Marieta Ruth (Kreger) Graf, 94, of Olin, died Sept. 20, 2016, at Solon Care Center in Solon. A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at St. John's Lutheran Church in Olin, with Pastor Cindy McKinzie officiating. Burial of ashes will follow in Olin Cemetery. A luncheon will be held at the church after the burial. Visitation will be from 9 to 11 a.m. at the church.
Marieta was the fifth of six children born to Edward and Frieda (Schellin) Kreger, of rural Olin, on Dec. 7, 1921. Frieda passed away from pneumonia in 1923, however, Edward kept the family together with the help of many relatives, including Lena (Kreger) Juergenson, Icy Guhl and Francis (Guhl) Thompson. Marieta attended Sand Hill Elementary school near Hale, then transferred to Olin Consolidated School in fifth grade and graduated from high school in 1939. A fond and special memory of her high school years was being a cheerleader at the 1938 girls' state basketball tournament when the Olin girls went to state (and her sister, Rosalie, played on the team). Many of her school classmates were lifelong friends. At 92, she was able to attend her 75th class reunion in 2014.
During the war, Marieta served her country by working in the Anamosa shirt factory and the Burlington ordnance factory. Hitchhiking with her friend, Jo Fisher, and getting a job welding Navy ships in Eureka, Calif., alongside her "Rosie the Riveter" counterparts, was a courageous and unforgettable experience for the small-town Iowa girl.
Allen and Marieta married in 1946 and raised eight children in Olin. He passed on April 5, 2013. Marieta worked alongside Allen running the Olin district school buses, and with their children, in the Graf's Drive-In they owned for 10 years.
In 2009, Allen and Marieta moved to the Solon Assisted Living Center. Even after moving to the nursing home side of the facility in 2016, Marieta continued to walk on her own over to the assisted living center for her meals and activities, and to see her friends whose friendship meant so much to her, especially Helen, Kay, Pauline and Donna.
She was so thankful for the staff at the Solon ALC and Care Center who went "above and beyond" to help her live with her loss of sight from macular degeneration and from the effects of a stroke in 2015.
Marieta is survived by her children, Robert Graf (Patty Dickson) of Anamosa, Lana (Jim) Ballou of Olin, Larry (Cindy) Graf of Marion, Debra (Bernie) Abeyta of Ankeny, Dennis Graf of Cedar Rapids, Jodi (Dan) Rickels of Solon and Christine Graf of Holland, Mich.; 11 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; sister, Rosalie Rohwedder (who resides at the Clarence Care Center); sister-in-law, Betty (Kreger) Lambert of Monticello; and many nieces and nephews.
Marieta was preceded in death by husband, Allen; son, Aric; an infant son at birth; her parents; brothers, Marvin (Bob), Vernie and Earl; and sisters, Evelyn and Elna.
Online condolences may be directed to www.chapmanfh.com.
Memorials may be directed to St. John's Lutheran Church in Olin or the Olin Alumni Association in Marieta's name.