Thomas Ray Granger, age 92, of Colo, Iowa, died Saturday, March 5, 2016, at Story County Medical Center in Nevada.
Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 12, 2016, at the United Methodist Church in Colo, with Pastor Lewis S. Flanigan officiating. Burial will follow in the Colo Cemetery, with military graveside honors conducted by Post No. 139 of the American Legion. Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. Friday at the church, with a Masonic Service at 5 p.m.
Born on June 25, 1923, at home in Colo, Thomas Ray Granger was the son of Henry and Bessie (Dolph) Granger. He graduated from Colo High School with the Class of 1940.
On May 23, 1940, Ray was united in marriage to his high school sweetheart, Berdina Elaine Dannenberger, in Boone, Iowa. The young couple lived in California for a time and, when Ray served in the United States Air Force during World War II, in Texas and Oklahoma. Among the planes Ray flew during his military service were the B25, B26, PT19, AT6, BT13, UC28, and the AT-11. Following the war, he and Berdina returned to Iowa and began farming near Colo. In retirement, the couple enjoyed winters in Florida where they loved hosting family and friends who came to visit. Berdina passed away in 2012, after nearly 72 years of marriage, and Ray then made his home at Windsor Manor in Nevada.
Ray was a faithful member of the Colo United Methodist Church, serving on various boards and committees over the years. He belonged to Post No. 139 of the American Legion for over 60 years, Voiture 40/8, was an active member of the Columbia Masonic Lodge of Colo and later the Nevada Masonic Lodge for more than 50 years, was a 50+ year member of the Colo Lions, and also belonged to several Shrine organizations, including the Madon Shrine of Marshalltown and Za-Ga-Zig Shrine of Des Moines. In earlier years, Ray served on the Colo School Board, was on the Colo Co-Op Board for 18 years, and was active in Isabelle Chapter O.E.S. #271.
His hobbies included flying his plane, golfing, fishing, and playing bridge. During his time in Windsor Manor, Ray enjoyed playing Bingo and Wii bowling. He cherished his children and grandchildren, and was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and friend who will be missed by all.
He is survived by two daughters, Susan K. (Keith) McKinney of Colo, and Cynthia R. (Ron) Willemsen of Pella; four grandchildren, Alissa (Matt Gannon) McKinney of Des Moines, Ryan (Katy) McKinney of Colo, Monica (Seth) Erling of Minneapolis, MN, and Todd (Jessica) Willemsen of Prairie Village, KS; and eight great-grandchildren, Emma and Isabel Buchanan, Jack and Sam McKinney, Jacob and Claire Willemsen, and Emmett and Eleanor Erling.
In addition to his wife, Ray was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Donald and Forrest Granger; and two sisters, Lois Granger and Velma Hess.
Memorials in Ray's name may be directed to the Colo United Methodist Church or Colo Fire & Rescue. Ryan Funeral Home of Nevada has been entrusted with the care of Ray and his family.
Saturday, March 12, 2016
United Methodist Church
Pastor Lewis S. Flanigan
Friday, March 11, 2016
United Methodist Church
5 p.m. Masonic Service
Stacie Hostetler, Pianist
Amy Edel, Soloist
Cynthia Willemsen, Soloist
Military honors by
Post #139 of the American Legion