Marilyn Ray

Marilyn Palmer Ray, 88, of Cedar Falls, Iowa, passed away on February 3, 2021 after a long illness. Marilyn was born on November 22, 1932 in Waverly, IA to Harry and Violet (Crawford) Wilder. She grew up in rural Allison, IA, graduated from Allison High School, and attended Wartburg College. Prior to marriage, Marilyn was employed as a secretary at the Shepard & Shepard law firm in Allison and for the Congregational Christian Conference in Grinnell, IA.
On July 17, 1955, Marilyn was united in marriage to George A. Palmer. They resided in Waterloo, IA, Newport, RI, and Minneapolis, MN where Marilyn was employed as a secretary. In 1959, the couple moved to Parkersburg, IA where they owned and operated Palmer’s Super Market until George’s death in 1988.
Marilyn was an active member of the Calvary Baptist Church in Parkersburg for many years where she served as organist and pianist, taught Sunday School, and coordinated and hosted Bible studies.
On January 2, 1998, Marilyn was united in marriage to Charles R. Ray. They resided in Sun City West, AZ and Cohasset, MN. Marilyn was a member of Palm West Community Church in Sun City West where she was a member of the chancel choir, the bell choir, and served as a pianist. She was also a Stephen Ministries caregiver. Charles Ray passed away in 2006.
Marilyn moved back to Iowa in 2017 and became a member of Prairie Lakes Church, Cedar Falls.
Marilyn was preceded in death by her husband, George Palmer, her second husband, Charles Ray, her parents, her sister and brother-in-law, Jack and Harriet (Wilder) Opperman, and brother-in-law, Don Lindaman.
Marilyn is survived by her son Doug (Cindy) Palmer of Apple Valley, MN, daughters Lynn (Tom) Tower of Phoenix, AZ, and Kay (John) Fuller of Cedar Falls; grand-children: Ally (Chris) Latta, Shane (Brynn) Fuller, Karly (Ben) Fessler, Dain Palmer, Dylan Palmer, and Madison Palmer; and eight great-grandchildren. She is also survived by step grand-children: Tammy Tower, Jennifer (Chris) Cooper, and Clay (Janee) Tower; and seven step great-grandchildren.
Through her marriage to Chuck Ray, Marilyn is survived by step-daughters: Cindy (Dave) Krumm of Center Point, IA, Candy (Lynn) Betts of Johnston, IA, Tracy (Tom) Worley of Rockwell, IA, and Kim (Neal) Thuente of Johnston, IA and collectively their 11 grandchildren and 21 great grand-children.
Marilyn enjoyed music, summers at the cabin, reading, golf, playing cards and board games, and was an avid Phoenix Suns fan. She especially enjoyed spending time with her family and her many, many friends. Marilyn was known for her gentleness, sweet spirit, and ability to lighten any situation with her quick wit.
Memorial services were held 10:30am Monday, February 8, at Prairie Lakes Church, Cedar Falls, Iowa with gravesite service to follow at Oak Hill Cemetery in Parkersburg. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at church. Memorials may be directed to Cedar Valley Hospice. Online guestbook at


Parkersburg Eclipse News-Review
503 Coates St.
Parkersburg, IA 50665
Phone:  319-346-1461

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