Michele J. Auten

April 11, 1947March 26, 2021

Michele J. Auten, 73, died peacefully at her home in West Des Moines on Monday, March 26, 2021. A Celebration of Life service will be held 1 p.m. Friday, April 9, 2021 at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines with Chaplain Pam Avaux officiating the service. Please check their website for Covid 19 protocols for the service. It will also be live streamed at: events for those who would like to participate in viewing her service.

Michele had a deep and abiding faith with her Lord and Savior and is finally home. For her entire life she was active in churches she attended. She always found ways to volunteer, share her faith and make a difference. From children’s choirs she led with full musicals and sets (way before that was even a thing) she encouraged faith and strong foundations in the children she worked with. Youth groups, music and women’s ministries were all important to her. When she moved to West Des Moines, she anxiously jumped right into Hope’s many volunteer opportunities to not only meet people but to also help others. She was involved with Alpha, Prayer Ministry, New Member’s Classes, Care Ministries, Women’s Bible Study, and Women of Faith. She loved doing the annual “Trunk and Treat” with family and reflecting love and faith with all the families and children who participated. Her “roles” each year in that event as Olaf, a Lollipop Kid, Mrs. Pott’s, Bob the Minion and Rafiki were legendary.

She loved her very large family. She prayed for each of them and cherished the time they spent together. She shared in something she’d written that “My one prayer for each of my family is they will see in me how important the Lord is in my life. The Lord’s covenant with me for my family is the greatest blessing I have.” Whether across the room, across the miles or on the phone they were never far from her thoughts. For years she did full scale “Cousin Camps” at her home complete with themes, activities, t-shirts, prizes and parent shows for any cousin age 3 or older. Her grandchildren yearned to be that age to participate and join in all the fun.

She worked in restaurants she owned and later worked at United Electric Cooperative. She retired as the Director of United Services, Inc. She implemented DIRECTV for rural customers and built a department to support those efforts. When DIRECTV first came out, she traveled the country advocating for rural customers and continued implementing vital services for those communities.

She was smart, resilient, funny, a devoted friend and kind. Although life threw her many, many challenges she always found ways to be resilient and rise above with her faith and determination. She never knew a stranger. Her friendships meant a great deal to her and her willingness to gather people in along the way was amazing.

She is survived by her daughters Char Bush (Greg) of West Des Moines, IA, Jeannie Weissenborn (Paul) of Kansas City, MO, Elaine Simpson (Chuck) of Basehor, KS, Christine Allenbrand (Richard) of Kansas City, MO and Lisa Jensen (Erik) of Paola, KS. She is also survived by her siblings, Marlene White (Allan) of Kansas City, KS, Mike Gorzik (Helen) of Robstown, TX and Melanie Dearing (Steve) of Archie, MO. In addition she is also survived by 17 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren (with a 5th on the way in June) and 7 nieces and nephews. All of whom she loved deeply and cherished. Family and friends were everything to her in addition to her faith.

She loved this quote by James Freeman:

“The light of God surrounds me;

The love of God enfolds me;

The power of God protects me;

The presence of God watches over me.

Wherever I am, God is.”

Michele wished to be cremated and her remains to be given to her five daughters. Sadly due to Covid, we are not able to have a luncheon at Hope after the service for family and friends. Memorial contributions can be directed to the Michele Auten Memorial Contribution at Lutheran Church of Hope, 925 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines, IA 50266. Prayers, condolences and memories are gladly accepted at


  • Celebration of Life

    Friday, April 9, 2021



Michele J. Auten

have a memory or condolence to add?

Carla Daniels

April 7, 2021

I met Michele while working with her daughter Jeannie. Michele believed in me and helped me get my job with the electric coop. That job changed my life! Thank you for mentoring me, your insight, your belief in me, and most of all your friendship.

Rest In Peace ❤️ You will be greatly missed!

Kim Ingalls

April 7, 2021

Lisa and Family,
As you grieve the passing of your mother, know that you have many people who care about you and who want to help you in any way that we can. Our deepest condolences to you and your family. Your mother will be dearly missed by many, and we are holding all of you in our thoughts and prayers.
Kim/Jim, Ashley/James, Kayla, TJ and Zach

Beth McCullough

April 6, 2021

It was fun to see Michele and Char always together at Bible Study. What a wonderful example of the love between a mother and daughter, with God in the center.

Erika & Mike Horstmann

April 6, 2021

Prayers for you and your family as you grieve the loss of your mother. Losing a parent is one of the hardest things. We will continue to hold you in our hearts and prayers.

Mike & Erika Horstmann

Darren Farnan

April 6, 2021

Prayers to the family on the loss of Michele. I worked with Michele for over 10 Years at United Electric/Services and she was such a positive and vibrant person to be around. Michele worked hard but always had fun in the process. She was a great mentor and friend with the ability to make those around her feel special. She will be missed!

Carylon Sharp

March 30, 2021

Aunt Michele was an inspiration of love and joy to me. She loved unconditionally, served whole heartedly and lived each day with a purpose. She was a great prayer warrior, sweet friend, favorite aunt, and an amazing example of a Godly Woman. I will miss her chats and laughter. My thoughts and prayers for all the family members as you continue life’s journey with her as a memory. Hold dear to the heritage she left for you in your hearts until we reunite with her in Heaven. Much love & prayers, Caryl

RoAnne Solheim

March 30, 2021

Michelle was a great neighbor! here on Vance Dr. I missed visiting with her. I will never forget the camps she had for her grandchildren and the outstanding activities she planned around a theme and those memory books she had made of the camp activities with all kinds of pictures. And the presentations they children did at the end for their parents, they were something very special. She was something else!!! I remember I had her present to my class at Northwest about all the activities of the various camps and the girls were very impressed, it gave them ideas of special events they could do in their classrooms.
So sorry to hear of her passing. May God bless you all and know your mom was a special lady. RoAnne