Most of all, Betty was a musician


Betty Lou Grow, 84, Iowa City, Iowa, died of cancer on Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012, in her daughter Susan’s home.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 1, at the Congregational United Church of Christ in Iowa City. Family will be present at the church from 9:30 a.m. Another service, and burial, will take place in Yankton at a later date. Memorials may be directed to Iowa City Hospice, 1025 Wade Street, Iowa City, IA, 52240, (, or a charity of the giver’s choice.
Betty Lou was born April 10, 1928, in Winner to S. V. and Luva (Bromwich) Todd. She graduated from Winner High School in 1946 and earned a two-year teaching degree at Yankton College, where she met Roger D. Grow. They married in Winner on Aug.7, 1948. After a year in Los Angeles, they moved back to the Midwest and lived in various communities in Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota, including Mobridge (1960-1970).
Betty worked as a secretary in church, law, and insurance offices, and even at the Mobridge airport. She was an excellent detail person, good with numbers, and a superb typist. At the same time, she was creative in many ways – various forms of needlework, quilling, sketching, writing; but, most of all, she was a musician. She began taking piano lessons when she was six and organ lessons in college. She taught countless piano and organ students, sang in or directed or accompanied junior, adult, and civic choirs, and accompanied vocal and instrumental students, soloists, groups, and musical theatre everywhere she lived. Betty also was organist in many churches and then continued playing the piano during her years at Walden Place Senior Independent Living Community in Iowa City.
Betty loved her cats, playing cards, reading, television, crossword puzzles, travel and visiting. She could strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere.
She is survived by four children, Kathy Grow of Yankton, Susan McConnell of Iowa City, Carol Johnk of Coralville, Iowa, and Roger (Cairn) Grow of Duxbury, Vt.; six grandchildren and two great-grandsons, Kelly McConnell of Iowa City, Tim (Molly) McConnell, Will, and Tucker of Polk City, Iowa, Rev. Elissa Johnk of Montpelier, Vt., Chellis Grow of Casselberry, Fla., Emerson Grow of Coralville, and Lincoln Grow, of Coralville; special friends, Lea Ann Schramm (her “tall daughter”) of Yankton, Keith and Marnie Grow Johnk of Coralville, and Thomas W. McConnell of Norfolk, Neb.; and many nieces and nephews and their families.
She was preceded in death by her husband, on Jan. 23, 2007; her parents; her sister, Kay Todd (1941-1948); her half-sister, Roberta Key; and many other treasured members of her extended family.
Online condolences may be directed to

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