Alice Harberts

Alice Irene Harberts of Ankeny, formerly of Postville, Oelwein and Waterloo, died Sunday, December 3, 2017 at Grandview Healthcare Center in Oelwein. Funeral Services were held Saturday, December 16 at Community Presbyterian Church, Postville with Rev. Cathy Young as the Officiant.

Alice was born February 8, 1951 to Upton and Goldie (Barrett) Peck in Decorah. She graduated from Postville High School, earned her BA in Social Work from the University of Northern Iowa in 1988 and her MSW from the University of Iowa in 1995.

Alice was united in marriage with Sidney Harberts November 22, 1969.  They had two children, Richard and Amy. They divorced in 2001 and Alice was united in marriage with Diane Kent December 18, 2011 in Ankeny.

Alice is survived by her wife, Diane Kent of Ankeny; her children, Richard (Brenda Payne) Harberts and Amy (Trent Olson) Harberts Olson; four grandchildren, Witt Harberts, Payton Olson, Carly Olson and Morgan Olson; her siblings, Harold (Dona) Peck of Postville, Margie (E. B.) Kunkle of Postville, Larry (Julie) Peck of Ankeny, Morvin (Chris) Peck of Cedar Falls, Sheryl (Lawrence) Schulte of Harpers Ferry and Lori Peck of Cedar Rapids; and her ex-husband, Sidney (Maxine) Harberts of Grundy Center. Alice was preceded in death by her parents, Upton and Goldie Peck.

Alice lived briefly in Stevens Point, WI shortly after marrying Sidney while he attended school at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. The family moved to Waterloo in 1973, where Alice was a homemaker until her children both started school. Alice was always ahead of her times, and started working as a receptionist and salesperson while her children were in school in the 1970s.

Education was important to Alice, and she started college at UNI during the toughest of times, the mid-1980s in Waterloo. Alice graduated from UNI in 1988 and began working as a social worker for the Department of Human Services (DHS). Alice had a passion for helping others, and her work took her from DHS to Lutheran Social Services in Waterloo, where she also worked as a case worker. While at LSI, Alice went back to school at the University of Iowa and earned her MSW in 1995.

Alice worked with many children, families and adults who had suffered trauma in their lives. In addition to becoming a Licensed Independent Social Worker, Alice was certified in EMDR, a treatment for trauma, as well as a WRAP instructor to assist those with serious mental illness in advocating for their own wellness and treatment. During her career, Alice was the director of LSI, and worked at several mental health practices and community mental health centers in Waterloo, Oelwein and Des Moines. Alice’s last place of employment was at Compass Clinical Associates in Des Moines.  Alice was a gifted therapist, and a strong advocate for her clients.

After an accident prevented her from working and living at home, Alice spent the last years of her life at the Grandview Care Center in Oelwein. Diane and all of Alice’s family will be forever grateful to the caregivers and staff at Grandview for making her difficult final years as comfortable as possible.

Alice impacted the lives of the people she worked with professionally, but her strongest impact was on her family and friends. Alice was a giving person, and many friends, siblings, nieces, nephews and animals found a second home with Alice. She was always ready to help those she loved with guidance, encouragement and support.

Alice will also be remembered for her amazing cooking and her green thumb with house plants. She loved reading, music and talking over coffee. Alice loved to be near the water. She loved to draw with her grandchildren and crochet. She was willing to watch Star Wars or Dora the Explorer over and over, and play video games to spend time with her grandchildren. She instilled in her children and grandchildren the importance of equality and kindness.

Although Sidney and Alice divorced, they remained friends and her children and grandchildren are forever grateful that both embraced expanding the family to include their new spouses, with everyone spending time together with Richard, Amy, their spouses and children.

Schutte-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Postville assisted the family with arrangements.

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