Irene Waller   McFerron
Irene McFerron
Irene Waller McFerron

November 30, 1913 - October 12, 2018
Born in Mt. Vernon, TX
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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Irene Waller McFerron, age 104 years, of Des Moines, Iowa went to be with her Lord & Savior on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018.

Visitation will be from 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20 at Crestwood Baptist Church, 3717 Forest Ave, DSM. Memorial services will follow at 12 p.m. Rev. Eugene Guthrie officiating. Graveside service will be held at Resthaven Cemetery, 801 19th St, West Des Moines, IA.

Irene was born November 30, 1913, on a farm near Mt. Vernon, Texas. She made her decision for Christ at an early age and was actively involved in Kingdom work for the rest of her life.

Irene’s first job was at the Courthouse in Mt. Vernon. She bought a farm with her earnings instead of a car, beginning her life of investing. During her 48 years in Texas, Irene had three unusual events: 1st working 7 days a week she supervised typists recording oil and gas leases during the East Texas oilfield boom in the 1930’s, 2nd she had the honor of christening a rescue ship in WWII, required photos and signed documents were sent to the Archives in Washington D.C., and 3rd she was honored to be the only woman invited on the maiden flight of American Airlines first jet passenger plane, out of Dallas.

In 1961 Irene moved to Des Moines, Iowa where she joined Crestwood Baptist Church. She was a pioneer in helping bring Southern Baptist work into the state in the 1960’s and 70’s. She married Bob Waller, a prominent businessman from Des Moines.

Never salaried in the state of Iowa, Irene originated and administered a church loan fund, loaning money to small Southern Baptist churches around Iowa. As Irene Waller, she co-founded and was chairwoman of the Iowa Southern Baptist Foundation which continues today.

The following, is a partial list of Irene’s responsibilities as reported by the Baptist State Historian: 1st woman to chair a committee, 12 years on the State Executive Board, member of the Constitution & Bylaws committee for the State Convention, Co-signer of checks for the State office, and a member of the search committee for the first State Executive Director.

She was a member of: PEO Chapter HX, Des Moines Metropolitan Dinner Club, Des Moines Women’s Club and Iowa Campers on Mission.

In 1981 Irene married the well-known Southern Baptist minister Rev. Claude McFerron.

Due to Irene’s generous donations and volunteer work, she has had numerous name recognitions from Texas to Missouri to Iowa, in areas of churches, Hannibal La-Grange University in Missouri, Central Iowa Shelter and Services for the homeless in Des Moines, as well as other locations.

Irene was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers; Ray and Edwin Flowe and husbands, Hollie Cowser, Bob Waller and Rev. Claude McFerron. She is survived by a brother Billie Flowe of Mesquite, Texas, nieces, nephews and their families, and a host of friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Crestwood Baptist Church, PO Box 41023, DSM, 50311 or to Central Iowa Shelter, 205 15th St., DSM, 50309. Online condolences will be welcomed at






Crestwood Baptist Church
3717 Forest Avenue
Des Moines, IA
Saturday, October 20, 2018
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Crestwood Baptist Church
3717 Forest Avenue
Des Moines, IA
Saturday, October 20, 2018
12:00 PM
Resthaven Cemetery
801 19th Street
West Des Moines, IA 50265
Saturday, October 20, 2018


Crestwood Baptist Church
PO Box 41023
Des Moines, Iowa United States 50311
Central Iowa Shelter
205 - 15th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309