Georgia Correll Obituary

Georgia  Correll
Georgia Correll
Georgia Correll

October 10, 1916 - August 30, 2017
Resided in Red Wing, MN
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Georgia was born October 10, 1916 in Alexander, Iowa. The first child of Henry A. Peters and C. Floe Lauderdale, she was named Leona Georgia in honor of her maternal grandparents, Leona Belle Barger and George Washington Lauderdale. Georgia had a flair for telling stories from her youth and current adventures and making people laugh. In school, she starred in her class plays and began serving as her church pianist when she was 12. At age 18 she wrote a book of poems.
She graduated from Alexander High School in 1933, president of her class, attended Iowa State Teachers College (later called UNI), for two years. After college, she returned to Alexander and taught grades 1 through 8 in a nearby country school, Wisner No. 5 Center School, the same school her mother had taught before she married in 1915. Georgia drove her Model A Ford and each winter day built the fire to heat the building. Ready for her next adventure, Georgia accepted a secretarial job in 1938 at Mutual Life of New York in Des Moines, and then later as a secretary at Public Health Nursing Association where she worked until 1941.
Living in Des Moines, she became active in First United Methodist Church and Oxford League. There she met the love of her life Merlen Everett Correll, a graduate of Drake University Law School. They shared a love for the life of the church, a love for having and raising children and of making fun each day. They were married at that church by the minister, Dr. C. Clifford Bacon on March 2, 1941.
Merlen’s work as an insurance examiner for the State of Iowa took them to several Iowa cities. Besides living in Des Moines, they made their home in Mt. Pleasant, Clinton, Davenport and Waterloo.
In 1942 Merlen entered the Army and became an instructor in the Army Finance School at Ft. Benjamin Harrison Indianapolis. During that time, Georgia worked as a secretary at Headquarters, Ft. Harrison, and at Billings General Hospital. Later Merlen was stationed at Durham, North Carolina and she was employed on the Duke University campus as a secretary to Rev. Ernest J. Arnold, Executive Secretary of the North Carolina Council of Churches, and also Exec. Secretary of the North Carolina Interracial Commission. The latter job took Georgia to meetings in Chapel Hill, Raleigh and other NC cities during the time of racial segregation. Near the end of World War II, the Corrells lived in East Orange, N. J. where Merlen was assigned to the Office of Dependency Benefits in Newark, NJ. Merlen attended Officer’s Candidate School and at the war’s end was a 1st Lieutenant. After the war, the Corrells returned to Des Moines in 1946.
Their first daughter Carol Jean was born May 23, 1950; a second daughter Ann Marie was born March 1. 1955. Georgia was active in church and school activities. The Corrells were Home Room Parents at Cowles school; Georgia became Blue Bird Leader , then Camp Fire Leader for each of her daughters. She worked at General United Insurance Co., in West Des Moines, and later at Commission on the Aging, later named Department of Elder Affairs. She was employed as a secretary at the Development office at Drake University.
The Corrells were active members of their church, Merlen as Lay Leader, Pres. of Builders SS class, representative at General Conference, and Georgia on the Board of Diaconal Ministry. The family traveled extensively in the United States; their first daughter lived in Belgium 4 years, and the family traveled there one Easter vacation, visiting five countries. Georgia and Merlen traveled with the Methodist Heritage tour group to Europe; Scandinavia,
Switzerland, Italy and the Holy Land. They went to Hawaii on a vacation, and also attended 13 Elderhostels during their retirement.
Georgia’s interests besides storytelling were genealogy, poetry, travel, piano, square dancing, photography, tennis, swimming, pets, taking part in their daughters’ lives and the lives of their five grandchildren: Georgia Marie Arnold, Jeanne Kathryn Arnold, Marvin Merlen Michael Arnold, Katelyn Correll Swanson, and Peter Swanson Correll. Georgia passed away at home with family August 30th, 2017 in Red Wing, MN at age 100 years.
Georgia and Merlen had 62 years of married life before his death in April 2003. She is survived by their two daughters, Carol Jean Correll of Silver Spring, MD, Ann Marie Correll and her husband, Mark Swanson of Red Wing, MN, her brother, Curtis W. Peters (Virginia), her five grandchildren, Georgia Arnold Nshimyimana (JP) of Lansing, MI; Jeanne Arnold (Tony) of Edgewater, NJ, Marvin Arnold of New Orleans, LA, Katelyn Swanson (Adam) and Peter Correll, nieces and nephews and many friends. Her parents and brother Charles preceded her in death, as did her sister Jean Francis Peters, at age 5, in April, 1926.
Donations may be given to UMCOR or her First United Methodist Church. A visitation will be held at Westover Funeral Home on October 21, 11:30-2:00 pm, with a service at 1:00 pm.


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Westover Funeral Home
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Saturday, October 21, 2017
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Westover Funeral Home
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Saturday, October 21, 2017
1:00 PM


First United Methodist Church
1001 Pleasant
Des Moines, IA 50309
458 Ponce De Leon Ave
NE Atlanta, GA 30308
United Methodist Committee on Relief Disaster Assistance