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Mary Ellen Gray, 90, Rhodes

Mary Ellen Gray, 90 of Rhodes, Iowa passed away on Monday, July 26, 2021 surrounded by her family. A memorial service will be held on August 28, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. at the Rhodes United Methodist Church followed by a visitation and time of gathering from 2:30-4:30 p.m. 

Mary Ellen was born in Newton, Iowa, the youngest of seven children to Henry and Mary (Carson) Townsend.

Henry moved his family to a farm in Marshall County and Mary Ellen attended a country school across the road from their home through eighth grade. She graduated from Rhodes High School in 1948.

Two weeks following graduation, she married Jack Gray on June 6, 1948. Jack and Mary Ellen were married for nearly 72 years and together they raised six children.

Mary Ellen dedicated her life to her family by being a stay-at-home mother. As the children grew older, she worked for Ron Fisher Custom Woodcarving for several years.

She and Jack enjoyed spending many hours on bleachers while watching their children and grandchildren’s sporting events.

She was a member of the Rhodes United Methodist Church and served in many volunteer roles. Mary Ellen also took great pride in serving as an Election Official.

Over the years, Mary Ellen and Jack enjoyed spending time with their friends including the “Blooming Idiots” creating many memories.

She enjoyed crocheting afghans, painting, church activities, playing cards with her card club friends and most importantly spending time with her family.

Left to cherish her memory are her children: Bonnie (John) Peek of Waukee, Iowa; Gary (Sheila) Gray of Eugene, Oregon; Stan (Deb) Gray of Murray, Iowa; Jim (Kristen) Gray of Ankeny, Iowa and Rob Gray of Marshalltown, Iowa. Her grandchildren: Carrie (Wayne) Peterson, Hayley (Mike) Weiglen, Jeff (Erin) Peek, Mary Gray, Annie Gray, Kylie (Adam) Wrosblaski, Brandon (Laura) Gray, Lacey (Dave) Asplund, Savannah Butler, Sierra Butler, Megan Gray, Keaton Gray and McKenna Gray. Her great-grandchildren: Myles Peterson, Maisy Peterson, Maddax Peterson, Harper Peek, Bowen Peek, Gaius Wroblaski, Ophelia Wroblaski, Jack Gray, Isaac Gray, Eleanor Gray, Hazel Asplund, Franklin Asplund and Theodore Asplund.

Preceding Mary Ellen in death were her husband Jack, her daughter Becky Gray Butler, her parents Henry and Mary Carson Townsend, her sisters June Hardenbugh, Mae Eckhart, Lucile Severidt, Wilma Eckhart and her two brothers George Townsend and Harold Townsend.

The family would like to thank Iowa River Hospice for their care.


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