Ardith Lois Schipull Field was born January 28, 1922 on a farm east of LuVerne, Iowa to Edythe Pickering Schipull and Rudolf E. Schipull. They moved to the family farm north of Goldfield a year later.
She attended Liberty #3 Country School for eight years and graduated from Goldfield High School in 1939. After graduating from college at I.S.T.C. (now UNI) with a degree in Primary Education, she taught primary grades in Harris, Albert City, and Goldfield Iowa. She loved children and valued education as one of the highest accomplishments a person could attain.
She married her high school sweetheart and the love of her life, Duane Field, in Belmond, Iowa on January 2, 1945 when Duane was home on furlough during World War II. During the time he was stationed in Attu, Alaska, Ardith moved to Detroit to work in one of the airplane factories to do her part for the war effort.
After the war, Duane and Ardith farmed for 32 years north of Goldfield and in the 1960s they started a business known as Field’s Antiques. The business thrived and they met people from all over the country who would drive long distances or fly into the small-town area to find treasures at their store. Many of these customers became life-long friends.
Ardith loved beautiful things—whether it be a beautiful flower or plant, fine art or glassware, classical or spiritual music, or great conversation. The way she lived her life reflected that love in her pretty table settings, her careful presentation of food, her must-have centerpieces and love of nature. She was an amazing cook, known for her heavenly angel food cakes and oh-so-delightful fruit pies. She started a small business baking exquisitely-decorated wedding cakes. She helped develop recipes for many of her daughter Carol’s published cook books, and enjoyed making new dishes to try. She valued an inquisitive mind.
Ardith was a woman of faith and lived her life to witness that. She was active in the Goldfield Presbyterian Church where she taught Sunday School for 25 years, served on various boards at the local level and at the North Central Presbytery. She and Duane were Youth Group Leaders where they touched many lives, hosting events and parties and helping teens that needed help. She was a member of the United Presbyterian Church, Legion Auxiliary, Bayview Study Club, Sewing Club, and PEO.
Ardith lived in Goldfield for most of her life and developed life-long friendships. She moved to The Meadows in Clarion in 2008 where she continued to see and enjoy her friends in that area. Ardith moved to Northridge Village in Ames in 2017 to be closer to her family. She and Carol so enjoyed their time together visiting, laughing, reminiscing, taking a drive to the lake, to an antiques store, or to see great-grandchildren out playing. Roger would add a funny story to make her laugh—she loved him like a son. Ardith treasured daily visits from Marcia, and going to church nearby to hear Michael sing. Lillian and Elijah stopped by with stories about school and pushed her wheel chair up and down the halls. Michael would stop and share new research ideas he had or a new plant he was trying to grow. Lizzy and family would come to visit and the little boys brought instant energy to her room proudly displaying pictures they drew just for her. Ardith’s dear sister Etha would stop and share memories of their days in country school and the exciting places they had travelled together. She often said how blessed she was to enjoy her wonderful family on a daily basis. Even though the rest of her family was far away, she loved them all and looked forward to their visits, phone calls, cards, and pictures. Diane called often with news from Texas and her family there. Paul shared stories about his Veterinary Clinic and visited about his boys’ baseball games, and Holly called with stories about her family from far-away Australia where Ardith had visited years ago with Etha. She loved to hear of their adventures.
Ardith is survived by two daughters—Diane Field Axtell of Marble Falls, Texas, and Carol Field Dahlstrom (Roger) of Ankeny, Iowa; four grandchildren— Dr. Paul Axtell (Kris) of Johnson City, Texas, Holly Meurisse (Mark) of Perth, Australia, Dr. Michael Field Dahlstrom (Marcia) of Ames, Iowa, and Elizabeth Carol Dahlstrom Burnley (Ryan) of Ankeny, Iowa; ten great grandchildren—Nathan, John, Michael, and Daniel Axtell, Lillian and Elijah Dahlstrom, Megan and Madeline Meurisse, and Henry and Noah Burnley. She is also survived by her sister, Etha, and nieces and nephews Charlene Hutchcroft, Dennett Hutchcroft, Paul Hutchcroft, and LuAnn Swanson.
In addition, she is also leaving so many dear friends and “extra sons and daughters” that never forgot her as she grew older—Sonna Axon Johnson, Judy Skadburg Renkiewicz, Scott Stevenson, Dennis Rasmussen, and Christine Nelson Hackney.
Ardith was preceded in death by her loving husband, Duane, and her much-loved son-in-law, Charles Axtell.
Ardith Lois Schipull Field, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, teacher, businesswoman, and community leader died of complications from pneumonia on September 24, 2018. Her Christian faith, love of learning, positive attitude, and brilliant mind touched the lives of everyone she met and her smile will always be remembered.
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