Iowa Heritage Digital Collections
State Library of Iowa

Betty Lieder

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Betty Lieder


Betty (Leggett) Lieder was born on April 23, 1924 in Northfield, Minnesota. Between 1966 and 1980, Betty lived in Mason City, Iowa, where her husband Lyle served as a minister. Her oral history interview offers a mother's perspective and coping with a child (Deborah Lieder Kiesey) who suffered polio in the epidemic of 1952. Deborah was diagnosed with polio in Sioux City, Iowa that year. Deborah Lieder married D. Bradley Kiesey, an attorney, and is the mother of two grown boys. An ordained United Methodist minister, she presently serves the Dakotas Area of the United Methodist Church, the first female bishop for the Dakota Conference. According to her mother, Deborah has often said that she considers her polio a gift she brings to her ministry. "I have learned the importance of caring for myself...I've learned that I can't do it alone. I accept my limits and allow others to step forward in places that I cannot...My disability has also given me a deep compassion for those our society overlooks -- those without a voice. Polio has certainly impacted who I am -- although it does not define who I am."