Betty Lou Ball

Betty Lou Ball, 81, of rural Donnellson, Iowa, passed away at 9:33 p.m. Friday, February 5, 2021, at Fort Madison Community Hospital in Fort Madison, Iowa.


She was born on August 8, 1939, in Houghton, Iowa, the eighth of eleven children born to William and Matilda (Hellweg) Holtkamp. She married Leland Ball on July 6, 1968 in Fort Madison, Iowa. He preceded her in death on January 12, 2005.


Betty is survived by three generations of nieces and nephews totaling nearly two hundred.


She was preceded in death by her parents; husband: Leland; five brothers: Denis, Kenneth, Ralph and David, Raymond Holtkamp; five sisters: Lucine (George) Wallingford, Elaine (Don) St. Clair, Colette (Robert) Schlak, Doris Ann and Irma (Duane) Gabel; sister-in-law: Margaret Holtkamp; brother-in-law: Wayne Ball and several nieces and nephews.


Betty was a 1957 graduate of Donnellson High School. She retired from the paper mill in Fort Madison after twenty-eight years as an executive secretary. She enjoyed singing at grade school programs in Charleston, weddings and on the KOKX radio station with Sagebrush Sandy in the early 1950s (while she was a member of the Sweet Adelines in Fort Madison). Betty also enjoyed family gatherings, cooking, flowers, yard work, hummingbirds, the St. Louis Cardinals, NASCAR, auctions, shopping, girls nights out and bus trips.


Friends may call from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Friday, February 12, 2021, at Schmitz Funeral Home in Donnellson. Attendees will be required to wear masks and social distance.


A private family funeral service will be held at Saturday, February 13, 2021, at Schmitz Funeral Home in Donnellson with Father Dennis Hoffman officiating. The funeral service will be posted on her obituary page under her “Tribute Wall” at


Burial will be at Evangelical Cemetery, Donnellson, Iowa.


A memorial has been established in her memory for Central Lee Music Boosters or PAW Animal Shelter.


Online condolences may be made to the family at Schmitz Funeral Home of Donnellson is assisting the family with arrangements.