Gaynal “Gay” Anderson, West Union, Iowa, April 3, 2018

Gaynal May (Ramage) Anderson began her life on July 21, 1925 in Pleasant City, Ohio, a little village nestled among the appalachian hills and coal mines of southeastern Ohio.  Her parents were Bill and May Ramage.  Her father was a coal miner and as a child she lived among the mines and miners.

On October 15, 1934, Gay and her sister Laura were in school and the mine whistle blew loud and long. There had been an accident in one of the mines.  They were soon told their father had been injured in the mine where he worked.  He died a week later of his injuries.  These were also the years of the Great Depression, a hardship and troubled times.  Gay attended schools in Ohio and worked wherever she could find a job.

World War 2 was under way and women were being recruited.  Gay enlisted in the Navy and became a part of the Navy Waves.  In a few days she was on a train headed for boot camp.  Nine weeks and boot camp behind her, she was on a troop train traveling to Balboa Naval Hospital in California and corpsman school, an adventure of a lifetime.

The war finally came to an end.  At a victory celebration, Gay met a sailor, Elver Anderson, from Iowa.  He would be going home soon.  Come spring she found herself following the sailor from Iowa home.  They were married June 11, 1946 in Marion Lutheran Church, Gunder, Iowa.

Yes, God is good, all the time God is good!

In a few years, one by one, their three boys arrived.

Elver and Gay farmed some years and as each of the boys left the nest they moved to town.  An opportunity, and a dream of a lifetime came true.  Gay was able to go back to school, graduated and became an R.N., “a real nurse”.  Yes, a dream come true.

Over the years Gay worked in most of the care facilities in the area and had several lovely retirement parties in her honor; reluctantly retiring at 89 years old.

Gay was an active member of Zion Lutheran Church for many years.  She liked to garden, visiting all the green houses in the spring, walking the Jensen Trail and Rec Center Trail, cooking and baking when there was someone to eat it.  She enjoyed time sitting in the swing in her garden with her long-haired dachshund, Milo, and having coffee with friends.

Yes life has been good.  A few bumps along the way, but Gay was tired now and ready to go home.

Gay is survived by her boys, Barry (Wilma), Franklin (Jeanette) and Paul (Janann); grandchildren Chad, Heidi (Micheal), Wade (Angie), Levi, Lucas, Rachel (Kayleb), Melissa (Dan), Kristin (Justin) and Kimberly; great-grandchildren Lauren, Lily, Madalyn, Raelyn and Faye.  She is also survived by half- sisters and a half-brother, many honorable relatives and special friends.  She was preceded in death by her husband Elver, parents Bill and May, and sister Laura.

Visitation will be held from 6-8 pm on Thursday, April 5, 2018 at Burnham-Wood-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service in West Union, Iowa. There will also be a one hour visitation before services at the church on Friday.

Funeral Service will be at 10:30 am on Friday, April 6, 2018 at Zion Lutheran Church, West Union, Iowa with Rev. Adam Starrett as the officiant.

Burial will follow at West Union Cemetery, West Union, Iowa.

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

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