Mourning the loss of a Peacock family member

Upper Iowa University and the surrounding area are mourning the death of Clermont native and UIU alumna Betty Andres, who died at a Florida hospital Sunday morning.

“It’s with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of Betty Andres (’46), a deeply loved and highly respected member of the Peacock family,” said Upper Iowa University president Dr. William Duffy on Monday. “Betty was an Emeritus member of the UIU Board of Trustees, and also a devoted wife, mother, teacher, and friend to the University and surrounding communities.

“Betty has truly been one of UIU’s most cherished and dedicated alumni. She was passionate in all that she did, including her teaching, gardening, and appreciation of art. She displayed this same unrivaled passion in her love for our University,” he continued. “Betty will be greatly missed, and our hearts and prayers go out to her family and friends.”

“On behalf of the City Council, I want to express our sympathy to the Andres family during their time of loss.  Betty’s and (late husband) Bill’s dedication to the City of Fayette is evident in every corner of our community,” added Fayette mayor Andrew Wenthe.  “Their generosity transformed the Upper Iowa University campus and the 18-hole golf course at Big Rock. Their dedication to education continues to impact all students, from the children at Rainbow Land Day Care and Preschool in Fayette to those attending Upper Iowa University. The Andres family has definitely left a lasting legacy in our community.”

Both Betty and Bill dedicated their time and resources to enhancing the UIU learning environment. Beginning in the ‘90s, the couple’s vision and benevolence was at the forefront in revitalizing the Fayette campus.

“Many of our current students, faculty and staff at the Fayette campus may not realize it, but as we all go about our daily routines we are enjoying the fruition of Betty and Bill’s dream to transform the look and feel of our spectacular campus,” Dr. Duffy noted. “Betty was involved in the design and development of the campus’ master landscaping plan, and herself personally studied and met with artists before selecting the 13 original sculptures that enhance the campus grounds today.”

In addition, the UIU President explained that Betty envisioned and spearheaded the completion of the Andres Center for Business and Education. With the help of fellow board member, the late Jerry McCauley, ‘61, and working alongside then executive director of operations Ron Crooker, she thoroughly researched the elements that would need to be included in the state-of-the art facility. The latest technology was installed and the environment continues to offer UIU business and education students few distractions, while providing a comfortable, relaxed, and aesthetically pleasing atmosphere.

After her husband’s death in February 2000, Betty remained committed to ensuring the highest quality education was made available to all students attending UIU. Among the heartfelt contributions provided by Betty and the William and Betty Andres Foundation, based in Medina, Minn., was a $4 million donation to name the Andres School of Education at Upper Iowa.

In addition to donating to the construction of UIU athletic facilities and Grace Meyer Square, Bill and Betty never forgot their roots. Natives of Fayette and Clermont, respectively, the couple donated to community projects including the Big Rock 18-hole expansion project, Rainbow Land Day Care and Preschool, and Clermont Fire Station construction project.

Betty served on the UIU Board of Trustees for nearly 20 years, 13 of them as vice chair, and was most recently a trustee emerita. She received the UIU Service to the University Award in 2009 and was presented an honorary doctorate during Upper Iowa’s 2011 commencement ceremonies.

Services for Betty Andres are pending. Additional information will be published as it’s made available.

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