Marian Harford, West Union, Iowa, December 11, 2017

Marian Adelle (Dennis) Harford, 62, of West Union, Iowa passed away peacefully at Palmer Lutheran Hospital, West Union, Iowa. Marian Adelle was born February 28, 1955, at Palmer Memorial Hospital in West Union, Iowa to Frederick and Selma (Odegard) Dennis. She was bestowed the given names of her aunt, Marian Adele (Dennis) Schatz of West Union and her grandmother, Adel Elizabeth (Whitley) Dennis, two notable women in her family tree. These women would have been very proud of the faithful life their namesake led and the giving, caring nature that Marian exhibited toward everyone had they lived to see her raise a family and develop into the kind, considerate person she would become. Marian valued and appreciated the rights and needs of others and always put everyone’s wishes ahead of her own. She had a giving nature and a willingness to assist others in their time of need, to just offer a helping hand for no reason at all, or just to be a good neighbor. She was always ready to give someone a hug and tell them “I love you”.

Marian was baptized at the First Methodist Church in Fayette, Iowa on April 3, 1955. She attended elementary, junior high and high school in Fayette, graduating in 1973. Marian was united in marriage to Raymond Howard Harford on June 8, 1974 in the United Methodist Church in Fayette. To this union were born three children; Jennifer, Justin and Julie. Marian and Ray raised their children with love and taught them to be honest, self-reliant, caring and respectful.

Marian held several jobs during her working career, primarily at Schwann Food Company, in child care and for North Fayette Schools for twenty-three years, where she was employed as a substitute and as a cook. Marian loved working in the NF elementary and high school cafeterias, where she could be around   her beloved “kids”. She enjoyed visiting with all the students, praising them for their good behavior and counseling them when they were misbehaving. Marian’s daughter was seriously injured when she was hit by a vehicle at the busy intersection near the school, Marian volunteered as a road crossing guard to make sure that no other child would ever suffer the same fate if she could prevent it. Marian faithfully served as a school crossing guard for over 10 years until her health would no longer permit her to carry out her duties. No matter what the weather was like, Marian would be vigilantly standing guard, watching over her kids and making sure that vehicle drivers did not fail to obey the traffic lights.

Marian enjoyed picking strawberries at Rawson’s Berry Farm and while most people would not consider this task enjoyable, Marian found this pastime gave her pleasure and contentment to her mind and senses. She also enjoyed mowing lawns and moving snow at her home or pitching in to lend a helping hand to her neighbors.

Marian was given the spiritual gift of serving others. She prided herself on volunteering to promote goodness and to improve the quality of life for individuals or groups in her community. She was presented several awards with gratitude and appreciation for her efforts although she did not expect, want or seek any personal recognition. Awards that meant a great deal to Marian were presented to her from her church, North Fayette Schools Education Association and the City of West Union for her altruistic activities and her lifelong commitment of devoting her services to the community. The greatest recognition and reward that awaits Marian is from her Heavenly Father for being a family caregiver. Marian worked tirelessly and unselfishly taking care of her parents while both of them endured serious health and aging issues. Marian cared deeply for her parents and spent many hours every week visiting with them, seeing to their needs from washing clothes, cleaning their home, grocery shopping, mowing their lawn and countless other tasks in making sure they were well and affectionately cared for. Marian’s compassionate concern for her own family and for the well-being of others is a tribute to her kind heart and is a lasting example for her children and every person to follow.

Marian will be greatly missed by her family and the many friends she had. She will also be fondly remembered by the large number of current and former students she developed a close relationship with. Marian was an extraordinary person, absolutely one of a kind. She was a wonderful example to others how every person should be treated, respected and loved.

Marian is survived by her husband, Raymond; her three children, Jennifer Witte of Waterloo, Iowa, Justin Harford of Cedar Falls, Iowa and Julie Harford of West Union, Iowa; brother David (Christie) Dennis of Fayette, Iowa; brother Richard Dennis of Marshall, Virginia; sister, Anna Dennis of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; in addition to a granddaughter, several nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.

Marian was preceded in death by her parents and her sister Linda (Gaylord) Caldwell.

Visitation will be on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 from 4-8 pm at United Methodist Church, West Union, Iowa and one hour before services at the church on Thursday.

Funeral Services will be at 11:00 am on Thursday, December 14, 2017 at United Methodist Church, West Union, Iowa with Rev. Chris Ebbers as the Officiant.

Burial will be at a later date.

Burnham-Wood-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, West Union, Iowa is helping the family with the arrangements.

Condolences may be sent to the family at: Ray Harford, 108 South Oak Street, West Union, IA 52175 or to:


Burnham-Wood-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, West Union, Iowa is helping the family with the arrangements.

Grau Funeral Homes has been honored to serve the families and loved ones of these individuals. By presenting this information we hope to assist those close to these families with planning for their service. If you have questions or comments about any of the information found on this page, please let us know by email or telephone.