In Memory of Thomas Ray Granger

Thomas Ray Granger
Thomas Ray Granger
Born: June 25, 1923
Died: March 5, 2016
Age: 92
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Thomas Ray Granger
June 25, 1923 - March 5, 2016
From: Colo, IA

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.


Monday, March 21, 2016 at 11:26 AM
“The short time I knew Ray, I found him to be an individual who was very interesting to talk to about his past. I took him out quite a few times for the men's outing at Windsor Manor, soon to find out he only wanted to go out if there was a certain destination. I will always remember Ray with a great sense of humor and the ability to enjoy life. Thumbs up to you Ray! ( We always gave each other the thumbs up sign with a smile.) I will miss you and your family, glad that I got to be a part of your life!”
- Terry and Judy Anderson
Monday, March 14, 2016 at 10:57 AM
“Hugs and prayers to all of you. He accomplished so much and lived such a long wonderful life I know you will all miss him greatly. Thinking of you all so sorry we couldn't make it to the visitation or funeral. Prayers and love we are sending to you all. Love-Dana Hughey (Granger) and family”
- Dana Hughey
Friday, March 11, 2016 at 2:37 PM
“Ray was a good and faithful friend, a wonderful man. Lots of memories. God Bless.”
- John Geer
Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 2:32 PM
“I along with many others shall miss him.”
- Douglas Johns
Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 2:32 PM
“He was a beautiful man with a wonderful spirit. He will be missed but leaves so many memories. He will live on in his family. Love to all. ”
- Mary Beth Flelming
Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 2:32 PM
“So sorry to see on Facebook that your dear father, grandfather and great-grandfather has passed away. Know how much he was loved by all of his family and many friends. He has had such a joyful and full life. He will be sorely missed. God bless each of you as you go through the loss of someone so dear.144”
- Becke Cutler Arnold
Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 2:32 PM
“Rays family, what a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man. How blessed were all of you to have him in your lives. We will carry with us wonderful, spirted, touching memories of him and Berdina. Love prayers to you all.”
- Norm and Ellen Woods and Family
Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 2:12 PM
“Susan & Family and Cindy & Family..........It is with much sadness in the loss of your Dad; Grandfather; Great Grandfather and my Uncle Ray that I send my deepest condolences to EACH of you. He will be Greatly Missed......and I will miss all the visits him & I had during his time at Windsor. God is saying, "Well done good & faithful servant ", I'm sure of that. Love and Hugs to each one of you. Sherry Granger”
- Sherry Granger
Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 11:00 AM
“Sue and family, I was very sorry to hear of your Dad's passing, and wanted to send our condolences. The old neighborhood is awfully quiet now.”
- Tom and Dee Carlson
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10:30 a.m.
Saturday, March 12, 2016
United Methodist Church
Colo, Iowa


Pastor Lewis S. Flanigan


Seth Erling
Matt Gannon
Larry Hostetler
Ryan McKinney
Todd Willemsen
Paul Mens
Dean Hostetler

Bob Titus
Joe Harper
Don Wilson
Kieth Tadlock
Hugo Armbrecht
Alvis Shaw


5-7 p.m.
Friday, March 11, 2016
United Methodist Church
Colo, Iowa
5 p.m. Masonic Service


Stacie Hostetler, Pianist
Amy Edel, Soloist
Cynthia Willemsen, Soloist


Colo Cemetery
Colo, Iowa
Military honors by
Post #139 of the American Legion