Alta May Dykstra, 84, of rural Eddyville, died Sunday, August 20, 2023, at the Oskaloosa Care Center in Oskaloosa. She was born November 16, 1938, in Mahaska County, the oldest of 15 children born to Floyd Oscar and Edna Mae Van Toorn Orfield. At a young age she went to live with her grandparents Oscar and Annie Orfield. She graduated from Allerton High School and was the Valedictorian of the class of 1957. Following graduation she taught country school at Allerton, Iowa. On April 6, 1958, she was united in marriage to Arthur Dean Dykstra, Sr. at the Nazarene Church in Grinnell, Iowa. Following their marriage Alta’s primary focus was caring for her family and home in addition to helping Art with the farm operation. She did work various places in Oskaloosa and Albia including Casey’s in Beacon, Wal-Mart, Marsella’s Taylor Shop, Halmark in Albia, and helped her sister Annie bake cakes. She was active with the Bethel Church Ladies’ Aide. She enjoyed, sewing, gardening, and cooking. She always looked forward to spending time with her family and took great pride in the fact that no one left her home hungry. Alta enjoyed traveling and was proud of the fact that as a young girl she traveled to every state but Alaska and Hawaii. Later in life Alta and Art enjoyed traveling around southern Iowa and listening to the local country western shows.
Her family includes her four children and their spouses, Peggy and Richard, Jr. Lettington of Eddyville, Arthur, Jr. and Julie Dykstra of Eddyville, Paulina and Vernon Sanders of Center Point, Iowa, and Bill and Connie Dykstra of Eddyville; nine grandchildren, Richard, III (Meghan) Lettington of Eddyville, Anthony (Ashley Davis) Lettington of Eddyville, Joshua (Connie) Dykstra of Lovilla, Amber (Justin Pinegar) Dykstra of Hamilton, Sarah (Ryan) Lekin of Cascade, Iowa, Katherine Sanders of Cedar Rapids, Angela Dykstra of Oskaloosa, William (Sadie) Dykstra of Lovilla, and Kimberly (Billy) Vanderpool of Sigourney; twenty six great grandchildren, Stryker, Harper Lettington, Cooper Davis, Lennon, Huxton, and Oliver Lettington, Briar, and Hadley Lettington, Hunter Dykstra, Breckin Starr, Cora Dykstra, Emma Dykstra, Max Lowe, Charlotte, Hannah, Elijah, and Adriannah Lekin, Patrick (Mackenzie Green) Dykstra, Laura Cassill, River Keegel, Carson, Garrett, and Maggie Dykstra, Kyle, Destiny and Silas Burk; one great great granddaughter, Clara May Dykstra; six sisters, Arlene Gustin of Grand Junction, Iowa, June Anderson of Jefferson, Iowa, Flo Tarbell of Knoxville, Iowa, Joy (Dwight) Meyer of Albert Lee, Minnesota, Joyce Orfield of Farlin, Iowa, and Debbie (Gary) Akin of Farlin, Iowa; four brothers, Dwayne “Bud” Orfield of Fort Lupton, Colorado, Jerry Orfield of Grand Junction, Iowa, Mark (Sue) Orfield of Osceola, Iowa, and Oscar (Marla) Orfield of Jefferson, Iowa; a sister in law, Janet Miller of Cedar Rapids; a brother in law, Donald Dykstra of Eddyville; and many nieces and nephews.
Alta was preceded in death by her husband Arthur Dean Dykstra on December 11, 2014; her parents; her grandparents; a grandson, Loren Lettington; three sisters, Annie Dykstra, Helen Finley, and Elaine Finley; a brother, Darwin Orfield; brothers in law, Kenny Gustin, Lynn Finley, Dave Anderson, Arlan Tarbell, and Carroll Miller.
Funeral services will be held Friday, August 25, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. in the Bates Funeral Chapel in Oskaloosa with Richard Lettington, Jr. officiating. Burial will be in the Bethel Cemetery in rural Mahaska County. The Bates Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements. Visitation will begin Thursday after 2:00 p.m. in the Bates Funeral Chapel and the family will be at the funeral chapel from 5-7 Thursday evening to greet friends and relatives. Memorials may be made to Bethel Cemetery.