Lettie Ann Twyman, 77, of Burlington, Iowa, passed away peacefully at Danville Care Center, Danville, Iowa, on December 21 at 8:00PM after a long and valiant struggle with Lewy Body Dementia, a devastating neurological disease. Per her wishes, there will not be a public funeral service and Lettie will be cremated. However, a private celebration-of-life memorial for family and friends will be held at a later date.
Lettie was born on August 14, 1942, in Farmington, Iowa, to David and Annabelle Wilson, both deceased. She has two sisters, Deloris and Francis (Frankie), still living, and one brother, David Jr., who preceded her in death in 2010. She attended Farmington High School where she was a football cheerleader, but graduated from the then-new Harmony Community High School, Harmony, Iowa, in 1961. Later she attended Scott Co. Community College, Muscatine, Iowa, where she studied office administration.
Lettie was married to Daniel W. Littleton on St. Patrick’s Day, 1967, in Antioch, MO. They had three children, Danielle Bender, and Chad Littleton, both of Letts, Iowa; and baby Wade Littleton, who passed away at one day old in April, 1972. They were later divorced in 1990. She married Douglas L. Twyman in a beach ceremony at Port Lucaya, Grand Bahamas on December 16, 2004. They traveled extensively together throughout Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, and many U.S. States, national parks and scenic places. For three years they lived in Osceola County, Florida, which she loved greatly. She loved going to the beach and collecting sea shells, of which she acquired an extensive collection. They later moved back to Iowa for her husband’s work career.
While visiting in Italy on multiple trips-both business and pleasure-they developed many friends and one very special friend, Stefano, who became like a surrogate son to Lettie and Doug and traveled with them to many interesting sites throughout Italia, and later England, including Venice, Florence, Portofino, Verona, Milano, Genoa, the Italian Alps, Pisa, Sestri Lavante, the Italian Riviera, and many others. Stefano stayed in touch with Lettie and Doug over many years and has frequently called or messaged to check on Lettie throughout her long illness. Always an adventurer on any of her excursions around the world, Lettie did it all: hiking over the Italian mountains to reach the ‘Five Lands’ (Cinque Terra), villages high above the Tyrrhenian Sea, only accessible by overland trail; snorkeling upstream in the Chrystal River, FL, to reach the sanctuary of the protected and endangered Florida Manatee; or riding horseback through the interior jungles of Cozumel, MX to find a hidden grove of the sacred Mayan La Ceiba tree, and then on to find an uncatalogued site of Mayan ruins deep in the jungle; finally, outrunning the horns of an angry wild bull chasing her through the undergrowth on the way back out!
Lettie made many friends wherever she went and was loved by everyone who came into her caring orbit. She was a patron of many worthy causes and donated her time and funds to many of them. She was a prolific volunteer in the community, wherever she lived: in hospitals; her church, the First United Methodist, in Burlington and Bluegrass, Iowa; and many other organizations. During flood season, she helped fill sandbags on the Mississippi River front. Civic minded, at election times, Lettie was always a willing volunteer for her chosen candidates.
Right out of high school, Lettie became a factory worker for industries in both Ft. Madison and Keokuk, Iowa, but later pursued a career in office administration, working in a wide variety of settings, including health care offices, church offices, and, for many years, at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant in Middletown, Iowa. But she most enjoyed her final working years at ABC Fire Extinguisher in West Burlington, Iowa. There she worked alongside, and for, her office manager who also came to be her special friend and designated ‘office daughter’, Kori, whom she loved dearly. Lettie loved all of her children and grandchildren very much, whether they be birth, step, or ‘surrogate’, and was deeply saddened by the death of her baby boy, and later, the unexpected death of her baby grandson, Justin James Canarr in February, 1997.
Lettie is survived by her husband, Doug; her children: Dani and Chad; her sisters: Deloris Heminger (Duke), Grand Island, Nebraska, and Frankie Wilson, Davenport, Iowa; grandchildren: Zackery Canarr, Davenport, Iowa; Adisen Littleton, Muscatine, Iowa; Jackson Littleton, Muscatine, Iowa; Gabrielle and Luke Bender, Muscatine, Iowa; step-children: Douglas Twyman Jr. (Lori), Henderson, NV; Michelle Rognon (Dave), N. Las Vegas, NV; Salinda Chapin, Burlington, Iowa; and Jason Twyman, Burlington, Iowa; step-grandchildren: Andrew Senn, N. Las Vegas, NV; Rowan, Erick, and Josie Twyman, Henderson, NV; and Dusten Chapin, Burlington, Iowa; special sisters-in-law: Betty Wilson, Athens, MO; and Nancy Morton (Frank), Hamilton, IL; special brothers-in-law: Jim Bauswell, Bettendorf, Iowa; and Jack (Susan), Peru, IL; Jerry Twyman (Sherry), Burlington, Iowa.; and many nieces, nephews and cousins, both birth and step, from all sides of the family, including among others, the Alberts, Ashville, N. Carolina; the Horseys, Farmington and Argyle, Iowa; the Bielski’s and the Bauswells, Bettendorf, Iowa; the Browns and Adam’s, Wilton, Iowa; the Twymans and Myers, Wayland, Iowa; the Shinns, Keokuk, Iowa; the Wilsons, Virginia Beach, VA; the Hootmans, all over Iowa; the Guttings, Illinois; Larry Kelly, Illinois; the Hemingers, NE; her only living aunt: Joy Long (Gary), Ft. Madison, Iowa; her life-long special friends: Phyllis Carle (Dani’s god-mother), Ft. Madison, Iowa; and Dianna Coppage (Greg), Claremore, OK; special former colleague and friend, Mary Hudson, Mediapolis, Iowa; her very special Italian friend and surrogate ‘son’, Stefano Rossi (Renata), Italy; her special care center nurses and friends: Julie, Rebecca and Linda; and lastly but not least, Lettie’s very special caregiver, friend and (another!) ‘surrogate daughter’ for the last two years of her life: Leashia Durham.
With her suffering now over, Lettie can rest in peace with the angels. Her memory will live on forever in the hearts of those who knew and loved her.
A memorial has been established for the Lewy Body Dementia Association, INC; 912 Killian Hill Road S.W., Lilburn GA 30047.
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