Iva Belle (Stearns) Honadel


Iva Belle (Stearns) Honadel died July 6 at the Evanston hospital. She was born March 8, 1935, at the Edgemont, South Dakota, hospital to Chas (Charles W.) and Erma Belle (Fales) Sturdivant Stearns. Iva Belle joined a sister, Wyoma, and brother, Dean Sturdivant. The Stearns family moved into their own home on the farm at Provo, South Dakota, in May 1935. Another sister, Dorothy, joined the family in February 1936. 

The Stearns home was a 24x24-foot tar paper shack, with no insulation, water or electricity. At that time, water was hauled a quarter mile in cream cans, on a stone boat or in a wagon pulled by horses, from the hand-pumped railroad cistern. In 1942, the kerosene lamps were put in storage and electricity was finally available, when BHOD (Black Hills Ordinance Depot) was started and a new power plant built at Provo. 

Iva Belle started first grade with her younger sister, Dorothy, in 1942. With the influx of people coming to work at the Army Depot, there were many students, so school was only half days. The Stearns girls went to first grade from 1-6 p.m., and their brother attended from 7 a.m.-12 p.m. The second year, Provo School facilities were acquired with school being held in CCC Army barracks and other buildings at the Army Depot after a 2-mile bus ride. In 1944, a new school building was built to house all grades.

During her growing up years, Iva Belle worked on the farm with other family members, as was expected at that time period. Her work involved working in the hayfield on long hot days, walking 8 miles to Edgemont moving the sheep to town, many household chores, cooking and cleaning at home after her parents’ divorce.

Iva Belle and Dorothy graduated from Provo High School in 1954. Both attended Black Hills State Teachers College in September 1954. 

Iva Belle married Richard Honadel at Hot Springs, South Dakota, on Nov. 27, 1954. She was the second of three sisters to marry a Honadel brother. Iva Belle and Richard adopted Sarah Eileen in December of 1961 while living in Laramie, and Mark Charles in 1966 in California.

Richard’s work took them many places. Iva Belle attended teachers college in Oklahoma and taught school in Guyman, Oklahoma, and Fountain City, Wisconsin. In 1981, they settled in Evanston, where Iva Belle drove a school bus for many years and did janitorial work in the Evanston School. Also, she was an EMT in Evanston and on the Citizens’ Patrol group.

She is survived by her daughter, Sarah; three grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren; sisters, Wyoma Honadel of Newcastle and Dorothy (Alfred) Honadel of Spearfish, South Dakota; half-sister, Dorothy Johnson of Salt Lake City; sister-in-law Lucille Sturdivant of Centralia, Washington; and numerous nieces and nephews. 

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Richard; son, Mark; a great-granddaughter; brother, Dean Sturdivant of Centralia, Washington; nieces Carol Jean (Honadel) Smith and Irene (Coates) Ferdig; sisters-in-law Betty Scott and Alice (Coates) Dahl; and brothers-in-law Howard, Harold and Glen Honadel.

In accordance with her wishes, cremation has taken place. Family and friends will gather at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 13, for inurnment burial in the Evanston City Cemetery in Evanston.

Online condolences may be left at www.crandallfhevanston.com.

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