Leona Mabel Miller Prior

College Hill Business Owner

     Leona Prior Leona Mabel Miller Prior passed away Tuesday, July 17, 2007, at 7:30 a.m. at Sartori Memorial Hospital. She was born to Walter and Lulu Hazlett Miller on October 5, 1915, in Osceola. She graduated from Osceola High School with a Normal Teaching degree. She taught school for two years in Leon, then attended the Iowa State Teachers College, where she won a beauty contest in 1936. Mabel met and later married Homer E. Prior on June 20, 1937, in Osceola. They were proprietors of Standard Vending Company, a business that Mabel maintained while Homer served during World War II. Homer and Mabel later owned Prior Gift Shoppe on College Hill. Mabel's many life achievements included membership in many organizations, including PTA, Soroptomist, Floral Design, Waterloo Garden Floral Study, Horticulture Department of Iowa, National Federated Gardens, circles of the First United Methodist Church and the Woman's Club of Cedar Falls. She also served as a nationally accredited flower judge, and designer and landscape critic. She enjoyed sharing her talents through teaching and lecturing in horticulture, floral design ,and nature. In April 2007, she received the Cedar Valley Mayors' Volunteer Award. She loved music, enjoyed playing the piano, sewing, crocheting and embroidery. Mabel was preceded in death by her parents; a daughter, Claudia; her husband, Homer; her brother, Claude "Harold" Miller; and sister-in-law, Nina Knoll Miller. She is survived by daughters, Ruth (Ed) Swartz of San Jose, California, Marna Lou (George) Xanos of Ogden, Utah, and Barbara (Steven) Kent of Fort Worth, Texas; son James (Joyce) Prior of Salt Lake City, Utah; eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. A viewing will be held on Friday, July 20, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Richardson Funeral Home (615 Main Street, Cedar Falls). Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church with burial in Fairview, Cemetery, both in Cedar Falls. Copyright Waterloo Courier, July 19, 2007, page A6.