Lois Howard Murray

Lois Howard Murray

Lois Howard Murray


Lois Howard Murray of Quasqueton, Iowa, was born on March 24, 1933, in Colon, Republic of Panama, where she grew up and attended Cristóbal School. She was the daughter of Anthony C. Howard and Guadalupe Teresa Arias, granddaughter of Félix and Nancy Howard and Juan and Juana Arias, and one of six children: Melida, Fay, Anthony, Rita, and Larry.

Lois met her husband, Robert, in Panama while he was serving in the U.S. Army at Fort Gulick. They were married on November 1, 1952, in the Cristóbal Union Church, Panama Canal Zone. They moved to Iowa in 1954 and to Quasqueton in 1961. Robert was a research mechanical engineer at Rockwell Collins until his retirement in 1992. They enjoyed 51 years of marriage until he passed in 2003.

Lois was a stay-at-home mom for their two children, Deborah and Peter, until 1970 when she became the secretary for the East Buchanan Elementary School in Quasqueton. She ran the office when the principal was not there, often also functioning as a nurse, counselor, and disciplinarian. Beloved by both students and teachers, she retired in 1995 after 25 years and continued to tutor students as a volunteer.

Naturalized in 1975, Lois was very proud to be an American citizen. She was a dedicated volunteer, even in Panama where she received outstanding recognition for her work in the Volunteer Forces of the Panama Area Disaster Control Program. Lois was very active in the Quasqueton community, serving for many years as a Sunday school teacher and treasurer for the Quasqueton Union Church. She assisted in the establishment of the Quasqueton Area Historical Society and Museum, and in 2012, received the Governor’s Volunteer Award from Governor Terry Branstad for her outstanding service to the Quasqueton Area Community.

Known for her kindness to everyone and her thoughtful ways, she collected hearts and hummingbirds, symbols of her loving nature. She was an excellent wife, mother, grandmother, friend, homemaker, cook, and counselor. She will be remembered for her big heart; her great faith and strength; her exceptional beauty; her wonderful laugh; her elegant penmanship; and the steadfast love she gave her family and friends.

Lois passed Monday morning, February 26, 2024, after a courageous battle with lung cancer while in hospice care in her home in Quasqueton with her children by her side. She is survived by her two children, Deborah Cowman (husband Don Clark) of North Zulch, TX, and Peter Murray (wife Angie) of Quasqueton, IA; her sister Fay Hall; three grandchildren, Ryan Murray, Erika Nealey (husband Daniel), and Katie Kay (husband Andy); great-grandchildren Brooklyn, Ryker, and Malaya Murray; Iris and Evangeline Nealey; Olivia and Avery Kay; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A Funeral Service was held at 11 AM on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, at Quasqueton Union Church in Quasqueton, IA. Burial will be held at Quasqueton Cemetery in Quasqueton, IA. Visitation was held on Monday from 5 PM until 9 PM at the Reiff Family Center – Funeral Home & Crematory in Winthrop, IA.

To leave an online condolence please go to www.reifffamilycenter.com under obituaries.

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