Elizabeth "Betty" Riordan Obituary

Betty Riordan
Elizabeth "Betty" Riordan

December 24, 1922 - March 2, 2021
Born in Des Moines
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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Elizabeth Anne Riordan, known as Betty, passed away at her home, surrounded by her family on March 2, 2021.

Betty was born in Des Moines on December 24, 1922, the daughter of William and Essie Nemmers. She graduated from Des Moines North High School in 1940. Betty served in World War II as a member of the US Naval WAVES Corps and was proud of her service to her country. After the war, she attended Drake University. She met and fell in love with Dr. Robert Riordan, DVM. These two were married on August 26, 1950. The couple settled in the Beaverdale area of Des Moines where they built the Riordan Pet Hospital which opened in 1952. Betty worked for 51 years as the bookkeeper of the clinic.

Betty’s true calling was as mother and grandmother of her large and energetic family. She loved and nurtured eight children. She had uniquely personal relationships with each of her 25 grandchildren and five great grandchildren. She was a proud aunt to over 40 nieces and nephews. Betty was a woman of faith in Jesus Christ and the love that stemmed from that faith showed naturally and brightly as a beacon to all that knew her. She was an active member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church for over 60 years.

Betty is survived by her youngest brother, James (Pat) Nemmers; her children, Mary Riordan, Kevin (Sue) Riordan of Helena, Montana, Chuck (Cindy) Riordan, Dennis (Carolyn) Riordan, Brian (Kerry) Riordan, Kathleen (Darby) Smith, Colleen (Kent) Weeden, and Terry (Janean) Riordan; her grandchildren: from Kevin: Carrie Jo, Katie, Tim, Andy, Maggie, and Becky; from Chuck: Seamus, Anne, Caitlain, and Eileen; from Dennis: Conor, Deaglan, and Fiona; from Brian: Kelley, Molly Jane, and Megan; from Kathy: Audrey; from Colleen: Kelly, Kyle, and Kris; from Terry: Madeline and Daniel; her great grandchildren: from Audrey and Jamie Scott: Rylan and Harrison; from Caitlain and Tasewell Fox: Liam and Rowan and from Kyle and Chelsea Weeden: Noah.

Betty was preceded in death by her husband Robert; her siblings, Margaret Neubeck, Mary Zaun, Robert Nemmers, John Nemmers, and Patricia Cunningham; her grandchildren, B.C and Colin Riordan (Chuck and Cindy), and Jeffrey Riordan (Kevin and Sue).

Due to the time of Covid, there will be a socially distant visitation from 10-11am followed by a funeral Mass for close friends and family at Holy Trinity Catholic Church at 11:00 am Friday, March 5, 2021. Burial will follow in Glendale Cemetery. The mass can be viewed on the Holy Trinity Facebook page. In lieu of flowers, donations in Betty’s name may be made to the Holy Trinity School Endowment Fund. Online condolences are welcome at www.IlesCares.com.

Arrangements by Iles Westover Chapel




Holy Trinity Catholic Church
2926 Beaver Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50310
Friday, March 5, 2021
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Holy Trinity Catholic Church
2926 Beaver Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50310
Friday, March 5, 2021
11:00 AM
Glendale Cemetery
4909 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
Friday, March 5, 2021


Holy Trinity School Endowment Fund
2926 Beaver Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50310