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Nita Lee Taggart


Nita Lee Taggart, 88, of Alburnett, Iowa, formerly of Clarinda, Iowa, passed away on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, at the Hiawatha Care Center in Hiawatha, Iowa.
Two visitations will be held. The first will be held in Marion, Iowa, on Thursday, Oct. 25, at the Murdoch Funeral Home & Cremation Service from 4 to 7 p.m. The second will be held in Clarinda, Iowa, on Friday, Oct. 26, at the Ritchie Funeral Home from 5 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27, at the College Springs Presbyterian Church in College Springs, Iowa, with graveside services to follow at the Maple Hill Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the family in Nita's memory.
Nita was born Nov. 26, 1929, to Jacob D. and Tessie L. Haye in Morganton, N.C. During Nita's first year, she and her family moved to Priest River, Idaho, where she grew up with one sister, Blanche. She graduated from Rathdrum High School. Nita attended Whitworth College in Spokane, Wash., where she earned two degrees, a B.A. and B.S. in education. While she attended college, she worked three years as a relief clerk for the Northern Pacific Freight Office in Spokane, Wash. and one summer as a legal secretary for McNaughton and Sanderson law firm in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. This would fund her college and when Nita graduated from Whitworth College in 1953, she landed her first teaching job as a third-grade teacher at Harrington Elementary in Harrington, Wash. Nita would stay there for three years before she took a third-grade position at Broadway Elementary Spokane Valley Schools in 1956.
In 1957, she met an Iowa farmer by the name of John Albert Taggart and they were married the following year on June 15, 1958. She moved to the Taggart family farm near Clarinda, where they raised three children, Beth, David and Esther. Nita was very active in the community and the College Springs Presbyterian Church in College Springs, Iowa. In 1988, her husband, John, passed away after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. Nita lived on the farm until 2011, when she moved to Alburnett. She still continued to manage the farm operations until 2016. After John's death, she started to focus on a "second career" in areas of interest to her. She served on the Page County Board of Review as a member and clerk for several years during the 1980s. In 1990, Nita was appointed by the governor of Iowa to the Iowa State City Development Board that oversees city annexations. She served on this board for 12 years. During these years, Nita also served on the Farm Bureau District Women's Committee and was the state women's committee chairwoman for several years. In her spare time, she became very interested in family history and genealogy. Nita had written several books documenting her discoveries over the years and enjoyed meeting new relatives because of her research.
Nita's honors and accomplishments extend far beyond what can be listed, but among those of which she was most proud: Page County Homemaker of the Year in 1990, Master Farm Homemaker in 1994, serving two consecutive (six-year) Iowa Senate-approved terms on the State City Board of Development, and receiving the 4H Alumni Award in 1986.
One of Nita's last wishes was to communicate how thankful she was to have met so many great people who had touched her life in ways that are beyond words. She truly lived a blessed life and, because of her strong faith in God, she looked forward to the next chapter in celebrating with all her loved ones gone before her in heaven.
Nita is survived by her three children, Beth L. Taggart of Cedar Rapids, David J. Taggart of Alburnett and Esther (Scott) Kremer of Alburnett; two grandchildren, Morgan Kremer of North Liberty and Dillon Kremer of Alburnett; her niece, Liana Neal of Scottsdale, Ariz.; her nephew, Johnny (Doris) Fernandes of Underwood, Iowa; and several cousins.
She was preceded in death by her husband, John; her parents, Tessi and Jacob Haye; her sister, Blanche Holmes; her brother-in-law, Bob Holmes; her sister-in-law, Mary Fernandes; her brother-in-law, Gene Fernandes; and numerous cousins whom she loved dearly.
Please share a memory of Nita at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.