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Alvina Irina Wittern Headlee

Posted November 12, 2012 in Des Moines West, Obituaries, Downtown

August 8, 1912 – November 8, 2012

Alvina Headlee

Alvina, loved dearly by her family, passed peacefully on Thursday, November 8, 2012 at the age of 100.

Alvina was born in Brookings and grew up in Flandreau, South Dakota, in a family of four children. Alvina and her sister, Caroline, moved to Des Moines, Iowa, in 1931 to join her older brother, Frances Art, and sister, Katherine. There she took a job with Woolworth. Later she worked for and retired from FAWN (now known as The Wittern Group). In Des Moines, she met and fell in love with Vincent Headlee. They were married for over 30 years until Vincent passed. Alvina resided in Des Moines nearly 75 years.

Alvina is survived by nephews, Gary (Linda) Wellman of Urbandale, Iowa and his family of four children and Frances Art Wittern II (Carol) of West Des Moines and his family of five.

Alvina loved the outdoors. She enjoyed her rose bushes and gardening in the backyard. Alvina and her husband, Vincent, loved to travel and delighted in those many vacation memories. Alvina continued her travels through the years with groups of girlfriends. She was an accomplished organist and treasured the music and song that she shared with her friends.

Alvina was also a member of the Daughters of the Nile. She enjoyed cooking, spending time with family and friends, and attending church at St. John’s Lutheran Church. Alvina was an adventurous and fun-loving gal, most often found in her favorite color pink. Her family and friends will be forever touched by her love of music and sharing memories.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, November 12, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Des Moines, where Alvina was a member for over 75 years. Services will begin at 11 a.m. A private graveside service will follow. A visitation will be held from 3-6 p.m. on Sunday, November 11, at Iles Funeral Homes-Westover Chapel.

A very special thanks from Alvina’s family to extended family members and friends for their loving care.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Daughters of the Nile Foundation or St. John’s Lutheran Church. Online condolences may be made to


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