia was a beautiful and loving soul who now joins her parents; her husband, Bruce; sisters, LaDean Haack and Kathryn Orr; and brother, Charles A. Lortz, in heaven.
She leaves behind daughters, Mary Kunnert (Kevin) and Elizabeth Pilkington (Gary); and grandchildren, Sarah Wilson, Laura Kalin, Kathryn Kunnert, Anne Montana, John Pilkington and Mary Pilkington. She also is survived by eight great-grandchildren, Avery, Peter and Jack Wilson, Joseph, Georgia and Olivia Kalin, and Owen and Lauren Montana.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 26, at the North English United Methodist Church. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Powell Funeral Home in North English. Messages and tributes may be left at www.powellfuneralhomes.com.