December 8, 2018

Start Time:

2:00 pm


Scottish Rite Park Penthouse


2909 Woodland Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312

Arrangements By:

Brooks Funeral Care

Luella Kirkle

Luella J. (Pugh, Garver) Kirkle, 92, a friend to all who crossed her path, completed a life well lived as she journeyed to her eternal home on Sunday, November 25, 2018 at Scottish Rite Park Health Care Center in Des Moines, surrounded by love. The daughter of John and Anna (Clayton) Kennedy, Luella Jeanne Kennedy was born March 3, 1926 in Council Bluffs, IA.

Luella attended St. Joseph’s Academy in Des Moines and graduated from Roosevelt High School. Her nickname was Dewey. She took classes at Drake University and the University of Iowa, and discovered a love of philosophy. With husband Robert Pugh, the couple welcomed children Linda and Rob. With second husband Carlton Garver they welcomed children Carla and Carol. She was a devoted, loving mother, kind and strong.

Luella proudly supported North High School and the North Side Library. Highland Park Christian Church became her church home. Luella worked for Iowa State Extension Service in Des Moines, and cherished her co-workers, friends and neighbors. A cup of coffee, the Des Moines Sunday Register, and Donald Kaul was her recipe for happiness and a lively discussion.

After retirement, Luella married John Kirkle and moved to Florida. She made dear friends in Winter Haven and was close with John’s daughter, Judy. Upon John’s passing, Luella moved back to Iowa and blessed her family by being near. She wrote many Letters to the Editor over the years in Iowa and Florida and loved reading Rob Borsellino and Rekha Basu columns, clipping and mailing her favorites to friends.

She had a deep respect for all religions of the world and all people. Luella lived her life as a champion of civil rights and equality for all. She cherished watching the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Luella was preceded in death by her parents, brother John Kennedy, sister Mary Cleveland, daughter Carla Garver, nephew Jeff Johnson, husbands Bob Pugh, Carlton Garver, John Kirkle.

Left to cherish her memory are her loving children Linda Pugh, Rob Garver (Niki), Carol Garver Smalley (Bill Smalley); her sister Jackee Johnson; grandchildren Erin Garver, Reese Garver; step-grandchildren Jordan Claussen, David Chasten, Lyanne Frost-Madden, Ashley Halkar, Ethan and Aaron McConnell; nieces and nephews Kay Ellefson (Errol), Clayton Kennedy (Karen), Dana Kennedy, Greg Johnson, Chris Johnson, Brad Johnson, Terry Kerr, Jackie Nedrow; extended family, and dear friends. To her beloved ones, she carries your love forever.

The family would like to thank Scottish Rite Park Health Care Center, every SRP employee, and the dear friends we have made. To every caretaker of Lue, as she would say, “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” with a twinkle in her eye. Mom loved you. Bless you. Our gratitude to Home Care Services and Deb Anderson for helping Lue over the years in her Waukee homes.

Luella’s body was cremated. A Celebration of Life service is planned for Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 2 p.m. in the Penthouse at Scottish Rite Park, 2909 Woodland Ave, Des Moines, IA, 50312. The family will be there to greet friends at 1:30 p.m. All are welcome to join the family after a short memorial service for cake, refreshments and fellowship, celebrating Luella and the love that she brought to family and friends.

Memorial contributions suggested to: North High Alumni Assoc. – Scholarship Fund, 501 Holcomb Ave, Des Moines, IA 50313 in loving memory of Luella (Garver) Kirkle.


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