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Linda Willis10/23/2022
Linda Kay (Willis) Aleff was born November 19, 1948, in Indianola, Iowa the daughter of Donald Willis and Winona (Caskey) Willis.

Her family moved to Knoxville, Iowa when she was 4 years old and Linda made Knoxville her lifelong home.

She graduated from Knoxville High School in 1967 and attended Broadlawns School of Nursing in Des Moines where she earned a nursing diploma.

Later in life, she went back to school to earn her Bachelor’s degree from St. Francis University in Illinois.

Linda worked as a nurse for Unity Point for 45 years, first as a pediatric nurse at Blank Children’s Hospital, then as a nurse in admissions at both Methodist and Lutheran Hospitals in Des Moines.

Linda loved working as a nurse. She spoke very fondly of her time working with her life-long friend Jane and of her time spent at Blank Children’s Hospital in particular.

She always referred to her Blank patients as ‘her kids’ and thought of them often over the years.

Linda was married to Howard John (Jack) Aleff for a period of 16 years. They made their home on a small farm in Knoxville and were blessed with 4 daughters together. Linda’s greatest joy in life was being a mother.

There wasn’t a ball game, dance recital, livestock show, 4-H pot-luck, or FFA banquet that she missed while her kids were growing up.

When she became a grandmother later in life she doted over her grandchildren and showed off their photos to anyone who took the time to look at them.

Linda was also very close to her extended family and she enjoyed getting together with her siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins for family reunions and parties.

She loved playing games, reading, and watching ‘I Love Lucy’ re-runs. She would often spend Sunday afternoons playing games like Monopoly and The Long Game with her family.

Linda was a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, where she sang in the choir and taught Sunday School for many of those years.

She prided herself on making sure her daughters attended church regularly while they were growing up.

After becoming an empty-nester, Linda shared her home with a little Japanese Chin dog named Jackson Maurice. Jackson was a comical companion for Linda and provided her with hours of entertainment.

She would call her daughters often to update them on his antics and she missed him greatly after he crossed the rainbow bridge.

Linda had a wonderful group of lifelong friends who referred to themselves as ‘The Golden Girls’. They would get together for potlucks, lunches, and outings over the years. As Linda’s health started to decline she was less able to go on outings but always looked forward to their phone calls and visits.

Linda passed away on Sunday, October 23rd, 2022 at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines surrounded by loved ones at the age of 73 years.

She was preceded in death by her parents and by her infant daughter, Heidi Elizabeth Aleff.Linda Willis

Those left to cherish Linda’s memory include her three children and five grandchildren: Lin and (Brent) Thoms of State Center and their children Kacey and Eloise; Maggie and (Jeff) Wilson of Knoxville and their children Collin, Courtney, and Aubrey; and Abbie Aleff of Knoxville.

She is also survived by her brother Bob and (Lou Ann) Willis of Knoxville and Sandy Richardson of Knoxville as well as by many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.

Memorials may be made to Stepping Stones Early Learning Center