COUNCIL BLUFFS — “Yes, she was a crazy, wonderful lady. We will all miss Daffy!”
Nancy Mowery, a retired nurse and longtime friend of Dee Lindgren, was probably speaking for multitudes. Few Council Bluffs residents have made as many people laugh or smile as Lindgren did.
Lindgren died Sunday after a nearly 10-month battle with cancer.
When his mother took a clowning class in 1978 and created Daffy the Clown, Jeff Carman was skeptical. “I thought she was out of her mind,” he said, “but it was her calling, for sure.”
Northcrest Care & Rehabilitation would become a regular stop for Lindgren. She performed at Northcrest monthly for more than 20 years and got to know all the residents by name.
As Daffy the Clown, she spent almost 25 years bringing joy to children of all ages, and she volunteered for several organizations that helped people. She had her own show, “Daffy’s Smiling Faces,” on cable TV Channel 17 for 10 years and was a regular part of community events at Bayliss Park, talking to children and painting faces.
“Dee was a very close friend of mine,” Mowery said. “We shared a love of children, and she came to Pediatrics and visited the children while they were in the hospital — and then later was a very active volunteer with Make-A-Wish.”
Mike Wallace, director of production at Rural Media Group/RFD-TV, worked with Lindgren for five years at Channel 17.
“Literally the first thing I did the day I started at the station was to film the Daffy show,” he said. “She was fun to work with. She was always good with the kids, and she was fun for the crew. We always looked forward to the day we taped the show.
“When she wasn’t in costume, she was, in essence, the same person. ... She was always happy and outgoing and friendly to everybody. When she was in costume, I think that just allowed her to work with the kids and extend her personality.”
Lindgren was a charter member of the Southwest Iowa Committee of Make-A-Wish of Iowa and a dedicated volunteer, Mowery said.