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Edith Reiss Pfeffer - 76

11/30/1941 - 1/26/2018

Clinton, Iowa

Edith Reiss Pfeffer, age 76 of Clinton, passed away Friday, January 26, 2018, at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. The Lord called her home quickly soon after she suffered a stroke. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 A.M. on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, at the First United Methodist Church in Clinton, Iowa. Visitation will be from 4:00 to 7:00 P.M. Monday at the Pape Funeral Home. Burial will take place at the Lone Tree Cemetery, Lone Tree, Iowa. Edith was born in Iowa City to Harry and Erma (Hall) Reiss. She graduated from University High School in Iowa City in 1960. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Simpson College in 1964 and her Masters of Science in Home Economics from Iowa State in 1970. She taught in the Western Dubuque School District from 1965 – 1969 before moving to Clinton to teach at Clinton High School from 1970 - 1978. Edith married Paul Pfeffer on July 24, 1971, at the First United Methodist Church in Clinton. Later, she served as the Office Manager for her husband’s law practice in Clinton until his death in 2005. Edith was an active community organizer who devoted over 40 years of service to the Clinton area. She served as Secretary of the YWCA Board of Directors from 1979 – 1981, the chairwoman of the City of Clinton Board of Adjustment from 1981 to 1984, the President of the Clinton Symphony Guild from 1986 to 1989, the Music Chairwoman of Art’s Alive from 1991 to 1992, a Member of Seventh Judicial District Nominating Commission from 2001 to 2003, Coordinator of Character Counts of Clinton County from 2001 to 2003, and the Chairwoman of Clinton County Day at the Iowa Legislature from 2004 – 2011. She is a former member of the Advisory Board for the Felix Adler Children’s Discovery Center, the past Chairwoman of U.S. Highway 30 Coalition of Eastern Iowa and the Past Chairwoman of U.S. Highway 30 Coalition of Iowa. She was also the past chairwoman of the Clinton County Republican Central Committee and President of the Clinton County Republican Women. Up until her death, she was a member of the Clinton Rotary Club, Clinton Trees Forever, and the Clinton Landlord Association. She was appointed by the Governor of Iowa to the Mississippi River Parkway Commission (MRPC) Iowa Great River Road Association in 2011 and again in 2015, most recently serving as the Chairwoman. She celebrated Clinton every day and loved being able to tell the other parts of the country about the great things to do with a river view. Among her many awards were the YWCA Women of Action Award, the Clinton County Bar Association Liberty Bell Award, the Al Wise Memorial Award for Outstanding Volunteer and the Annual Pilots award for the MRPC for the State of Iowa. Edith is survived by two daughters, Emily Pfeffer of Marion, Iowa and Laura Pfeffer (Nick Coleman) of Alexandria, VA; a granddaughter, Edith Marguerite Coleman; a sister, Ethel (Schafer) Bean of Palm Coast, FL; brother-in-law John Cavanah of Burlington, IA ; two nephews, Andy (Nicole) Cavanah and Scott (Paige) Cavanah and a niece, Jennifer (McKenzie) Norris as well as numerous great nieces and nephews. She was looking forward to the birth of her grandson around Valentine's Day. She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Mary. In lieu of flowers the family would like memorials made to local community attractions which she tirelessly promoted through her work as an Iowa Parkway Commissioner, such as the Clinton County Eco Tourism Center, Clinton County Felix Adler Discovery Center, Clinton Sawmill Museum or the charity of your choice. Online condolences may be left at www.papefh.com.

Visitation:

Visitation will be from 4:00 to 7:00 P.M. Monday at the Pape Funeral Home.

Service:

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 A.M. on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, at the First United Methodist Church in Clinton, Iowa. Burial will take place at the Lone Tree Cemetery, Lone Tree, Iowa.

21 Comments

  • Dave Tallett family

    on 01/27/18

    We are so sorry to hear about Edith. Prayers to your family
  • Gloria Friederichsen

    on 01/28/18

    With deepest sympathy to the family.
  • Jim and Marlayne Laing

    on 01/28/18

    We are very sorry to hear of Edith's passing. Our thoughts and prayers to Laura, Emily and family.
  • Ellen Wallace

    on 01/28/18

    What an amazing legacy ... Her name should be memorialized in some way in the Clinton area. Building/Road/etc.....
  • Greg and Julie Marston

    on 01/28/18

    What an incredible woman! She will be missed by so many, she gave so tirelessly of herself and the whole community is so much richer for it.
  • James Thede

    on 01/28/18

    I was a classmate of Edith's at UHigh in Iowa City, and remember her fondly. Saw her at our 50th reunion in 2010, and we exchanged reminiscences...My condolences to her family, she will be missed.
  • Chris Cournoyer

    on 01/29/18

    I just met Edith recently and she was full of knowledge and advice. I admired her confidence and passion for the community. When anyone talks about Clinton, the first thing they say is "have you met Edith?" :) She will be missed.
  • Rebecca Castle

    on 01/29/18

    I only knew Edith a short time through her involvement with the Great River Road, but it was obvious early on that she had been very dedicated to serving her community for a long time. She will be missed.
  • The Whitman Family

    on 01/29/18

    We send our deepest sympathy to our dear friends Laura, Nick, and Edith Marguerite and their family on the loss of their beloved mother and grandmother.
  • Keith & Shirleen Jackson

    on 01/29/18

    Our deepest sympathy for your loss.
  • Angela Rheingans

    on 01/29/18

    Edith was an amazing woman. She was an tireless and vocal advocate for our community. Her leadership and commitment to causes that inspired her will be sincerely missed. I will miss our conversations and will keep her in my thoughts and prayers. Angela Rheingans, DeWitt Chamber & Development Company
  • Gerald L. Clausen

    on 01/29/18

    Emily & Laura and families: Your mother, Edith, was a very positive force for progress. Sometimes she may have been less than graceful in her actions, but she was always on target with her goal to achieve success for the Highway 30 Association. She was always properly attired and perfectly presentable. Her efforts will always be remembered and her ability to gain access to key elected officials offices will never be forgotten. As a past member of the Highway 30 Association and attendee of many, many efforts to enhance our organization, I shall always remember Edith, my friend. Gerald L. Clausen, former City Manager Carroll, IA
  • Beth and Steve Haufe

    on 01/30/18

    Edith's , and her late husband Paul's, contributions to Clinton and the State of Iowa were enormous. It was an honor to know them.
  • Jean Bormann

    on 01/30/18

    So saddened by the news of Edith's passing. We just visited at the grocery store a couple weeks ago. Edith always knew how to get things done. She will be missed by many. God Bless
  • CJ Niles

    on 01/30/18

    Edith's family: I was very sorry to learn of Edith's passing. She was a dedicated leader to move Iowa along in a positive way. Edith always did her best to bring people together for a better Iowa. Not only Highway 30 advocates, but those she encountered on her path to progress are better for knowing her and working with her. Her presence will be missed. CJ Niles, Carroll
  • Linda Lowman

    on 01/30/18

    I'm saddened by the loss of Edith. I was blessed to get to know her for a brief time 6mos ago when I cleaned an apartment she was renting out. She first met my fiance who works for Kelly's in Clinton and she was looking for a cleaner and he suggested me. She was a joy to be around and I feel blessed to have been able to get to know her. My prayers are with her family and friends.
  • Brice Oakley

    on 01/30/18

    Edith and her late husband Paul, who was my law partner in the 1970s, were both not only close friends but also political advisors in my campaigns for public office. My family and I are deeply saddened by Edith's death. Edith filled every room she entered, was looked up to by my then young children, and carried on with passion the dream of my late father-in-law Gene Machael that the Lincoln Highway 30 would be four lanes across Iowa. In so many ways she made Clinton, Iowa and her beloved Republican Party a better place to be. She and Bette Machael Oakley were together kindred spirits in doing the right things for their community when it really mattered. I regret very much that my responsibilities here in Des Moines will keep me from attending the funeral but to her family and many friends I extend my sincere condolences. Brice Oakley, Des Moines
  • James D. Carstensen

    on 01/31/18

    My condolences to Edith’s family. She was such a force in politics in Iowa and some of my best memories were helping make election turnout calls from her home office during Reagan’s re-election. Edith was so dedicated to the cause of freedom and GOP ideals. A life well lived!
  • Kathie Whipple

    on 01/31/18

    Please accept my condolences for your loss. As a friend and colleague of Laura, I have heard many wonderful stories about Mrs. Pfeffer and know she was a stalwart contributor to her community and a loving mother and grandmother. She has had a good impact on many lives and will be remembered fondly.
  • Sarah Reiss Finn

    on 01/31/18

    Emily, Laura and family - I was so sorry to hear of Edith’s passing. I had had such a nice conversation with her about my upcoming wedding and was hopeful that she would be able to attend. My sympathies to you both at this time. <3
  • John and Susan McCloy Family

    on 02/06/18

    Emily and Laura, Edith will be missed greatly. We have fond memories of her, she was a visionary, and truly made a positive impact in the area. Generation after generation of people living in the Clinton County area will benefit from the pioneering spirit that Edith embodied. We pray you are comforted during these days of grieving the loss of your ma. She will remain close in our hearts and we will always cherish our memories of our beloved Edith, she was a fine mentor for me and my boys while we were exploring civics and government.

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