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Neva L. (Smith) Itzin

April 20, 1917 ~ July 19, 2018 (age 101)

Neva L. Itzin was born on April 20, 1917, in Greene, Iowa.  She was the daughter of Lloyd and Lenore Maley Smith. She died at 9:00 a.m. on July 19, 2018 in Urbana, Illinois.  She was the second oldest of five children.  All her siblings preceded her in death. 

Neva married Francis Itzin on September 6, 1941, at St. Thomas Moore Church in Chicago.  Her husband, who was a professor of Social Work at the University of Iowa and then the University of Illinois, died March 18, 2006. They are survived by two of their three children, Charles F. Itzin (Cheryl) of Fairhaven, New York and Jean Itzin of Tallahassee, Florida; by two grandchildren, Caitlin Lowe and Nick Hawkes, and four great grandchildren, Thomas Lowe, Sophie Lowe, Libby Hawkes and Jennifer Hawkes, all of London England.  Neva was preceded in death by her oldest daughter, Catherine Itzin-Borowy of London, England.

Neva graduated as valedictorian of her West Liberty, Iowa high school class in May 1933.  She attended the University of Iowa, graduating in June 1938 with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts with Highest Distinction.  She was elected to membership in the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.  She then attended graduate school at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.  She received her Master of Arts in Social Work in 1942.  She later received a Master of Arts in Humanities from the University of Iowa in 1960.

Neva was employed with the St. Louis Children’s Aid Society and then as a social work instructor at St. Louis University during World War II.  She was a caseworker with the Iowa Children’s Home and Aid Agency and then later worked as a medical social worker at the University of Iowa Hospital. Neva was a teaching assistant in the Humanities program in the University of Iowa Department of English prior to earning her Masters degree there.  In 1968, Neva began working as a social worker in the Urbana Illinois schools and in the Early Childhood Program when it was established.  She retired in May1979.

Neva had many interests in education, social work, travel, ballroom dancing and bridge.  She was an Honorary Life member of the American Association of University Women and participated especially in the Drama Group.  She was also a member of the University of Illinois Women’s Club, University Club, Stardusters, and the T Dance Club.

.Neva was a member of the Wesley Methodist Church.  The family will have a private memorial.  Contributions in Neva Itzin’s memory can be made to the University of Iowa Foundation John E. Briggs Scholarship Fund. Condolences may be offered at

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